Credibility of information in online communities

M. Nick Hajli, Julian Sims, Mauricio Featherman, Peter E.D. Love
  • Journal of Strategic Marketing, May 2014, Taylor & Francis
  • DOI: 10.1080/0965254x.2014.920904

Is information from online health communities more credible than traditional information channels?

What is it about?

Social media and Web 2.0 empower individuals to generate content online. 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.

Why is it important?

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. 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.

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The following have contributed to this page: John Curtin Distinguished Professor Peter Love and Dr Julian M Sims