Concept: Social information processing
The large availability of user provided contents on online social media facilitates people aggregation around shared beliefs, interests, worldviews and narratives. In spite of the enthusiastic rhetoric about the so called collective intelligence unsubstantiated rumors and conspiracy theories-e.g., chemtrails, reptilians or the Illuminati-are pervasive in online social networks (OSN). In this work we study, on a sample of 1.2 million of individuals, how information related to very distinct narratives-i.e. main stream scientific and conspiracy news-are consumed and shape communities on Facebook. Our results show that polarized communities emerge around distinct types of contents and usual consumers of conspiracy news result to be more focused and self-contained on their specific contents. To test potential biases induced by the continued exposure to unsubstantiated rumors on users' content selection, we conclude our analysis measuring how users respond to 4,709 troll information-i.e. parodistic and sarcastic imitation of conspiracy theories. We find that 77.92% of likes and 80.86% of comments are from users usually interacting with conspiracy stories.
The traditional vertical system of sharing information from sources of scientific authority passed down to the public through local health authorities and clinicians risks being made obsolete by emerging technologies that facilitate rapid horizontal information sharing. The rise of Public Health 2.0 requires professional acknowledgment that a new and substantive forum of public discourse about public health exists on social media, such as forums, blogs, Facebook, and Twitter.
Knowledge Translation (KT) plays a vital role in the modern health care community, facilitating the incorporation of new evidence into practice. Web 2.0 tools provide a useful mechanism for establishing an online KT environment in which health practitioners share their practice-related knowledge and experiences with an online community of practice. We have implemented a Web 2.0 based KT environment-an online discussion forum-for pediatric pain practitioners across seven different hospitals in Thailand. The online discussion forum enabled the pediatric pain practitioners to share and translate their experiential knowledge to help improve the management of pediatric pain in hospitals.
Face-to-face social interactions enhance well-being. With the ubiquity of social media, important questions have arisen about the impact of online social interactions. In the present study, we assessed the associations of both online and offline social networks with several subjective measures of well-being. We used 3 waves (2013, 2014, and 2015) of data from 5,208 subjects in the nationally representative Gallup Panel Social Network Study survey, including social network measures, in combination with objective measures of Facebook use. We investigated the associations of Facebook activity and real-world social network activity with self-reported physical health, self-reported mental health, self-reported life satisfaction, and body mass index. Our results showed that overall, the use of Facebook was negatively associated with well-being. For example, a 1-standard-deviation increase in “likes clicked” (clicking “like” on someone else’s content), “links clicked” (clicking a link to another site or article), or “status updates” (updating one’s own Facebook status) was associated with a decrease of 5%-8% of a standard deviation in self-reported mental health. These associations were robust to multivariate cross-sectional analyses, as well as to 2-wave prospective analyses. The negative associations of Facebook use were comparable to or greater in magnitude than the positive impact of offline interactions, which suggests a possible tradeoff between offline and online relationships.
A barrier to dissemination of research is that it depends on the end-user searching for or ‘pulling’ relevant knowledge from the literature base. Social media instead ‘pushes’ relevant knowledge straight to the end-user, via blogs and sites such as Facebook and Twitter. That social media is very effective at improving dissemination seems well accepted, but, remarkably, there is no evidence to support this claim. We aimed to quantify the impact of social media release on views and downloads of articles in the clinical pain sciences. Sixteen PLOS ONE articles were blogged and released via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and ResearchBlogging.org on one of two randomly selected dates. The other date served as a control. The primary outcomes were the rate of HTML views and PDF downloads of the article, over a seven-day period. The critical result was an increase in both outcome variables in the week after the blog post and social media release. The mean ± SD rate of HTML views in the week after the social media release was 18±18 per day, whereas the rate during the other three weeks was no more than 6±3 per day. The mean ± SD rate of PDF downloads in the week after the social media release was 4±4 per day, whereas the rate during the other three weeks was less than 1±1 per day (p<0.05 for all comparisons). However, none of the recognized measures of social media reach, engagement or virality related to either outcome variable, nor to citation count one year later (p>0.3 for all). We conclude that social media release of a research article in the clinical pain sciences increases the number of people who view or download that article, but conventional social media metrics are unrelated to the effect.
