How Twitter Enabled the Expression and Propagation of Solidarity among Healthcare Professionals
Keywords:Twitter, Solidarity, Sentiment analysis, Health communcation, Doctor, Healthcare professional, Hashtag
Healthcare professionals in Denmark used the hashtag #detkuhaværetmig [“it could have been me”] to express professional solidarity with a junior doctor who was initially declared negligent after oral instructions were not written down and followed up. This article explores how the functionalities of Twitter facilitated the expression and propagation of solidarity with a fellow medical professional. Our data consist of all #detkuhaværetmig tweets from August 2017–May 2019. Devising a mixed methods approach to analyse professional solidarity in tweets, we explore, amongst other things, who the tweeters were, when the hashtag was most frequently used, and the content of tweeted statements. Solidarity was expressed through the hashtag itself, tweeted statements and photos. The hashtag’s propagation potential was promoted by mentioning politicians and news media and including co-hashtags that linked to related concerns. Twitter, through the hashtag #detkuhaværetmig, became a vehicle for expressing and propagating professional solidarity.
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