SUMMARY: The health information on Facebook is a danger to anyone who reads it. Experiences from current patients do provide some context but too often contain lousy advice. Facebook should post a warning on every page that deals with health issues that informs people that their physician is still their best source of information.
Three quartersof health information on Facebook was either misleading or included some false information. Only three were considered “highly credible.” Some lacked context of the issue, exaggerated the harms of a potential threat, or overstated research findings.
- Many articles never back claims with links to original sources or research studies to support findings.
- In terms of overall credibility, slightly less than half, of posts, achieved a high credibility rating. However, highly rated articles received 11 million shares, while poorly rated articles had roughly 8.5 million shares.