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There is a corner of the internet where a bulldog sings country ballads about lawn mower safety and an earnest fox provides comforting advice about the Covid-19 pandemic.

It’s the social media channels of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, a small federal agency tasked with reducing injures and deaths related to consumer products ranging from toasters to ATVs to furniture. The agency has built a reputation for colorful and bizarre social media posts more characteristic of a meme account than a public health messenger.

The agency’s Twitter and Instagram accounts employ dozens of silly characters, offbeat graphics, and internet slang to disseminate sobering safety messages — a strategy meant to cut through a cloud of noise that makes public health communication difficult. In the video above, Joseph Galbo, a Consumer Product Safety Commission social media specialist, gives STAT a peek behind the scenes of the agency’s unusual approach.

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