Facebook Linked to Rise in Syphilis Cases

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

Is it possible that Facebook is the cause of an increase in cases of syphilis? Folks in Britain seem to think so.

It seems cases of the sexually transmitted disease have increased fourfold in the cities of Sunderland, Durham and Teesside. Those are the areas of Britain where Facebook is most popular. Research has shown that young people in those towns were 25 per cent more likely to log onto social networking sites than those in the rest of Britain.

Professor Peter Kelly, director of public health in Teesside, claimed staff had found a link between social networking sites and the spread of the bacteria, especially among young women.

“Syphilis is a devastating disease. Anyone who has unprotected sex with casual partners is at high risk," Kelly told the London Telegraph."I don't get the names of people affected, just figures, and I saw that several of the people had met sexual partners through these sites. Social networking sites are making it easier for people to meet up for casual sex."

A Facebook spokesman said this is all nonsense. “The assertion that Facebook is responsible for the transmission of syphilis is ridiculous. Facebook is no more responsible for STD transmission than newspapers responsible for bad vision. Today’s reports exaggerate the comments made by the professor, and ignore the difference between correlation and causation.

"As Facebook’s more than 400 million users know, our website is not a place to meet people for casual sex – it’s a place for friends, family and co-workers to connect and share.”