“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.
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.”
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.
“Trained experts are curating that Reddit, and they provide them referrals,” he added.
The View’s Ana Navarro drops the hammer on election challenge: ‘One more Trump fraud’
"The View" co-host Ana Navarro called out President Donald Trump's efforts to undermine U.S. democracy as just another "grift."
The president's efforts to overturn his election loss to Joe Biden have set Republicans against each other in Georgia, where both Senate seats -- and the GOP majority -- remain up for grabs in a Jan. 5 runoff.
"When your enemy is shooting themselves, don't get in the way," Navarro said. "Look, if I were [Sen. Kelly] Loeffler or [Sen. David] Perdue, frankly, I would draw the curtains, bolt the doors, shut off the lights and ask somebody to wake me up when he's gone."
Trump Pentagon appointee busted for tweets arguing for martial law following election loss
According to a report from CNN's "KFiles," one of Donald Trump's appointees to the Pentagon has been approvingly retweeting Twitter posts that call the election of former Vice President Joe Biden a "coup," while also helping to promote a petition calling for the president to declare martial law following his election loss.
Scott O'Grady, who was shot down over Bosnia in 1995 which was later the basis for the movie "Behind Enemy Lines," in 2001, recently received a presidential appointment to the Pentagon as the next Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, pending Senate confirmation.
Giuliani’s star witness in election challenge recently got off probation for ‘computer crime’: report
A star witness in President Trump's effort to overturn the 2020 election just recently got off probation for committing a "computer crime," the Daily Mail reports.
Mellissa Carone was sentenced to 12 months probation in September of 2019 for the crime with took place the year before. Carone struck a deal with prosecutors who dropped a first-degree obscenity charge against her.
Carone became a viral story after she appeared as a key witness in the Trump campaign’s Michigan voter fraud claims.