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Bad Idea: Don't take medical, legal advice from social media

Bad Idea: Don't take medical, legal advice from social media

January 10th, 2019 by Gazette Staff in Opinion Editorial

There is a disturbing trend on social media. It's been around for a while but seems to be increasing. People seeking professional advice. On Facebook, mostly.

Mostly medical and legal. Some of it comes unsolicited. Other times folks with medical problems of legal issues solicit advice online.

Either way it's a bad idea.

Take legal concerns. Everybody seems to think they picked up a law degree on Google or from life's lessons. Well, they didn't. The only good legal advice on social media is to seek an attorney.We understand that some cannot afford an attorney. Even the idea of going to see a lawyer scares them. But there many fine attorneys in town who offer a free initial consultation. Maybe you can comet to some affordable agreement for further representation. Maybe not. But in any case you'll walk away better informed than by asking for help on social media.

Free legal advice—and worth about that much—could negatively affect your finances, property or liberty. Getting medical advice online could jeopardize your health—even your life.

Take cancer as one example. Those who have been diagnosed are understandably worried about what treatment they will recieve. They want answers. But social media is home to many, many well-intentioned but misguided faddists who are always willing to share some magic diet, supplement or potion they claim is superior to chemotherapy or radiation. Then there are the "true believers" who rant about some conspiracy by "Big Pharma" and the medical community to keep you sick and paying.

Everybody has a right to an opinion—and there is nothing wrong with exploring alternative treatments—but where it becomes irresponsible, even deadly, is when conspiracy theories or talk of unproven therapies cause someone to delay proper medical treatment until after it's too late.

Don't trust people on Facebook or any other social media platform with you life or legal status. They may mean well but, in many if not most cases, they really don't know what they are talking about. For professional advice consult a professional.

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