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Reports on Twitter Spreading H1N1/Swine Flu Misinformation are Overstated

Gunther Eysenbach, Associate Professor at the Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto, responds to recent media reports that suggest microblogging sites such as Twitter "are fueling an epidemic of misinformation, disseminating rumor and speculation about the H1N1 (Swine Flu) outbreak." On his blog Random Research Rants he presents data collected by one of his students of twitter usage during the course of the outbreak. The student found that her data do not support the notion of twitter spreading misinformation, in fact of the 400 tweets sampled only 1.75% cases of misinformation were found. 46% of H1N1/Swine Flu tweets shared news links, followed by 19% of tweets providing public health information. For more on this and other Web 2.0 health-related topics visit Eysenbach's site by clicking source above.

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