TECH CRUNCH - Mar 24 - Numerous British newspapers and tabloids reported that Facebook use had been “linked to a rise in Syphilis” in a number of cities in the UK. Facebook users out there may want to think twice before putting any weight into the claim. All of the articles quote the same person: Professor Peter Kelly, director of Public Health for NHS Tees. “I don’t get the names of people affected, just figures. And I saw that several of the people had met sexual partners through social networks. There is a rise in syphilis because people are having more sexual partners than 20 years ago and often do not use condoms.” This sounds more like an observation based on a small number of cases rather than an established trend, and it doesn’t say anything about causation.
This post also appears on SocialNetworkingWatch.