Controversial social media video site TikTok has one supporter - a public relations academic at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

A recent paper, ironically in a journal from a publisher that has also been called predatory, argues that TikTok may be effective for encouraging women to get a pap smear, which aids in early detection of cervical cancer, which kills some 4,000 women each year in the United States. 

The information they use is obviously anecdotal - "there have been a lot of news reports about how people, especially Gen Z, are using the platform as a source for health information" is the PR equivalent of 'emerging body of evidence' among the anti-science community, because it has no criteria for inclusion, and the methodology is as good as any other in this kind of thing, undergrad college students, who watched videos.

Yet there is hope to be found. Participants were more likely to trust an MD, or someone who at least is a primary care person even if they didn't go to medical school, rather than some random knucklehead who came up randomly. And they responded to body autonomy language rather than mandate language, a real concern in the wake of the Biden administration repeatedly trying to force COVID-19 vaccines on government employees and using OSHA to force them on everyone.

While appeals to Gen Z in short video fashion may be viable, it is certainly the kind of thing you expect a PR academic to latch onto, far more effective than hoping someone watches a TikTok video is encouraging young people get an HPV vaccine.

Since the introduction of the vaccine, instances and death rates have gone done nearly 25 percent. With the decline in smoking prior to the HPV vaccine added in they are down quite a lot. There is no evidence in the real world that TikTok has prevented even one.