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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 140-144

The modern e-word-of-mouth and its public health impact - A qualitative study

1 Pulbic Health Specialist, Jalandhar Cantt, New Delhi, India
2 Public Health Specialist, Firozepur Cantt, New Delhi, India
3 Senior Resident, Physiology, Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
R Vishnuprasad
No. 22, Muthu Nagar, Muthirayarpalayam, Puducherry - 605 009
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcrsm.jcrsm_7_20

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Background: The most important drawbacks of health information on social media are lack of quality and reliability, unreferenced, incomplete, or informal and hidden conflicts of interest. The present study was carried out with an aim to study the responses of the mass to various false information shared in a social networking site. Materials and Methods: The present study was carried out as a qualitative study of word-of-mouth messages being floated in Facebook during the period of June 2018–December 2018. Regionally active 10 social media pages were followed regularly. Materials posted in these pages which were of relevance to public health were randomly selected for the study purpose. These posts were followed regularly by the authors, whereby all messages and responses by different individuals in the form of comments were collected and collated during the study period. Results: Three posts relevant to public health of different domains were selected randomly for the study purpose. It was also observed that these posts in social media platforms were related to news in media or a health campaign during the time of data collection. Irrespective of age and educational qualification, people tend to believe raw information available on social networking sites and respond in the same line, without verifying the credibility of the information. Conclusion: All messages or information available through social media platforms may not be evidence or facts, and people tend to believe these messages and respond without actually verifying the credibility of the information.

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