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Panel At World Health Summit Addresses Social Media’s Role In Global Health

SciDev.Net Director Nick Ishmael Perkins writes in a SciDev.Net opinion piece about a panel he moderated at the recent World Health Summit that addressed social media’s role in global health. “The most overwhelming [contribution] is social media’s reach and [its] ability to multiply audience figures with a previously inconceivable efficiency,” he writes, noting the panel spoke about social media’s capabilities for crowdsourcing, idea innovation, and behavior change. However, he says the panel raised six challenges, including monitoring for “duty of care”; developing “a strategy to deliver health outcomes”; sorting an overwhelming amount of data; risking “countervailing voices” in “unmoderated conversations”; upholding human rights; and overstating representation. “Asked what one bit of advice they would offer institutions thinking of engaging more substantively with social media, all the panelists agreed it would be to think carefully about context, rather than scale,” Perkins adds (10/21).