A researcher has claimed Facebook is connected to a rise in syphilis as it is a hotbed of casual sex, unsurprisingly something Facebook angrily denies.
Professor Peter Kelly, a public health official in northern England, found that the Teeside region he is responsible for is the area of Britain with the highest rates of Facebook and SNS usage, and asserts that their research found a link between this usage and a jump in the cases of syphilis the area is experiencing:
“Syphilis is a devastating disease. Anyone who has unprotected sex with casual partners is at high risk.
There has been a fourfold increase in the number of syphilis cases detected with more young women being affected.
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.”
Facebook scoffs at the claims:
“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.”
Rather less convincingly, they claim the site is purely a wholesome family friendly one:
“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.”