Identification and Comparison of the Persuasive Elements Present in “Best Answers” to STD-Related Questions on Social Q&A Sites: Yahoo! Answers (United States) Versus Knowledge-iN (South Korea)

Beom Jun Bae, Yong Jeong Yi


This study examines how consumer-selected best answers on online question-and-answer community platforms—referred to as social Q&A sites—in the United States and South Korea differ in their uses of persuasive elements, including message features and information sources. The best answers about sexually transmitted diseases on Yahoo! Answers in the United States and on Naver Knowledge-iN in South Korea were analyzed (N = 600) according to consumer preferences. Regarding message features, best answers in South Korea were more likely to use numeric information, risk information, and optimistic information. Best answers in the United States were more likely to have higher readability than best answers in South Korea. Regarding message sources, expertise was more frequently presented in South Korean best answers, while references were used more in U.S. best answers. The study extends the discussion of consumers’ selection of best answers on social Q&A sites to message features and information sources as additional criteria in an international context.


social Q&A, persuasion, sexually transmitted diseases, international communication, health communication

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