Category: Social Media

Stop Hate For Profit

Check this out. What you will learn is that Pfizer, Novartis and other pharmaceutical companies had withdrawn their advertising from Facebook a few months ago as a part of a brand boycott, “Stop Hate for Profit,” designed to get social media to take responsibility for monitoring the content of their sites. Now, persuaded that FB is taking steps to eliminate racism, antisemitism and other hate speech from their site, the drug makers are returning their advertising. BUT. They will continue to monitor the situation, and pull their advertising again if they feel that the hate speech has returned.  

Please note. Hate speech can go way beyond just talking and offending. As the shootings in Kenosha demonstrated, for example, lives are on the line when social media are used to bring agitators from other states into an already explosive situation. 

Bottom Line. As this article makes very clear, it is one thing for Facebook to have a “policy,” and another thing entirely for it to enforce that policy.  

Keep your eyes on this one. It is important stuff!

Tweets, Likes, and Liabilities

I can’t top the title that the author of this book serves up, so I am not going to try to conjure up some hokey label. Just check this out. What you will see is a book, penned by an attorney, that outlines the liabilities that can befall a healthcare professional who participates in social media, online services, etc. No, I don ‘t expect you to read the book. And no, I am not plunking down $60 and promising you that I will report out on the content of the book later. I won’t.

I will, however, suggest that you take a quick and free look at the list of the topics covered by book shown here. Topics like “Who Owns the Content in our Website” and “Astroturfing, Fake Reviews,  Real Consequences.” Oh, and then there is a “state by state” review of laws governing checking social media as part of your personnel selection process. Yikes!

Bottom Line. I am thinking that certainly I, and maybe you, need some consciousness raising on 2019 issues that we didn’t know were issues. Finding out about the legality of such matters when you see your web copy on somebody else’s site, or when the subpoena comes to your doorstep, might just be a little too late! 

On second thought, I am now thinking that for anyone who touches the social media, not just healthcare professionals, the purchase of this book might indeed be $60 well spent!


Huh?  Check this out.  What you will see is a blog post, penned by an Endocrinologist, arguing that Mainstream Medicine needs to do a better job in dealing with Alternative Medicine. Translated, this means that when a mainstream physician writes an article or otherwise communicates to patients, simply sharing correct information is not enough. Rather, especially in treatment areas like hypothyroidism, MD’s need to put down the myths that AM practitioners are spreading, one of the most dangerous of which is that MM’s don’t know anything about the treatment area. Importantly, in the era of the Internet and social media, AM’s are outshouting MM’s, having mastered concepts like key word optimization. This blogging physician notes that it is the unusual patient who will consult more than five matches from a Google search. AND. If those first five matches are penned by AM’s, which they often are, myths will heavily outweigh truth in the patient’s mind.

Bottom Line. We have talked about this before. Patients are gullible, and readily fall for some of the quick fixes and false hopes that AM’s hold out in the electronic media. I think this blogger is right. Somebody, certainly including the MM’s, has to take a more aggressive posture against such nonsense!  

Social Media – Friend Or Foe Of Science???

Easy one. Foe. Check this out. You will see that in a recent JAMA report, the AMA called for “protecting” the sanctity of medical science in the era of social media. You will also see repeated cases that support the need to do that. The general principle here, as reported in a recent Science, is that it has consistently been: found that falsehood diffused significantly farther, faster, deeper and more broadly than the truth.” Yup. A sensational story will outpace dry study data any time! Bottom Line. This story includes a request that those invested in medical science make an effort to counter bogus science, and even gives hints on how they can go about doing that. Guess what. I don’t believe that there will ever be an effective antidote to Dr. Oz. In an era when the search of the Internet for the key words, “cancer, cure, food” gives 50 Million hits on YouTube alone, you gotta believe that the vast majority of these are, to put it mildly, not “evidence based.”   Losing battle!!!

