Credibility of information in online communities
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Social media and Web 2.0 empower individuals to generate content online. It is important to better understand the potential added value of social media for e-health service provision. Social support and credibility of health related information generated via social media is a big challenge for online health communities. In this qualitative research, content of discussions from an online health community is analysed. Two themes are examined: online social support and credibility of online forums. Findings show accuracy and credibility of online communities - user profiles, ratings of posts and improved monitoring of content by advisors improve perceived credibility and trust in online forums and communities. Accuracy and perceived credibility of online health communities is pivotal in facilitating social relationships. While consumers are concerned about the credibility of online information, they benefit from social support and are increasingly turning to social media as a source of information and support. Organizations can benefit from better understanding consumer's use of social media, their concerns about information credibility and need for social support. © 2014 © 2014 Taylor & Francis.
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