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‘Twitterland’: a brave new world?
  1. Elena Nikiphorou1,2,
  2. Paul Studenic3,
  3. Alessia Alunno4,
  4. Mary Canavan5,
  5. Meghna Jani6,
  6. Francis Berenbaum7
  1. 1 Department of Academic Rheumatology, King’s College London, London, UK
  2. 2 Department of Rheumatology, Whittington Hospital, London, UK
  3. 3 Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Medical University Vienna, Vienna, Austria
  4. 4 Rheumatology Unit, Department of Medicine, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy
  5. 5 Department of Molecular Rheumatology, Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
  6. 6 School of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, Arthritis Research UK Centre for Epidemiology, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  7. 7 Department of Rheumatology, Inflammation–Immunopathology–Biotherapy Department, Pierre and Marie Curie University, Saint-Antoine hospital, Sorbonne University, Paris, France
  1. Correspondence to Dr Elena Nikiphorou, Academic Rheumatology Department, King’s College London, London, UK; enikiphorou{at}

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In an era of rapidly expanding digital technologies and social media (SM), considerable transformations in the delivery of healthcare are taking place. SM channels such as Facebook and Twitter represent a generation of online platforms that foster user-generated content, social interaction and real-time collaboration.1 In this letter, we review the advantages and disadvantages of engaging with Twitter within the rheumatology field.

The ease of access to a wide range of SM platforms provides a dynamic medium for professional interaction. Twitter is gaining increasing attention by healthcare professionals as a platform for information sharing and professional networking, learning and communication. Twitter journal clubs (@RheumJC2 and @EULAR_JC3) are some examples of novel educational uses of Twitter.

Despite the many positive applications of Twitter, potential hazards cannot be underestimated. The restricted character count of a tweet (140 characters) represents an important limitation, posing a …

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  • Handling editor Tore K Kvien

  • Twitter @ElenaNikiUK

  • Contributors EN conceived the idea for this article and produced a first draft. All coauthors critically reviewed and revised the first draft producing subsequent drafts. All authors approved the final version of the article before submission.

  • Competing interests All authors have supported the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases (ARD) in social media activities relating to dissemination of educational and scientific content. EN, PS, AA, MC and MJ are part of ARD’s social media advisory team.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.