back to article Facebook gives you the clap: Official

The sharp rise in syphilis cases in Teesside has been partially attributed to social networking sites which incautious locals are trawling in search of casual sex. According to the local Evening Gazette, the number of reported cases jumped to 30 last year, up from less than 10 in 2008. Professor Peter Kelly, executive director …


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  1. Barno

    Someone had to say it......

    This article adds weight to the argument that Facebook is "clap trap".

  2. nickrw

    Title Title

    If you were "further fingering facebook" I'd be surprised if you didn't catch far worse than syphilis.

  3. Phillip Webster

    I have always called it Faceaids

    More because of the inherent privacy issues than for this reasoning though.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    "Social networking sites are making it easier for people to meet up for casual sex."

    How, damn it? HOW, HOW HOW??? You WILL tell me...

  5. PapaDoc

    Wrong disease

    Clap = gonorrhoea.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      And practising "safe sex" will not help you as far as syphilis is concerned. It is the most bogus advice I have heard from a physician for a while. Syphilis can be contracted via any body contact or even using the same towel as the person infected (within a relatively short period as Treponema pallidum dies within minutes outside the body).

      So unless "safe" means using biohazard suit...

      1. Freddie

        tut tut.

        These deviants. Any excuse to involve a biohazard suit.

    2. TeeCee Gold badge

      Too true.

      I believe that the correct colloquialism for Syphilis is "The Pox".

      Of course this would mean that Facebook is poxy, but I think we knew that.

  6. seanj


    This is the same spurious logic that prompted Bobby Henderson (of Flying Spaghetti Monster fame) to write the letter about "decrease in pirates on the high seas linked to increase in global warming" to prove that "correlation does not imply causation", right?

    For shame, Telegraph, for shame.

    1. Bracknellexile


      But when did the media (or even half the scientific journals for that matter) ever let the difference between correlation and causation get in the way of a good story?

    2. OffBeatMammal

      FSM rules the seas

      At least Bobby wasn't being serious

  7. Jamie Kitson


    Is 10 to 30 really statistically significant?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Facebook? Pah, a pox on them..


  9. AlistairJ

    Not a story

    Firstly, 30 or 40 cases a year in a region the size of Teeside could be down to a single promiscuous individual. Secondly, facebook is clearly not to blame, unless you are looking for an IT-related story.

  10. Code Monkey

    So the moral is... careful who you poke?

    1. Les Matthew
      Thumb Up

      @Code Monkey

      " careful who you poke?"

      I only take a peek.

  11. Michael 28

    How come...

    ...they never had this problem with msn messenger?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    “Unprotected sex, especially with casual partners, is the biggest risk for syphilis"

    No it isn't, Syphilis loves it when you have unprotected sex with casual partners.

  13. Greg J Preece

    How could you do a story on FB sex

    and not get the word "poking" in there?

  14. I Like Heckling Silver badge

    Self fullfilling prophecy

    Syphilis can also cause heightened pleasure and arousal... thus increasing an infected persons desire for sex... which thus increases the chances of passing the infection on to some one else.

    If that was the case, then this could be a lot worse than reported... and wouldn't be restricted to just facebook but would in fact be happening in real life. The relatively low numbers being reported could simply be the actions of 1 or 2 untreated individuals.

    Shame on the Telegraph for stopping to Daily 'Hate' Mail reporting standards... and a total non story that the Reg should not be spreading unless taking the piss out of such bad reporting standards.

  15. Phil Rigby
    Paris Hilton

    Can't think of a title

    That's why I always install anti-virus protection...

    Playmobil recreation, by any chance? Lester? Please?

    Is Paris Hilton on Facebook?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's not safe sex, it's *safer* sex

    The only safe sex is masturbating by yourself. As soon as another person is involved you're at risk, unless you wear a full body suit and don't kiss.

    Syphillis is particularly nasty and easy to catch, but at least it's trivially curable. On the other hand, hepatitis B is freely spread using oral sex, and very difficult to cure. Of course, you can be immunised against it, but the effectiveness depends on your own personal biochemistry and if a UK GUM clinic is prepared to offer it - many aren't as it has a perception of being a 'gay STI'. Other countries (Australia, for one) are more informed and try to immunise people as a matter of course.

    Still, look at the stupidity when the HPV vaccine came out..

  17. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    As PapaDoc and Anonymous Coward indicated,

    syphilis is "pox", colloquially. You could have got something out of that in a social networking context.

    A bit alarmingly, a thesaurus listed as "synonyms" most of the well-known sexually transmitted infections, including AIDS and crabs.

  18. Graham Bartlett
    Thumb Up

    So it's safer to do it yourself

    Hence the Zen koan about the sound of one clapping...

    Thumbs up, because, well...

  19. Adam Williamson 1

    Couldn't possibly be related to the fact that...

    ...there's fuck all else to do on Teesside?

    1. Piezor

      oh you've done it now

      Careful or you'll have Jeff Stelling foaming at the mouth again (search 'jeff stelling rant' on youtube - definitely worth a watch).

  20. Anonymous Coward

    I applaud your headline

    Furthermore, the phrase "syphilis surge" is really catchy.

    1. HFoster

      Syphilis Surge

      Sounds like a great name for a noisy Speedcore band!

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Would be interesting...

    ... to know just how much The Sun paid syphilis for its story about how Facebook passed it from one person to the next

  22. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Facebook gives you the clap: Official


    It only ever gives me the shits !

  23. Craig 28

    Re:The only safe sex

    Right up until you get RSI. Some countries also give the death penalty for that, thank goodness Britain isn't (currently) one of them. Of course the right wingnuts in the US will probably get there first so that's going to give some advanced warning. That said it'd probably put Kleenex out of business so that's unlikely to happen.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The story has been pulled apart

    The tabloids reporting this are a disgrace. They have been shown up as liars once again by the work of Tabloid Watch and Enemies of Reason, who are well worth reading if you've not seen them before. Inject some sanity into your life.

  25. Mos Eisley Spaceport

    Steady on there

    At least sites like FB give the uneducated huddled masses an excuse to use technology.

  26. Anonymous Coward

    Face book Discharge

    So the discharge is caused by Facebook. Is it prevelent in either sex. What about contracting it through keyboard and mouse.

  27. Danny 2

    Safe wanking for two or more


    There are no countries in the world that have a death penalty for either RSI or jerking off. You are lucky that the Telegraph didn't pick up on your comment, or like their last story it would've went viral.

    Saying that, I don't believe self-masturbation is the only form of safe sex. Mutual masturbation, when preceded by mutual hand-washing, has killed nobody and is a hell of a lot more pleasurable.

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