The social-networking giant wants to set the record straight: "Facebook is no more responsible for STD transmission than newspapers are responsible for bad vision."
Cases of syphilis have increased four-fold in Britain thanks to Facebook, argued a U.K. professor, as users meet up for unprotected sex. When representatives for the massive social-network site read the assertions by Professor Peter Kelly, director of Public Health for U.K. agency NHS Tees, they were outraged, quickly issuing a terse statement denying the connection.
"The assertion that Facebook is responsible for the transmission of STDs is ridiculous," read teh statement by the social network. "Facebook is no more responsible for STD transmission than newspapers are responsible for bad vision."
In a further expansion to news site Techcrunch, spokesman Andrew Noyes wrote that "while it makes for interesting headlines, the assertions made in newspaper reports that Facebook is responsible for the transmission of STDs are ridiculous, exaggerate the comments made by the professor, and ignore the difference between correlation and causation."
Noyes noted, "As Facebook’s more than 400 million users know, our Web site is not a place to meet people for casual sex -- it’s a place for friends, family and coworkers to connect and share."
Kelly had released a statement that "there has been a four-fold increase in the number of syphilis cases detected, with more young women being affected." He argued that his staff had found a link to social networking sites among those infected.
Prof Kelly said, "I don't get the names of people affected, just figures. And I saw that several of the people had met sexual partners through these sites." He continued, "Social networking sites are making it easier for people to meet up for casual sex. There is a rise in syphilis because people are having more sexual partners than 20 years ago and often do not use condoms."
The Sun contributed to this report.