Since its first diagnosis in 1530, fear has fuelled all kinds of theories about Syphilis. Italians and Germans called it the “French disease.” The French called it the “Italian disease.” The Dutch called it the “Spanish disease,” the Russians called it the “Polish disease,” the Turks called it the “Christian disease” and Tahitians the “British disease.”
Fleet Street can now reveal (h/t Ben Goldacre) that Syphilis is, in fact, the “Facebook Disease.” This hypothesis also accounts for the failure of our Tudor ancestors to be able to place it accurately. Stories in the Daily Telegraph, Mail, and Star all proclaim the great discovery. A public health scientist in Teeside warned of the rise of incidence in his region. This was stuck up against another survey suggesting use of social networking sites is high in the North East and, hey presto!
Those who find this suggestion risible may care to try another from this February, also in the Mail — that Facebook causes Cancer.
How does this tosh make the printed page, and why should anyone pay for it? Now there’s a real mystery. Others will remember from Monty Python that sheeps’ bladders may be employed to prevent earthquakes. This new learning amazes me...