“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.
‘I’m very upset’: Furious Texas rancher says Trump is ‘secretly’ trying to steal land to build ‘the wall’
Ranchers in Laredo, Texas, are furious as they're learning President Donald Trump is stealing their land away to build the "wall," he says, has already been built.
During a campaign stop in Louisiana Thursday, Trump said that his wall is "going up faster than anyone thought possible." But when probed about it, Trump's own top border official confirmed none of the wall has been built, in fact, all that has been built replaced existing structures.
Only four miles of the area where the Trump "wall" is going is owned by the federal government already. So, the White House is now calling land-owners on the Texas border to beg them to cooperate with their landgrab.
Mike Pence distances himself from his own top adviser after she refuses to lie for Trump
Vice President Mike Pence's top adviser, Jennifer Williams, seems to be enduring retaliation from her employers after cooperating with subpoenas from the House impeachment inquiry this week. Williams spoke to the committee behind closed doors, and her testimony has was released Saturday.
President Donald Trump attacked her as a "Never Trumper" on Twitter Sunday, despite her work for the Trump adminsitration.
Internet blown away by Trump’s multi-tweet attack frenzy lashing out at Dems and GOP alike: ‘You are absolutely terrified’
After spending the past two days mostly tweeting out videos that are complimentary to him, Donald Trump unleashed a flood of Twitter bile at Democrats, Republicans, a New York Times columnist and Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace late Sunday afternoon.
After attacking Wallace, the president also went after an aide to Vice President Mike Pence -- calling her a "Never Trumper" -- then again demanded to know who the whistleblower, whose report initiated the current impeachment hearings, is.