Swineflu, Twitter & Cyberchondria


The term ‘cyberchondriac’ has been around for a while now and the current wildfire proliferation of comments and mass panic about swineflu is endemnic to the term.

Where most breaking news can carry an image association (Twitpic or other platform) to allow one to make one’s own assumptions/decisions about a subject the spread of a virus is rather harder to control (digitially that is).

In his article over on Foreign Policy Evgeny  makes a good point that differentiates the wisdom of the crowd from the ignorance of the masses:

I should point out from the very outset that anyone trying to make sense of how Twitter’s “global brain” has reacted to the prospect of the swine flu pandemic is likely to get disappointed. The “swine flu” meme has so far that misinformed and panicking people armed with a platform to broadcast their fears are likely to produce only more fear, misinformation and panic.

I agree with him. You’ll have to figure it our for yourself though… ask yourself this question: is swine flu the new bird flu… yeah and pigs might fly!

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