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National Academy of Medicine - Principles and Attributes for Identifying Credible Sources of Health Information in Social Media

The authors of a new NAM Perspectives discussion paper, including Penn Nursing’s Dean Antonia M. Villarruel, developed a set of initial principles and attributes that could inform social media platforms’ (SMPs) identification and possible elevation of credible sources of health information.

People seek and receive health information from a wide variety of sources. Increasing numbers of Americans have turned to internet sources for health and medical information in recent years, with approximately 3 out of 4 searching for health information online today.

However, both high- and low-quality health information can be found online, and few social media platforms differentiate between credible and non-credible sources of information, allowing both misinformation and disinformation to be disseminated much more rapidly and broadly than ever before. Consequentially, consumers must make their own judgments about how much trust to place in a source and the quality of the information it shares. 

In addition to the recommended set of principles and attributes, the authors also call for engagement between social media platforms, consumers, & health organizations to determine what affects the availability & accessibility of high-quality health information.

Read the full paper online at the National Academy of Medicine.