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The logic of imitation and the reconfiguration of news in climate communication on TikTok

Resource type
Thesis type
(Thesis) M.A.
Date created
Author: Shaw, Ryland
This thesis is a qualitative multimodal analysis of TikTok videos and interviews with eco-influencers that maps the actors and content present across three climate event case studies: the 2021 Pacific Northwest Heat Dome, the "Soupgate" protest, and the passing of the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act. These case studies each tell a unique story: of continued climate disconnection perpetuated by a platform vernacular that restricts some climate communication but elevates others; of the decontextualization of news content to fit into this vernacular; and, finally, of the work that a rising cast of influencers is doing to work around the affordances but within the vernacular of TikTok to engage in effective environmental education and news reporting. I assert that a logic of imitation constitutes an information ecology that is not well suited to the effective mediation of climate crisis on TikTok.
164 pages.
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Copyright is held by the author(s).
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes.
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Gunster, Shane
Member of collection
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