Thursday, April 1, 2010

Twitter can spread medical misinformation

The viral nature of social media can be a good thing, but when medical misinformation gets spread, it can become a serious public health problem. A recent story on ABC titled, "Study: Single Tweet of Misinformation Can Reach Hundreds of Thousands of People" reveals that when medical misinformation starts to spread on Twitter, it can reach millions of people in a very short amount of time. As tweets get retweeted by different followers, a single erroneous message can propagate around the world very quickly.

This is why we need more medical professionals who are using social media. This is why we need to have a way that we can correct the medical misinformation that's out there. This is why physicians and other health care professionals need to understand the importance of social media. This is why we must be prepared to dispel medical myths that may circulate on the Internet.

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