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  • Writer's picturealicjapawluczuk

The moral panic of digital hysteria: what happens when sick girls become visible online.

Why are teenage girls punished for being visibly sick online? What types of girls' digital visibility are worthy of #digitalcapitalism attention?

In September 2022, the Daily Mail published an article, “Addicted to being sad: Teenage girls with invisible illnesses — known as ‘Spoonies’ — post Tik Toks of themselves crying or in hospital to generate thousands of likes — as experts raise concerns over internet-induced wave of mass anxiety”.

Why are ‘sick and suffering’ teenage girls’ accused of creating catastrophic internet-induced wave of mass anxiety — and whose anxiety are we talking about? Why does digital hysteria cause so much moral panic?

In my Medium article, I try to tackle these questions.

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