People occasionally choose to cut themselves off from their online social network by taking extended breaks from Facebook. This study investigated whether abstaining from Facebook reduces stress but also reduces subjective well-being because of the resulting social disconnection. Participants (138 active Facebook users) were assigned to either a condition in which they were instructed to give up Facebook for five days or continue to use Facebook as normal. Perceived stress and well-being, as well as salivary cortisol, were measured before and after the test period. Relative to those in the Facebook Normal condition, those in the No Facebook condition experienced lower levels of cortisol and life satisfaction. Our results suggest that the typical Facebook user may occasionally find the large amount of social information available taxing, and Facebook vacations could ameliorate this stress-at least in the short-term.
- Journal of public health management and practice : JPHMP
- Published over 5 years ago
Most state health departments (SHDs) have adopted and are using Facebook and/or Twitter. Among the friends and followers of SHD Facebook and Twitter pages are other SHDs. These connections form networks with the potential to facilitate dissemination of evidence around effective public health practice among health departments nationwide. To better understand the composition and structure of these networks, Facebook and Twitter connections between SHDs were collected and examined. More SHDs were connected to each other on Twitter (n = 37) than on Facebook (n = 24). The Twitter network was denser (dTwitter = 0.06; dFacebook = 0.01) with more clustering (CTwitter = 0.06; CFacebook = 0.01). Larger health departments were more central in the Facebook network, whereas health departments with a longer social media presence were central on Twitter. Health departments on Twitter were also more likely to be following other health departments in the same geographic region, whereas the same was not true on Facebook. California and Florida were central in the Facebook network, whereas Minnesota, Missouri, Louisiana, and Rhode Island were central on Twitter. Overall, the Twitter network demonstrated greater potential to disseminate information quickly to a larger group of SHDs. More information is needed on the feasibility and effectiveness of using Web 2.0 for dissemination and other public health activities.
Evidence-based clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) are statements that provide recommendations to optimize patient care for a specific clinical problem or question. Merely reading a guideline rarely leads to implementation of recommendations. The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) has a formal process of guideline development and dissemination. The last few years have seen a burgeoning of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and newer methods of dissemination such as podcasts and webinars. The role of these media in guideline dissemination has not been studied. Systematic evaluation of dissemination methods and comparison of the effectiveness of newer methods with traditional methods is not available. It is also not known whether specific dissemination methods may be more effectively targeted to specific audiences.
Facebook, the most widely used social media platform, has been adopted by public health organisations for health promotion and behaviour change campaigns and activities. However, limited information is available on the most effective and efficient use of Facebook for this purpose. This study sought to identify the features of Facebook posts that are associated with higher user engagement on Australian public health organisations' Facebook pages. We selected 20 eligible pages through a systematic search and coded 360-days of posts for each page. Posts were coded by: post type (e.g., photo, text only etc.), communication technique employed (e.g. testimonial, informative etc.) and use of marketing elements (e.g., branding, use of mascots). A series of negative binomial regressions were used to assess associations between post characteristics and user engagement as measured by the number of likes, shares and comments. Our results showed that video posts attracted the greatest amount of user engagement, although an analysis of a subset of the data suggested this may be a reflection of the Facebook algorithm, which governs what is and is not shown in user newsfeeds and appear to preference videos over other post types. Posts that featured a positive emotional appeal or provided factual information attracted higher levels of user engagement, while conventional marketing elements, such as sponsorships and the use of persons of authority, generally discouraged user engagement, with the exception of posts that included a celebrity or sportsperson. Our results give insight into post content that maximises user engagement and begins to fill the knowledge gap on effective use of Facebook by public health organisations.
Despite countless media campaigns, organ donation rates in the United States have remained static while need has risen dramatically. New efforts to increase organ donation through public education are necessary to address the waiting list of over 100,000 patients. On May 1, 2012, the online social network, Facebook, altered its platform to allow members to specify “Organ Donor” as part of their profile. Upon such choice, members were offered a link to their state registry to complete an official designation, and their “friends” in the network were made aware of the new status as a donor. Educational links regarding donation were offered to those considering the new organ donor status. On the first day of the Facebook organ donor initiative, there were 13,054 new online registrations, representing a 21.1-fold increase over the baseline average of 616 registrations. This first-day effect ranged from 6.9× (Michigan) to 108.9× (Georgia). Registration rates remained elevated in the following 12 days. During the same time period, no increase was seen in registrations from the DMV. Novel applications of social media may prove effective in increasing organ donation rates and likewise might be utilized in other refractory public health problems in which communication and education are essential.