Published On: Fri, Apr 8th, 2016

Online comments can influence your opinions on health problems

Checking health

Checking health

A significant domain, in which the Internet performs an elevating role, is health information availability. At present, a research study has disclosed that one-sided comments posted on online news articles can affect readers’ views regarding health-related topics.

This increases questions regarding how health social media should be modested, particularly thinking the possiblly polarised nature of these platforms.

To conduct this research directed by Holly Witteman from the Universite Laval, almost 1,700 participants were said to cautiously read a scorn news article on home birth. The mock article was a compound of actual news articles from a variety of US citations. Witteman stated that “We took paragraphs from each source, including quotes from health care professionals who were for or against home birth in order to create a balanced news item.”

Participants who analyzed impartial remarks and the people who read the article without remarks described a standard opinion of 52, whereas the standard view for the negative remarks group was 39 and the standard view for the positive remarks group was 63. Remarks with personal stories elevated the split.

Witteman continued, “though, this doesn’t mean that we should shut down comment sections or try to suppress personal stories,” Witteman added, “If sites fail to host such discussions, they are likely to simply happen elsewhere. Although the quality of comments is sometimes debatable, social media is a valuable tool that allows people to share and find information on subjects related to their health. That kind of engagement is arguably a good thing.”

It was continued that “What’s more, sharing information can prove particularly useful when there is no consensus on the topic in the scientific community or if a person’s choice comes down to their values or personal preferences.”

Associations that seek to corresponds health details and to support conversations of that information can desire to make sure that they sufficiently signify diverse opinions so that readers can shape their own views, stated Witteman. The research study is cited in Health Affairs.

About the Author

Sidra Muntaha

- Sidra Tul Muntaha is a journalist (MA-Mass Communication and M.Phil in Mass Communication) based in Lahore. She is working as an editor at fashion, style and entertainment in the section of the Kooza. She writes fashion and entertainment articles for The Kooza News.