The journal is proud to announce the publication of issue 27.01, a special
issue titled "TikTok as a Cultural Forum." This month's articles:
Andrea Ruehlicke, "All the Content, Just For You: TikTok and
Though TikTok’s algorithm appears to be highly personalized by your taste,
the company’s algorithm may not have this in mind. Andrea Ruehlicke
investigates issues of agency and implications of presuming the personal is
James Bingaman, "Your Mascot Could Never: The Effectiveness of Benny the
Bull on TikTok"
Using the Chicago Bull’s Mascot, Benny the Bull, as a case study, James
Bingaman considers how TikTok is used in NBA branding to create parasocial
bonds with fans.
D. Bondy Valdovinos Kaye, "Make This Go Viral: Building Musical Careers
Through Accidental Virality on TikTok"
Through the case study of songwriter and vocalist Sophie Fraser, D. Bondy
Valdovinos Kaye explores how accidental virality on TikTok can influence
digital identities, professionalization, and unexpectedly lead to new
career opportunities for musicians.
Alex Hack, "Witness Me: How TikTok Users Broke with the Sociopathic
American Gaze in the Wake of George Floyd's Murder"
Considering generational trauma along with TikTok’s algorithm, Alex Hack
discusses the many TikToks that were widely circulated in response to the
murder of George Floyd and how they, in many ways, managed to break past
the logic of Americana.
Meghan Grosse, "Self-Promotion in 15 Seconds: Finding Mainstream Success
Through Memeable Sound Clips on TikTok"
Looking at artists like Lil Nas X, Abigail Barlow, and Absofacto, Meghan
Grosse explores how viral success on TikTok is affecting the mainstream
Luis Loya and Elaine Almeida, "Things That Shouldn't Have Gay Energy But Do
Anyways: CTI, Remixes and TikTok Duets"
Luis Loya and Elaine Almeida utilize Communication Theory of Identity (CTI)
to understand how hashtags and duet/remix affordances connect the
multiplicity of queer identity performances across TikTok.
Jessica Sage Rauchberg, "TikTok's Digital Eugenics: Challenging Ableism and
Algorithmic Erasure Through Disability Activism"
Jessica Sage Rauchberg examines how shadowbanning and algorithmic
moderation affect disabled users on TikTok, arguing that these practices
erase and suppress user content.
*Flow* <http://flowjournal.org> is a critical forum on television and media
culture published by the Department of Radio-Television-Film
<https://rtf.utexas.edu> at the University of Texas at Austin. *Flow*'s
mission is to provide a space where scholars and the public can discuss
media histories, media studies, and the changing landscape of contemporary
For past messages, visit the Screen-L Archives: