Facebook blamed for syphilis rise in UK, but it’s a beat-up

The Murdoch press in the UK last week falsely claimed that a National Health Service official had blamed Facebook for a rise in syphillis. While the official did say that some people with syphillis had used social networking sites (pdf file) to meet people for casual sex, he never mentioned Facebook and never blamed the sites. Facebook’s competitor Myspace is owned by the Murdoch-owned News Corporation, and was not mentioned in stories blaming Facebook.

Sex educator Dr Petra Boynton tracked the way the story quickly spread online and said sex educators and bloggers had done the job the media should have, including the Scarleteen and Bishtraining websites and Bad Science columnist Ben Goldacre.

Dr Boynton encouraged people to use the Internet to spread accurate information to counter the media scaremongering.

Posted via email from 4ZZZ News

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