Twitter has the potential to spread misinformation about health and medicine, according to a new study that examines Twitter updates about antibiotics.
Personally I believe the potential upsides of twitter and social media in general far outweigh the potential downsides… where health care and information about your health is concerned— but there are significant potential downsides.
I have written about this many times on this blog, and perhaps if I tagged my blog better I could link to them 😦
Patients and people searching for information need to understand that there are a lot of snake oil salesmen online looking to prey on desperate people in search of a cure. Sometimes the misinformation passed on is simply an anecdotal experience with no malice intended. Sometimes patients received the wrong information from their friends, colleagues or even their health care providers.
Take your time, vet your source, crowd source the validity of the information you’ve accumulated and bookmarked. Look to e-patient, participatory medicine and patient advocates who are well respected by the social media community for assistance. You can check here for starters…