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Facebook Leads To Increase In STDs in Britain 270

Posted by samzenpus
from the friends-and-really-good-friends dept.
ectotherm writes "According to Professor Peter Kelly, a director of Public Health in Great Britain: 'There has been a four-fold increase in the number of syphilis cases detected, with more young women being affected.' Why the increase? People meeting up for casual sex through Facebook. According to the article, '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.'"

*

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Facebook Leads To Increase In STDs in Britain

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  • Damn (Score:5, Funny)

    by Dyinobal (1427207) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @12:14PM (#31612238)
    Dammit so I didn't have to sign up for fuckbook?
    • Fuckbook? (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Try SitOnMyFacebook.
    • Re:Damn (Score:4, Funny)

      by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @12:23PM (#31612432)
      One place this isn't happening is Shatner's myouterspace.com [myouterspace.com].
      • by dintech (998802)

        Head over to Facebook where an encounter with an alien being can leave you with a very different kind of Klingons to defend yourself against.

        Anyway, you could learn a thing or two from Shatner he's probably very knowledgeable on the subject. There are few people who could shed light on what happens when you stick your 'enterprise' into something blue.

        • by Locke2005 (849178)
          Isn't James T. Kirk's habit of dating outside his own species more commonly referred to as "beastiality"??? Gene Roddenberry must have been one heck of a kinky bastard!
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Tetsujin (103070)

            Isn't James T. Kirk's habit of dating outside his own species more commonly referred to as "beastiality"???

            Actually, this is one of the facets of Star Trek's backstory that isn't frequently spoken about.

            Star Trek takes place in the 23rd century, by which time humankind has colonized other worlds, met all kinds of alien life, etc. But in fact all the "alien life" they meet are actually just people in silly costumes and possibly with some makeup on. What happened is that the 22nd century was an era of peaceful exploration. Humankind set out to meet alien life, and they failed. So it became fashionable for indi

          • "...Its five-year mission: to explore strange new orifices, to seek out new life and new nookie, to boldly cum where no man has cum before."
    • HHGG would probably say that on planet Earth, social networking subsumes sexual networking.
  • by JWSmythe (446288) <jwsmythe@[ ]mythe.com ['jws' in gap]> on Thursday March 25, 2010 @12:14PM (#31612240) Homepage Journal

        I've obviously been looking at the wrong places on Facebook. Where's the "casual sex hookup" area?

    • by MikeFM (12491) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @12:21PM (#31612386) Homepage Journal
      My wife is on my buddy list. Does that count? And no STDs.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Hatta (162192)

        That's what you think.

    • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary@nOSPAm.yahoo.com> on Thursday March 25, 2010 @12:22PM (#31612418) Journal

      You don't live in the UK, do you? Obviously, something has happened to the stuffy Brits. The UK just had to cut down a bunch of trees because people were 'dogging,' or having public sex there. There is evidently an epidemic of sexy times in the North Atlantic Archipelago. When did 'stiff upper lip' turn into 'stiff willy saluting passing motorists?' and more importantly, can you teach us American how to be a little less puritanical?

      • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @12:33PM (#31612588) Journal

        When did 'stiff upper lip' turn into 'stiff willy saluting passing motorists?'

        A little while after we exported all of our puritans to the Americas.

        and more importantly, can you teach us American how to be a little less puritanical?

        Sorry...

      • Re:Wrong places (Score:5, Informative)

        by joss (1346) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @12:34PM (#31612612) Homepage

        There was a nice article in the spectator as to how you people from continental europe list the UK as a favorite destination. This is despite of the food, weather, shitty attitude. It's because we have large numbers of drunken sluts who will fuck just about anything.

      • by Locke2005 (849178)
        It's those page 3 girls, I tell ya! That and Viagra, which has led to Brits keeping more than just their upper lip stiff!
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by hey! (33014)

        The UK is the nation that gave us Benny Hill. The US is the nation where the Benny Hill show could only be seen on educational television.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by spun (1352)

          Whoah. Wait a minute. Are you claiming Benny Hill is not educational? It's intended audience is twelve year old boys. It was sure educational for me!

    • by TheMeuge (645043) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @12:23PM (#31612438)

      Well, it's the UK, so I doubt I'd be the first:

      "Ban Facebook now!"
      "They're corrupting our innocent children"
      "It's all the work of secret terrorist pedophiles... we must root them out by recording all facebook conversations and having a central database"

      Sounds good?

    • The gay networks.

      Yeah, sorry, not what you were hoping for, I guess.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by natehoy (1608657)

      Not sure. There's a "poke" feature, you can try that and see if it works for you.

  • What? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Em Emalb (452530) <ememalb@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Thursday March 25, 2010 @12:16PM (#31612280) Homepage Journal

    lolwut? facebook/myspace/craigslist/etc/etc/etc.

