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Facebook adds support for the Health Group to an anonymous shipment


Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO

Justin Sullivan | getty Images

In a rare break with the tradition of Facebook, forcing users to post under their real names, company will allow people to send confidential information, health-related anonymous Facebook groups, the company announced Tuesday.

In particular, users can send messages to the administrators of these groups, many of which with a & # 39 are secret or closed, to ask questions on their behalf. He also shares a group dedicated to the protection of health, with a special "health maintenance" purposes.

These changes can help people feel more confident posting to these groups, which are often sponsored or supported by the pharmaceutical companies. Ensuring that these groups & # 39 are active and vibrant can help Facebook, as it is more like a health and pharmaceutical companies to advertise.

Facebook has faced considerable criticism over the past few years about how it uses and information from its users. When it comes to health care, the company has drawbacks, such as allow marketers to collect contact information from private groups and delete photos mastectomy breast cancer, who survived after wrongly identifying them as pornography.

Facebook admits that it does not solve all of these problems, although it makes some moves that it hopes will help the members of these groups.

Hema Budaraju, director of product management for health in Facebook, told CNBC, the company is doing "extensive research" to understand the needs of patients who rely on Facebook.

"We believe this is a good time for us to be more responsible in the creation of tools to better serve the audience," she said. "We will be looking to learn more about this space."

Budaraju, who also works on Facebook donation of blood function, stressed that the work of Facebook, is not done. The company still has a ways to go in the management of health misinformation that continues to spread, despite recent efforts, and to moderate the content, so that users of the suras & # 39; serious illness will not be sold in the treatment of snake oil.

Recent scandals particular Facebook, did not go from the patient site.

Wego Health, a company that connects patients with influential companies in the areas of health, examined more than 400 patients, earlier this year, and found that 98% still use Facebook, 94% of the & # 39 are part of the health-related group facebook, and only 3% have removed their value due to reasons of confidentiality. The authors concluded that for many patients, Facebook with & # 39 is too important to be removed.

safe space

Ashley M. Greiner, a lawyer who is suffering from congestive heart failure, is working with Facebook on the new features. Greiner Group to other patients is closed, which means there is an approval process to join, and some of its members from the & # 39 are very active while others only absorb the information. Greiner not invite doctors and other health professionals in the group, so that it will be a safe space for members. It also aims to avoid any kind of posts, the potential market of medicines or treatment.

Greiner asked Facebook to make it easier for its 1600 members to be able to anonymously, but the company is mainly insisted on the fact that users publish their real names (with some recent exceptions). Greiner said that she was able to get in touch with Facebook healthcare team after she was transferred to another person in the group by chance to get a job to Facebook.

"I have friends who want to ask questions, and they do not want to offend anyone, or they simply do not want a husband or guardian to see it," she said. "Anonymous posting from & # 39 is a big step towards the creation of support groups better."

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