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‘Help! What is this?’ Net users take to Reddit for STD diagnosis

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“How did I get chlamydia?” “Is this herpes?”

People are increasingly turning to strangers on social network Reddit to diagnose their sexually transmitted diseases, according to a new study published in a US journal Tuesday that called the phenomenon “crowd-diagnosis.”

Researchers from the University of California San Diego examined 17,000 posts on a Reddit thread devoted to STDs. They then analyzed a random sample of 500 posts.

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Fifty-eight percent of these messages explicitly requested a crowd-diagnosis, while 31 percent included a picture of the symptoms.

One in five such requests come from users trying to get a second opinion, after having consulted a doctor. These included the case of a person who tested positive for HIV, but wanted to know what other Reddit users thought.

Eight-seven percent of the time, such requests received a reply, and fast: the median time for a first response was three hours, with some receiving a reply in less than a minute.

“Everybody talks about Dr Google all the time,” John Ayers, an epidemiologist at UC San Diego and co-author of the paper published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, told AFP.

“But the reality is searching for information online is not how people use the internet anymore. They want to get real interactions with real people.”

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But the problem, Ayers added, was that “crowd-diagnosis, as it exists now, is wildly inaccurate and dangerous, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t turn millions of people seeking diagnosis on social media into something good.”

He and his colleagues envisioned a future in which health care professionals were available on social networks — not necessarily to make a diagnosis based on insufficient information, but to make a first screening and refer users to where they could get help — either at a clinic or via a teleconference consultation.

“The reality is that in the longer term, the bigger picture is crowd diagnosis could be a boon to public health information,” Ayers said, taking the example of a subreddit devoted to suicidal thoughts.

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“Trained experts are curating that Reddit, and they provide them referrals,” he added.

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‘Can we get a refund?’ Trump flack Stephanie Grisham faces a landslide of mockery after her abrupt dismissal

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White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham is reportedly being relieved of her duties after having gone a full ten months on the job without holding a single press briefing.

Given that Grisham hauled in a salary of $183,000 despite never actually appearing before reporters to answer questions, some Americans are asking if we can get a "refund" for her purported services.

Others, meanwhile, are simply happy to see her leave despite having rarely, if ever, seen her talk in public.

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Trump’s history as a sketchy vitamin company pitchman might help explain his hydroxychloroquine obsession: report

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In an attempt to understand the myriad of reasons why Donald Trump has gone all-in on pushing hydroxychloroquine as the possible solution to the COVID-19 pandemic, the former spokesperson for the Republican National Committee noted that the president once was the owner of a sketchy vitamin company under the Trump brand.

Writing for the conservative Bulwark, Tim Miller posed the question: "Why is Trump obsessed with hydroxychloroquine?' by noting the president has become one of, if not its biggest, proponents.

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White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham leaves job after never once briefing the press

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White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham, who never once held a briefing, has reportedly lost her job.

CNN reported that Grisham is returning to the East Wing where she will serve as First Lady Melania Trump's spokesperson and chief of staff.

According to the report, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is considering Trump campaign spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany to replace Grisham.

Former Freedom Caucus spokesperson Alyssa Farah was also said to be under consideration for the job.

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