This will be a different type of post.
The trend #fakeseizure on TikTok is trending. Why is this dangerous? TikTok is meant for fun! Yes, this is true, but many people are getting their news or education through this app. Even with the caption "not advice" or "just jokes" underneath the video is dangerous. This calls into question a person's diagnosis or serious medical situation.
In a video by the creator steveioe, he poses as a medical professional. He makes fun of a stereotype of seizure patients to quote, "fall on the floor and flop like a fish". He goes on to state that they as nurses test if it's real by putting a hand in front of a patient's face. If they hit the hand, it's real, if they move the seizure is fake.
Firstly, if he is a medical professional as he claims, how dare he. Even a "falsified medical emergency" should be treated in a similar manner as "valid" ones. This specific TikTok and trend takes away the trust that patients have in the medical professionals, especially when they are in a very vulnerable state.
Next, he is making fun of a large disability group. People often forget that people with epilepsy and seizure disorders have a disability, even if, for some people, it is a silent disability. His comments and jokes are ableist. This trend would not be hitting the traction it has if the disability was seen. Often, influencers that make such comments become ostracized and shunned for these actions. Why aren't we holding people to the same standards when speaking about epilepsy?
As a community, we need to be better. I think TikTok is a great app and has a lot of great perks and has the opportunity to educate a lot of people. However, the widespread of misinformation and bullying is a dangerous slippery slope into an anti-empathetic society.
For more info about epilepsy: https://www.epilepsy.com/
Link to TikTok: