Facebook “spreads syphilis”

An official with Britain’s National Health Service said “Facebook and similar sites were to blame for a shocking rise in cases of potentially-lethal syphilis,” The Sun reports from London.

“Social networking sites are making it easier for people to meet up for casual sex. There is a rise in syphilis because people are having more sexual partners than 20 years ago and often do not use condoms.”

To beef up its apocalyptic package, The Sun includes a sidebar by “Sun Doctor” Carol Cooper who explains that syphilis is no laughing matter — “It can kill.”

And there are several fearsome links, including one headlined, “My Facebook ‘friend’ raped me.” That story begins:

“Befriending him proved a devastating mistake — days later Martin Dews brutally RAPED Sarah.”

The Sun concludes it coverage by noting that “last night a spokesperson for Facebook said users should take ‘precautions’ and be careful with meeting anyone they have encountered online.”

From his Guardian blog, here’s Roy Greenslade’s take:

Even if true — note that the claim is based on just 30 cases — do we really believe that people’s sexual habits are the fault of the media they use?

If so, imagine a story based on a rather similar unscientific claim that reads something like this…

The Sun ‘boosts sex attacks’: Cases of sexual assault are soaring due to men looking at Page 3 girls every day, a police chief from somewhere up north warned yesterday.

Figures released last month showed that men found guilty of sex crimes were 25% more likely to have regularly turned to The Sun’s page 3.

And would you believe it?

Art in this post is from The Sun’s Website.


2 responses to “Facebook “spreads syphilis”

  1. Haha, nice post! Looking forward to seeing the syphilis/fb story develop…

  2. oh common! is this really true? Why do these people engage in such casual sex over social networking sites? they are destroying the true importance of these sites. so sad to know this.

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