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'Cranky Pancreas' Tweets: How the Diabetes Community Uses Social Media - Emma Green - The Atlantic

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What does this mean for information sharing about diabetes—and health in general—on the Internet? John Kelly, chief scientist at Morningside Analytics, uses data about online sharing habits to track communities on the Internet. In this case, he turned to Twitter to track what kinds of links people share, which users retweet and mention one another, and what topics they discuss. The result is a partial "map" of how diabetes is talked about on the Internet: Each dot represents a Twitter handle, and the colors indicate groups of people who share statistically similar web-surfing habits. 

For diabetes, "there are three major groupings of clusters," said Kelly. "People that have the disease and their advocates; people that make money off of it—everything from biotech to pharma to hospitals, the medical professional and healthcare industry; and then the people who don’t want to get it, which is general nutrition, fitness, and healthy living oriented [people].”

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