“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.
He ‘can’t understand why he is being impeached’: CNN reports Trump is asking ’why are they doing his to me?’
President Donald Trump is reportedly "distracted" by impeachment while vacationing at Mar-a-Lago as the United States Senate trial begins.
"A source close to the White House who speaks to Donald Trump regularly said the President has appeared 'distracted' by the impeachment trial that begins on Tuesday, telling people around him Friday night at Mar-a-Lago that he 'can't understand why he is impeached,'" CNN's Jim Acosta reported Saturday. "'Why are they doing this to me,' the source quoted Trump as saying repeatedly."
Rod Rosenstein’s legal defense in lawsuits from Strzok and Page won’t hold up under oath: legal experts
Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein claimed responsibility for the release of text messages between then-FBI attorney Lisa Page and then-FBI official Peter Strzok.
Emails released in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit by the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) revealed the highly unusual release by Sarah Isgur Flores, who at the time was the spokesperson for Trump's Department of Justice (she is now overseeing CNN's 2020 election coverage).
Flores instructed reporters to not cite the release of the documents to the Depart of Justice.
Neo-Nazi arrested by FBI in terror plot before his comrades tried to kill him for being ‘stupid’ and ‘incompetent’: report
On Saturday, CBC News reported that several members of a white supremacist group called The Base have been arrested in Georgia and Wisconsin. This comes one day after another set of raids in Maryland and Delaware that caught Patrik Mathews, a former reservist from Manitoba who crossed into the United States illegally and has been missing for five months after being accused of recruiting for the extremist group.
One new key detail came out about Mathews in an affidavit used to secure the arrest warrants for Mathews' alleged compatriots, according to the CBC: "Although the document suggests the group member believed to be Mathews stayed with a Georgia cell member for months, he is later reportedly characterized as 'incompetent' and 'stupid' and is seen as a liability to the local group. In fact, he eventually becomes a new potential murder target."