For many people, sharing about their health in online social networks overrides conventional concerns about privacy. Each person weighs the benefits and risks arriving at their own “privacy calculus.”
Mayo Clinic Connect, established in 2011, is an online community, connecting patients and family caregivers with each other. Community members share experiences, ask questions, find answers, give and get support and exchange vital information. Mayo Clinic values patient and caregiver knowledge and recognizes them as Experts By Experience. As a responsible host of the Connect community, we respect privacy, recognizing the value of open sharing, and provide guidance for members on how to share safely.
In a blog post published in 2018 entitled “Don’t Let These 3 Common Fears Stop You from Creating a Vibrant Patient Community,” I describe the ways we moderate Connect, and measures that are in place to safeguard members against misinformation, bad actors, and inaccuracies.
With online patient support groups expressing renewed concerns about privacy practices in social networks, we’d like you to know some important characteristics of Mayo Clinic Connect and what we do and don’t do with the information you share.
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