Ascertain the Believability of Health News on Social Media


Ascertain the Believability of Health News on Social Media.


Online news is gradually settling in as one of the recognized medium of news dissemination. There are however worries on the credibility of such news considering the fact that anyone can be a news agent on the internet.

One news people rarely play with is news concerning their health so they are mostly likely to in desperation make use of news on health matters they come across. This research work seeks to ascertain the level of believability of health news on social media. T

he researcher using a multi stage sampling system studied a total of 151 people. Findings showed that people are aware of health news on social media and make use of this news but mostly believe it only when they are sure of the credibility of the source.


The researcher concluded that the risk of adulterated health news was much to be ignored hence the recommendation that people must be sure of their source of news before consuming same while regulatory bodies and news agencies should ensure that quality of news on health are carefully monitored to avoid health complications therein.


1.1 Background of the Study

Effective communication is the bedrock of any industry, which includes using the right tools to disseminate reliable, credible, and useful information to one’s target audience. A lack of effective communication creates various problems in the interaction chain.

Social media is a major factor in influencing various aspects of consumer behaviour including awareness, information acquisition, opinions, attitudes, purchase behaviour, and post-purchase communication and evaluation (Obar and Wildman, 2015).

According to Kaplan and Haenlein(2010), consumers can be influenced by the reviews of other consumers who have bought similar products and services, especially if the reviews are on the negative side.

Globally, an average of 41 percent of consumers are more likely to share a negative experience via Twitter or by writing a review, while 59 percent of consumers are less likely to share it (Kietzmann and Kristopher, 2011).

In addition, the believability of information needs to be assessed prior to measuring the credibility of information. Abdullah (2010) suggests that different aspects, such as quality and source of information, may determine the level of credibility of information.

Newer communication technologies have increased the possibilities for how people can send and receive information. Social media is a technology that has seen increased usage as an information source (Pepitone, 2010).

Social media has being used to seek information about serious topics, such as circulating up-to-the minute information about cholera outbreaks in Haiti and identifying clean water sources during this outbreak (Sutter, 2010).


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