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Rolling through TikTok: An analysis of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine-related content.

INTRODUCTION: TikTok has quickly gained popularity through its platforming of large amounts of short video content. Given its widespread popularity, unrestricted access and poor content monitoring may allow 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)-related content to influence perception of MDMA use. We aimed to investigate how MDMA-related videos are portrayed on TikTok and explore MDMA-related harm reduction content.

METHODS: MDMA-related hashtags and sounds were utilised to collect data from TikTok (n = 498). Video views, likes, comments and shares were recorded and quantified, and videos were coded for depiction/sentiment towards MDMA and thematic content.

RESULTS: The total sample view count was 82,413,781. Videos had a median view count of 28,900 (SD = ±561,645), median like count of 2269 (SD = ±102,904), median comment count of 52 (SD = ±755), and median share count of 34 (SD = ±3292). Most videos depicted MDMA neutrally (40.6%), while 34.9% were positive. MDMA intoxication was presumed in 40.2% of videos. The analysis produced seven themes, of which humour was the most common (80.5%). Harm reduction content was present in nine videos, viewed 999,700 times, and consisted of mixed subject matter.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: Similar themes and issues surrounding drug-related content on TikTok are relevant to MDMA, and intoxication was present in a significant portion of the sample. Better monitoring or regulation of content could potentially offset harm that may arise from consumption of such content. Promotion of harm reduction content could also be trialled to minimise harm.

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