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Edwards and Roland report an interesting natural experiment in the role of knowledge dissemination in the era of social media and free open access medical education (#FOAMed).1 In the opinion of many emergency medicine educationalists, #FOAMed resources are challenging and changing our traditional models of sharing knowledge through publications such as the EMJ.2
The paper reports on two inadvertent publication errors on a UK #FOAMed blog. These were rapidly disseminated through social media to thousands of recipients in a very short space of time. Although the errors were unlikely to result in significant patient harm, the implication is that potentially harmful information might be inadvertently disseminated across a wide audience and with little control from the authors. In other words, the oft-stated advantages of online publication, those of speed, amplification and reach, are also factors that might disseminate incorrect or even harmful content to a much wider audience than traditional …
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