The effect of social feedback in a Reddit weight loss community

Tiago O. Cunha, Ingmar Weber, Hamed Haddadi, Gisele L. Pappa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

It is generally accepted as common wisdom that receiving social feedback is helpful to (i) keep an individual engaged with a community and to (ii) facilitate an individual's pos-itive behavior change. However, quantitative data on the effect of social feedback on continued engagement in an on-line health community is scarce. In this work we apply Ma-halanobis Distance Matching (MDM) to demonstrate the importance of receiving feedback in the \loseit" weight loss community on Reddit. Concretely we show that (i) even when correcting for differences in word choice, users receiv-ing more positive feedback on their initial post are more likely to return in the future, and that (ii) there are di-minishing returns and social feedback on later posts is less important than for the first post. We also give a description of the type of initial posts that are more likely to attract this valuable social feedback. Though we cannot yet argue about ultimate weight loss success or failure, we believe that understanding the social dynamics underlying online health communities is an important step to devise more effective interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDH 2016 - Proceedings of the 2016 Digital Health Conference
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages99-103
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9781450342247
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Apr 2016
Event6th International Conference on Digital Health, DH 2016 - Montreal, Canada
Duration: 11 Apr 201613 Apr 2016

Other

Other6th International Conference on Digital Health, DH 2016
CountryCanada
CityMontreal
Period11/4/1613/4/16

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Information Management
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Health Informatics

Cite this

Cunha, T. O., Weber, I., Haddadi, H., & Pappa, G. L. (2016). The effect of social feedback in a Reddit weight loss community. In DH 2016 - Proceedings of the 2016 Digital Health Conference (pp. 99-103). Association for Computing Machinery, Inc. https://doi.org/10.1145/2896338.2896353