    But hey, a lot of people are on facebook, let's blame it on that.

    Vanessa Kensington: Mr. Powers, my job is to acclimatize you to the nineties. You know, a lot's changed since 1967.
    Austin Powers: No doubt, love, but as long as people are still having promiscuous sex with many anonymous partners without protection while at the same time experimenting with mind-expanding drugs in a consequence-free environment, I'll be sound as a pound!

    • by emm-tee (23371)

      lolwut? facebook/myspace/craigslist/etc/etc/etc.

      But hey, a lot of people are on facebook, let's blame it on that.

      You do realise that Britain is not part of the United States, don't you?

      From http://www.clickymedia.co.uk/2009/07/uk-social-network-statistics-july-2009/ [clickymedia.co.uk] :

      Facebook has long been the UK’s most popular Social Networking site and now has over 19 million active users. In May 2009 alone Facebook.com received 23.9 million visitors in the UK. Other popular social networking sites continued to struggle to keep up with Facebook – Bebo followed as the second most visited UK Social Network (8.5 million visitors), then Windows Live Profile (6.9 million visitors) and MySpace Sites (6.5 million visitors)...

  • by PhasmatisApparatus (1086395) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @12:16PM (#31612288)
    You heard it here first, folks: Facebook users cannot figure out how to use condoms!
    • by cayenne8 (626475)
      "You heard it here first, folks: Facebook users cannot figure out how to use condoms!"

      Well, in defense of not liking them...having sex with one on, is about as much fun as eating a nice steak with one on your tongue.

      Sure, you know it is supposed to be juicy, fun and pleasurable...but you can't can't feel anything.

    • Yeah, and chances are they don't use [slashdot.org] (or don't know how to use) anything else that might prevent infection. What is it about using computers that makes people think "It won't happen to me"?
  • C!=C (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sta7ic (819090) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @12:17PM (#31612302)

    Correlation is not causation. Facebook usage may correlate, but doesn't cause it.

    "Don't drink and park. Accidents make people."

    • Yes, but you can reduce (thought not eliminate) this risk by making sure you pull out and climax on her tits.

      • Yes, but you can reduce (thought not eliminate) this risk by making sure you pull out and climax on her tits.I believe in the UK the proper term is "put some gravy on her biscuits".

        But I could be wrong.

    • Re:C!=C (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 25, 2010 @12:41PM (#31612754)

      Correlation is not causation. Facebook usage may correlate, but doesn't cause it.

      "Don't drink and park. Accidents make people."

      I'd love to see your data disproving causation in this scenario. Or are you just making a blind guess?

      Just because "facebook usage may coorelate" you cannot take the logical leap and say that it "doesn't cause it"

      Correlation is often a good grounds for doing a study to determine causation/non-causation.

      People who don't understand what "correlation != causation" is supposed to convey should avoid using it.

      • by dcollins (135727)

        Dvorkin said it best: "The correlation between ignorance of statistics and using 'correlation is not causation' as an argument is close to 1."

    • by MrHanky (141717)

      Wow, how "insightful"! Did you learn about that on Slashdot?

      Did it occur to you that maybe the patients diagnosed with syphilis were questioned about their sex life? Why the fuck is this idiocy always modded up on this site?

    • by ceoyoyo (59147)

      "but doesn't cause it"

      Your error is at least as great as someone who says Facebook usage definitely causes STD increase. Correlation != causation is misleading at best. The proper statement is correlation !==> causation: correlation does not imply causation.

  • Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cbope (130292) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @12:19PM (#31612336)

    Wow, that's about as enlightening as saying bars and nightclubs lead to more casual sex. People socializing more, and it leads to sex? No shit. Doesn't really matter how the contact is made, does it?

  • Facebook?? (Score:3, Funny)

    by esobofh (138133) <khg@[ ]us.net ['tel' in gap]> on Thursday March 25, 2010 @12:19PM (#31612340)

    Ahh facebook? I think craigslist takes the blame here...

  • Um... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @12:20PM (#31612352) Homepage

    ...I wouldn't say this is a problem with Facebook so much as a problem with fucking stupidity. It's not my place to question someone's sexual activity, but come on...who has sex with a stranger without using a condom?

