Health 2.0h, oh. . .
Practitioners of Web 2.0 in the health space–at least the good ones–understand that they work under a different burden than most 2.0perations that seek merely to amuse, transmit, annoy, aggregate traffic for monetization, etc. In the health online space, people turn to the web for information on their own, or a loved one’s health care treatment. They are not, to understate, just noodling around.
And so today’s report about a University of Toronto study about rampant misinformation about the flu on YouTube is a bit frightening.
Short version: 45 percent of YouTube videos on flu immunization contained misinformation contrary to Canadian and U.S. government best practices advice. Many were ill-informed anti-immunization screeds.
This is unsettling stuff: Misinformation in most 2.0 applications results, at worst, in a flamewar followed by a disingenuous backpedal.
In Health 2.0, the results of misinformation can turn up on the obituary page.
[Interest revealed: I’m a former employee of Steve Case’s Revolution Health, and I currently consult to several web operations in the Health 2.0 space.]