Social media and community water fluoridation
Community water fluoridation is the upward adjustment of the fluoride content in a public water supply to an optimal level to prevent tooth decay. This level can vary, but it is usually between 0.7 ppm and 1.2 ppm, depending on the local climate. The purpose of community water fluoridation is to prevent tooth decay and as of 2010, over 204 million Americans are reaping the health and economic benefits it provides. Community water fluoridation has been used for more than 67 years, has been scientifically studied in depth throughout this time period, and it is also supported by numerous reputable medical, dental and health organizations. However, there are a small number of outspoken and opinionated individuals and organizations that oppose community water fluoridation. They use various campaign efforts through traditional media, on the internet and through social media to persuade the general public to believe community water fluoridation is unethical, unsafe, and/or unhealthy for individuals. Prior to performing research for this thesis, when exploring community water fluoridation, there seemed to be a general trend that anti-fluoridation websites were more easily accessible on the internet. When performing a Google search, The Fluoride Action Network and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention both lead the results. However, the estimated number of hits to the Fluoride Action Network exceeds the number of hits to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's fluoridation section five-fold. The trend was even more lopsided on social media outlets, such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The hypothesis driving this thesis and research is that anti-fluoridationists use social media more effectively than those in support of fluoridation to inform the general public oftheir views on community water fluoridation. [TRUNCATED]
Thesis (M.A.)--Boston University PLEASE NOTE: Boston University Libraries did not receive an Authorization To Manage form for this thesis or dissertation. It is therefore not openly accessible, though it may be available by request. If you are the author or principal advisor of this work and would like to request open access for it, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.