    • Re:Um... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by char70ger (1234672) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @12:26PM (#31612482)
      Why would you want to have sex with a "stranger" even if you did have a condom?
      • Re:Um... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 25, 2010 @12:31PM (#31612560)
        Because it's fun? And they are less of a stranger afterwards.
      • Re:Um... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Pojut (1027544) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @12:40PM (#31612726) Homepage

        I personally wouldn't, but plenty of people would. Like I said, it isn't my place to judge someone's sexual appetites...but I'll judge the hell out of someone recklessly screwing around.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Jason Levine (196982)

          This reminds me of my college days. When my father visited the campus, he'd look at all of the nice looking female students. (And by "look" I mean turn his head so quickly that I was afraid he'd get whiplash. No subtly!*) As each one passed, he'd tell me that I should walk up to her and ask her to sleep with me. My answer was if she said yes, then I definitely didn't want to sleep with her!

          * Of course, this is the same guy who thought having "the talk" with me was "Hey, let's watch porn together!" The

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by sharkman67 (548107)
        I think the GP is wrong. I'll bet you find that in most cases people are hooking back up with high school sweethearts or other long lost boy/girl friends. So these people are not "strangers". Still not excuse for unprotected sex though.
      • I agree! That's why I always ask for the name before the fucking starts. I mean, what can you shout while screwing: "Oh, your cunt is so tight, stranger!"?

      • Why would you want to have sex with a "stranger" even if you did have a condom?
        *Quickly glances at significant other and away*

        Fixed that for you.

      • Why would you want to have sex with a "stranger" even if you did have a condom?

        Oh I don't know...maybe because of this wacky thing called testosterone...maybe you've heard of it?

      • by Locke2005 (849178)
        Why would you want to have sex with a "stranger"...? Because she has really big tits? Because after I've bought her enough pints to get her wasted, I no longer consider her a stranger? Or how 'bout simply because I'm horny?
      • by roman_mir (125474)

        I know, I know, all the sisters, the brothers, the mother, the father, the dog...

        Who needs strangers?!

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by phantomfive (622387)
      Yeah, seriously. We already have the cure for syphilis and AIDS, all we have to do is use it. If everyone used condoms, both diseases would be wiped out in a generation, less for syphilis. Much like vaccinations, some idiots who don't get them cause problems for the rest of us.
      • by ffejie (779512)
        If everyone used condoms all the time, we also wouldn't have that other problem of reproducing. We could solve a lot of problems if we just let all the humans expire. I figure it would take about 75 years or so.
    • by cbope (130292)

      Someone who is fucking stupidly?

      Thanks, I'll be here all evening, try the salmon.

      • by Pojut (1027544)

        It was meant to be a double meaning :-)

        My favorite instance:

        "Selling is legal...fucking is legal. Why isn't selling fucking legal?" -George Carlin

        • by Duradin (1261418)

          Why buy the cow (and incur all the continuing expenses and liabilities) when you can buy the milk conveniently and affordably whenever you want to. It'd put the whole Marriage Industry out of business. Think of the poor divorce lawyers!

    • People with STDs apparently.

  • same old (Score:4, Funny)

    by Tobor the Eighth Man (13061) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @12:20PM (#31612370)

    Hey, look, an interesting statistical effect. How to explain it? Rigorous analysis? Nah, let's just blame it on new technology, 'cuz that wasn't around before and now things are different - obviously, there's a meaningful correlation!

    Reminds me of the piracy/global warming graph: http://www.samizdata.net/blog/~pdeh/piratesarecool4.gif

  • by RMH101 (636144) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @12:21PM (#31612398)
    ...as they pointedly do NOT mention MySpace. Hmm. Wonder why that could be, NewsCorp?
  • I want this. How I can get that? I have already tried to recompile the network driver in promiscuos mode. But all I get is the packets of other peers on my lan :-/, :-I , :-), :-O

  • Murder! (Score:5, Funny)

    by DIplomatic (1759914) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @12:22PM (#31612406) Journal

    Hmmm... that's a pretty good shock-headline-mostly-unrelated-to-the-facts, but I bet I can do better.

    "Levi Jeans are Murdering Texans"

    In a whopping 80% of deaths in the state of Texas, the deceased was wearing denim jeans - says a study conducted by the University of Jumping-to-Silly-Conclusions.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Em Emalb (452530)

      And they deserved it to, what with their fancy-schmanzy "button-fly" jeans and delicious BBQ.

  • False report (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 25, 2010 @12:23PM (#31612430)

    The german media watchblog BILDblog just reported [bildblog.de] (in german) this to be a hoax. The connection between Facebook and STDs was constructed by The Sun, not by Prof. Kelly.

    The Department of Public Health even issued a counterstatement according to the BBC [bbc.co.uk].

    • Re:False report (Score:5, Informative)

      by Faluzeer (583626) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @12:44PM (#31612820)

      If correct that does not surprise me. The Sun is well known (in the UK) to never let the truth get in the way of a good story, especially if the story involves sex.

