The Terminally Ill Influencers Posting Their Way Through Life—and Death

On today’s show, Rachelle makes her triumphant return. She’s joined by A.W. Ohlheiser, a senior technology reporter and editor at Vox, who recently wrote about the complicated lives and deaths of TikTok’s illness influencers. As Ohlheiser wrote, “These stories — whether held in an archive of personal letters, a widely discussed lecture, or on the For You pages of millions — are all shaped by the expectations of the ‘well.’ Turning sickness into content can get views. And just like any content, not all people, or illnesses, have an equal chance of going viral.”

But first, Candice fills Rachelle in on what she’s missed online during her time off.

This podcast is produced by Se’era Spragley Ricks, Daisy Rosario, Candice Lim and Rachelle Hampton.

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Slate’s new digital culture podcast ICYMI is here to digest all the latest chaos, trends, and #drama from the web — so you don’t have to. And for that, we thank hosts Madison Malone Kircher and Rachelle Hampton for their service. This bi-weekly podcast goes beyond the surface of our screens, covering not only what trouble the newest viral main character of social media got into, but also why it matters. It’s incisive, insightful, and miraculously always finds a way to cut through the static noise of the digital void to find the human side of it all.

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