Circulating Humorous Antitobacco Videos on Social Media: Platform Versus Context

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We investigated whether exposure to same humorous antitobacco videos via different types of social media platforms and contexts (health vs. humor) influences individual’s health risk perceptions, attitudes, and behavioral intents. An experiment with a 2 (social media types: YouTube and Facebook) × 2 (message contexts: health-focused and humor-focused contexts) factorial design was conducted. It was found that those who watched the humorous antitobacco videos on Facebook in the health-context exhibited a higher level of risk perception of smoking, less positive attitude toward smokers, and a higher level of intention to avoid smoking in the future than the participants who viewed the same videos on YouTube in the health-context or on Facebook in the humor-context. These findings provide useful practical guidelines in using social media for health communication/promotion. Humorous health promotion messages are best circulated on social networking sites such as Facebook accompanied by others’ support for the given health topic (i.e., in health-contexts). Practical/theoretical implications and limitations of the study were further discussed in this article.

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