    • Hogwash, next you'll tell me that global warming isn't really caused by the decline in pirates since the 1800s. [venganza.org]
    • by Spad (470073)

      The Sun links this to a survey last month suggesting that the region is Britain's Facebook capital - "figures released last month showed that people in Sunderland, Durham and Teesside were 25% more likely to log on regularly."

      But Mr Kunonga points out that Sunderland and Durham are not in the NHS Tees area - so the syphilis statistics do not apply to those apparently Facebook-mad cities.

      Keep up the good work guys!

  • by ThreeGigs (239452) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @12:23PM (#31612434)

    So someone says social networking sites are to blame, instead of the amazing coincidence that syphilis cases increased as the government stopped their public awareness campaigns against STDs. I'm thinking someone needs to expand their search for causalitis.

    "These are your genitals. THESE are your genitals on Syphilis. Any questions?"

  • I knew there was something on Facebook I was missing out on aside from Mafia Wars.

  • Well, at least it isn't something that's untreatable.

    Come back when you find a correlation with herpes, because Herpesbook has a better ring that Syphilisbook. You can also turn it into Faceherpes, but Treponema pallidum can't really find a good place to live on the face.

  • Facebook? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Broken scope (973885) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @12:35PM (#31612628) Homepage

    I'll state the obvious then.

    This is about sex education and access to reproductive health services/products. Facebook is just a way to shift blame.

  • by Kenja (541830) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @12:37PM (#31612674)
    Its all the stupid people having sex that leads to the STDs.
    • by Locke2005 (849178)
      If by "stupid" you mean "too ignorant to use a condom", then I would say you are correct... don't any of these women worry about getting knocked up?
  • syphilis cycles (Score:3, Interesting)

    by GayBliss (544986) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @12:44PM (#31612838) Homepage
    There is also the theory of syphilis cycles, that have little to do with a change in sexual behaviors by the masses:

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn6935-syphilis-cycles-not-driven-by-risky-sex.html [newscientist.com]

  • Thats right. YOU have syphilis Facebooker! :)

  • by mindbrane (1548037) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @01:03PM (#31613168) Journal
    Pleading, desperate, begging, even grovelling sex, sure, that's pretty much my norm, but casual, no. My ex, I'm pretty sure she had a lot of casual sex, even disinterested sex, at least it seemed that way to me, but then I really didn't care. I was just so grateful just to be getting some.
  • Facebook is the anti-social network, most people on there refuse to talk to people they don't know (although a lot will accept a random ad to appear more popular).

    People might be meeting up for casual sex online more than before, but I severely doubt it's through facebook
    • by Locke2005 (849178)
      Just because they are not talking to or meeting up with YOU, doesn't mean their not talking to or meeting up with anyone! My 9-year old daughter appears to have to problem picking up men online... maybe you're just a dick.
  • by AskFirefly (757114) *
    Is any of this happening in Farmville????
  • toothing (Score:3, Informative)

    by confused one (671304) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @01:19PM (#31613488)
    This sounds too much like the toothing [wikipedia.org] hoax from a few years ago.
  • by Tetsujin (103070) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @01:38PM (#31613904) Homepage Journal

    Herpes
    120 of your friends are members
    Join This Group

  • Children, try to remember that history repeats itself here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toothing [wikipedia.org]

    This hoax worked because the people wanted to believe. So here we go again. The usual "The Internet is evil"-fodder for the water cooler on friday, a.k.a. nothing new here, moving on.

  • by alanw (1822) <alan@wylie.me.uk> on Thursday March 25, 2010 @01:47PM (#31614110) Homepage

    Here's an article in the local press of March 19th:

    http://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news/2010/03/19/syphilis-cases-rise-400-on-teesside-84229-26067098/ [gazettelive.co.uk]

    No mention of Facebook.

    There was then an article on the 24th in The Daily Telegraph:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/facebook/7508945/Facebook-linked-to-rise-in-syphilis.html [telegraph.co.uk]

    Again, no direct claim that Facebook was responsible, just an unsubstantiated paragraph stating that


    Case have increased fourfold in Sunderland, Durham and Teesside, the areas of Britain where Facebook is most popular.
    [sic]

    There was another instance recently where Facebook are threatening to sue the Daily Mail

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/mar/11/facebook-daily-mail [guardian.co.uk]

    after the Mail took some general research into unnamed social networking sites and attributed the dangers specifically to Facebook.

    I would think it far more likely that AdultFriendFinder or GetItOn would be responsible for any increase in STDs, and that it's bad journalists seeking to sensationalise stories, by trying to make them more familiar and relevant to their readers, who are using Facebook as a synonym for any social networking site.

  • by Locke2005 (849178) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @02:43PM (#31615126)
    There, I fixed the headline for you.

"Marriage is like a cage; one sees the birds outside desperate to get in, and those inside desperate to get out." -- Montaigne

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