Pseudoscience On Social Media

Check this out. Pseudoscience. Sort of the healthcare equivalent of “fake news.” According to this blogging physician’s observations, with which I wholeheartedly agree, most healthcare “information” available to consumers on social media is pseudoscience, posted by people with no credentials, a financial conflict of interest or both of the above. Why? Real physicians are notable by their absence on social media. Why? Because many doctors work for institutions or practices that, for legal reasons, prohibit the doctors from going there. Bottom Line. So, what is to be done about this set of circumstances? I’m thinking two things. First, we must make consumers very aware that they must be very careful in evaluating healthcare information that they find on line. Credibility of the source needs to be a major evaluative criterion here.  Second, we need to find ways to change the employer policies about physicians contributing to social media. We need to determine what are the real risks to employers here, and how can they be ameliorated.  Maybe emphasizing the potential PR benefits to the employers might help? What else?

Speak Your Mind, But…

Screen Shot 2017-06-14 at 1.52.15 PM Check this out. Here you will find a blog post from a Canadian physician that sort of speaks for itself (pun intended.). The question wrestled with here deals with the extent to which medical professionals are “free” to speak their minds on social media.  Interestingly but not surprisingly, the blogger reported that those who are “employees,” i.e. of a hospital, are likely to face significantly more constraints than those who are in private practice. Bottom Line. There is, of course, a bigger issue here. Loosely translated, I often ponder the amount of crossover there is now, and will be in the future, between our “private lives” (?) on social media and our careers/jobs. Checking social media posts of job applicants, for example, is now becoming standard operating procedure for many HR departments. Two questions: How much crossover is there/will there be here, and how much crossover should there be?  Think about it!

What Will Zuckerberg Do About Live Violence on FB???

Zuckerberg Yup. Once again unintended consequences. FB sets up its new live video service, designed to enhance its social media experience, understandably never thinking for a moment that it would be used to stream acts of violence like murder and rape. But it was! And is! Check this out. What you will see here is an article arguing that FB needs to do a better job of content monitoring. I guess that means getting videos of murders taken down more quickly??? One hour later instead of two hours later? I also guess that strikes me as a day late, dollar short solution. The deed is done! I am reminded of a term I learned in graduate school. Demand Characteristics. Check the term out in Wikipedia. Demand characteristics are any “subtle cues” in the environment that make people behave differently. In a psychological experiment. In real life. Bottom Line. So here is the question. Does the ability to broadcast their acts live on FB make lunatics more likely to commit unspeakable crimes? Maybe, maybe not. But we are not criminologists. What are the implications for us?  Think about it. As marketers, we are in the business of changing behavior to make it more accepting of our (clients’) products. How can demand characteristics be used to facilitate this change? How might they get in the way?

Medical Microcelebrities

Screen Shot 2017-04-18 at 8.52.46 AM Check out this blog post. What you will see is the blogging physician’s description of a new breed of non-physician experts who use the Social Media to spread their perspectives on issues related to healthcare, and even to start new movements related to healthcare issues. Remember the vaccines-cause-autism movement? Interesting that lay people, rather than physicians, have most typically stepped up to serve this thought leadership role. Bottom Line. In this and subsequent posts, the blogger makes some important points about this phenomenon. What are the credentials of these “opinion leaders?” AND. What duty do they have to disclose any financial conflicts of interest or other biases related to the opinions they are expressing?  As with everything else, consider the source!

Facebook And Dry Eyes

Facebook 4 Check this out. What you will see is a success story. A story of Social Media, more specifically FB, being used by Allergan to share patient testimonial videos in support of the use of Restasis for dry eye. The brand needed to be refreshed after 13 years on the market, and was facing competition for the first time. Given that, Allergan’s decade plus reliance on one Ophthalmologist, who herself is a Restasis patient, to communicate the product’s whole marketing story through TV commercials needed to be significantly augmented. Data indicate that patient testimonial videos on FB are doing the trick. Bottom Line. This makes sense to me. Like we discussed recently with endometriosis, my impression is that many patients don’t really know if they have clinically dry eyes or not, and listening to patients’ stories can help them not only to recognize the symptoms of the condition, but also the advantages to be gained by treating it. Well done!

Social Media Progress in 2016

Snapchat For a quick summary of what happened in the last 12 months with the top social media, check this out. Each of us will likely have a different takeaway from the information presented here. Grabbing my attention hardest is the prediction that Snap will go public to the tune of a potential $30 Billion in 2017. Getting my thought juices going most intensely is the question as to how many (more) social media the marketplace can support. Bottom Line. It will be fascinating, and important, to watch all of this shake out in the next 12 months. There will be winners and losers!