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Abstract

The realm of online social networks (OSN) has evolved rapidly over the last decade. While literature has primarily focused on Twitter, Facebook presents a unique forum for seeking secondhand knowledge on highly specialized topics including life-threatening medical conditions. Cognitive authority expressed through accounts of personal experiences augments authoritative resources that often are inaccessible or non-existent. OSN posts in Facebook groups appear as a plethora of documents thrown upon the virtual floor, disorganized and unsearchable. This paper offers ideas of what could be possible when interaction design (Ixd) is applied to Facebook groups to promote trustworthiness and discoverability for the information seeker. Design features are presented as witness marks that leave explicit clues to mitigate stress when manually mining secondhand knowledge in OSN. Examples are offered from an examination of an open Facebook forum centered on a canine chronic life-threatening disease where a lack of or confusing information provided by authority figures contributes to confusion in information-seeking and decision making.

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