A prospective analysis of 300 posts in the 3 most popular global social media networks was performed. A search for English written posts using the key phrase "Plastic Surgery" was conducted on Facebook and YouTube, and with the hashtag "#plastic_surgery" on Instagram during the second week of November 2017. Exclusion criteria included indecipherable posts, re-posts, and posts unrelated to plastic surgery. The first 100 recent posts on each of the 3 social media platforms that answered the criteria above were selected for a total of 300 posts, a method chosen after consulting a social media expert, and which was similarly applied in other recent studies.[5,8,15] Each post was assessed for the following parameters: author identity, subject (self-promotion, educational, commercial, and personal posts), "social media currency" (likes, shares, comments), and for the use of special media (videos, photographs, etc.) or viral subjects (reality stars or shaming). In the last category, we analyzed the reasons that each post attracted attention. Each post was carefully read and reviewed by an experienced social media user and by a social media expert, to distinguish between the posts. A post published by a commercial company was categorized as "commercial," and a post published by a board-certified plastic surgeon was called "self-promotional." Data were examined for normal distribution, and parameters were compared between independent groups using the Chi-square test where P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open. 2018;6(12):e1958 © 2018 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins