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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex in Media: Books, Magazines, Films, TV & More » Why use crowdsourcing sites for important sex and sexual health information?

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Author Topic: Why use crowdsourcing sites for important sex and sexual health information?
Heather
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We have often had users report coming here after freaking themselves out by using crowdsourcing sites to seek out vital information, like Yahoo Answers, or other sites where no one has to have any kind of education, experience or credential, doesn't have to identify themselves in any way, and where there is just absolutely no way to know if the information given is likely, at all, to be valid or true.

Given that there are credible, sound places to get that information and help online -- like here, or Planned Parenthood's site, sites like Sex, Etc. -- I'm wondering if those of you who have instead used (or still do) crowdsourcing sites can fill me in on why you do.

Because I don't get it, I'd like to, and I'm hoping we might also net some helpful and productive discussions that helps everyone learn to seek out sound information by talking about this. [Smile]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Sunday Morning
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I think it's the method of googling for answers that automatically brings up those sources.

For example - if you were to go on google.com, and you google with symptoms, or you google with questions - those sites are usually the first to pop up. OR sometimes - google will try to finish your sentence for you (Which is the WORSE.).

And then as soon as we read that - since it's the first thing that comes up, especially for people who aren't aware of resources like this - then it automatically gets stuck in our minds. So by the time we do find reputable sources like yours, or Planned Parenthood, our minds are... tainted already in a way.

I truly wish I would've known to look for reputable sites like yours and Planned Parenthood before just googling certain things.

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Heather
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asdfg10 : I wonder then, if this is an experience you've had, if you can tell me why when you saw an iffy place come up in the search results, that was something you clicked to, rather than scrolling for something more reliable?

In other words, I know we, for instance, will usually come up in the first page or two of any sex or sexuality question related search (where it gets iffy is when people are looking for things that aren't real, or real terms, in which case, for sure, most of what they will likely get is something crowdsourced). So, why click the first thing you see, or click on a link to somewhere iffy, rather than looking a little more in results for something more bonafide?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Sunday Morning
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I think it depends on how you search?

If you ask a question on google - it will more likely come up with Q&A crowdsourcing type questions?

Like if I were to search - "Why am I cramping?" The first thing I see is Yahoo Answers and a bunch of crowd-sourcing questions. In fact, on the first page - babycenter comes up. -____-

If I search "cramping", however, I see more reputable sites like Mayo Clinic come up right away.

In a state of panic or fear - perhaps we don't really think too hard about how we phrase our search. And we look frantically for the first answers to our questions. So in the process of reading through it - by the time we do find a reputable source - then by that time we've read certain things that make us paranoid.

Fear and stress can certainly cause me to not think logically.
And stress in turn - can actually exacerbate any symptoms that people feel. I read this article that stress actually makes PMS symptoms worse. So if someone were really stressed out, and it's around PMS time - those symptoms that could be early pregnancy symptoms for those who are pregnant - get exacerbated. Thus - the panic continues because the symptoms they feel are worse.

It's a vicious cycle of fear and stress. [Frown]

[ 07-30-2013, 01:36 PM: Message edited by: asdfg10 ]

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Heather
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This is really helpful insight and input: thanks!

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Sunday Morning
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No problemo! [Smile]

Perhaps better research techniques would be good for people. Lol.

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Heather
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Well, certainly, learning how to use search engines effectively is a skill people can develop (and by all means, putting in something like a question versus keywords is a biggie), as is learning how to read things critically, and know what is and isn't sound.

So, by all means, where someone is or isn't at with these skills is going to be, I'd say, part of the picture here.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Miss S
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I have an answer for that..
I never knew about scarleteen before.. I had my first pregnancy scare 3-4 months ago..i feel much better now still have it sometimes but im controlling it..and do you know how it all started?? my missing period and my dear google(that I hate now) I missed my period for 25 days im april then took a pregnancy test that came negative ofcourse..the next day went to google to see if I did the test right..and from link to link and page to page and read all this stuff about woman getting their periods and still being pregnant..and that precum can get u pregnant(though ive been using the pull out method for over a year perfectly) I started to have this anxiety its like I got addicted on googling symptoms and stuff ..I couldn't stop it!! there is plenty and millions of freaky stories there :s it really gives paranoia heather ..and some people just dunno how to quit ..as for me I even don't know why I do search anyway! until I found you and I started getting answers from you.. I so still google from time to time and I dunno why and I do get some anxiety but Im controlling my mind to stop..its just that when ur not busy doing anything at work or so(like me most of the time) I find myself searching stuff about pregnancy on google and I have no idea why..but thank gof this paranoia is reaching the end!! this is really a big deal Heather im sorry for everyone that had to go through it :/

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Miss S

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