Posted by Alan on October 23, 2002, at 11:54:14
In reply to Educate members. You can't police the internet., posted by wcfrench on October 20, 2002, at 14:31:21
> I think the most important thing to keep in mind for posters here is that you can only take the information and recommendations people give you about meds with a grain of salt. All meds work differently for everyone, and if someone tells you that a med "works great" in general, they're lying. Because everyone has different reactions.
> Although there might be a lot of undisclosed professionals posting here, I think we can safely assume that the base of Psycho Babble is composed of well-meaning consumers seeking advice. Think about it. What would be more important, more likely: if you were a professional trying to push the internet toward a medicine of your choice, receiving little benefit, if any, from the process, OR an honest consumer in search of advice that could possibly benefit the quality of his/her life. If you were each of these people, who do you think is more likely to seek out a site such as Psycho Babble? Put yourself in the "salesman" shoes. Now in the consumer's shoes. And if you were a salesman, or a doctor pushing pharmaceutical companies that you made money from, how many customers could you really "convert" to your medicine, and would they even be your customers? This isn't an insurance sales site, no one comes here to be sold. People come here seeking opinions, empathy, understanding, and the comfort of talking to someone else that has been in the same boat you have. And in the rare occasion that someone asks another about a specific drug recommendation, they should know that who they are talking to, though friendly and personable, is albeit still a stranger. We can't go around listening to strangers on the internet who tell us to try medicines. We seek opinions, experiences, and a general sense of how the medicine works, but never should listen to a direct recommendation. And anyone posting here, salesman, doctor, or otherwise, saying that "you should take this" is taking this board way out of context and shouldn't be listened to. You should listen to people's experience on a medicine, several people, and read as many threads as you can find on it before you even consider talking to your doctor about it. No one listens to one person who says "take this, it's better than this." Every knowledgable Psycho Babble member knows that no one drug is "better" than another, because they all have a unique mechanism of action that works differently on all people.
> You guys are clouding the issue. Instead of worrying about who's posting here and how to control them, you have to realize that the internet is full of strangers, and you can't control who's posting here. You will never be able to. And whether a pharmaceutical representative posts under the name "pharmrep" or "johndoe" will always be a mystery to us. That's how the internet works! That's why so many people use it! You think all these people would be on Psycho Babble if they had to put their driver's licenses and birth certificates on file? All you can do is keep in mind who we are talking to and remember how to deal with them. Yes, most of the people here are great people all in search of similar information, but some are not, and we will never be able to control that.
> Dr. Bob, I agree with you, but I don't like the way you argue. You ask questions in response to a question, and it seems to further delude the issue. This, of course, is just a civil disagreement.
> I think you are both right in a lot of respects, but you simply cannot control who visits and posts to this website, just as you cannot control who uses the internet for bad deeds. The only thing you can do is educate the ones that use it.
It is not simply a matter of policing the entire internet. That subject is too broad to be considered here.
Specifically the issue is, how far is a specific site devoted argueably to helping one of the most emotionally vulnerable population of the internet, going to be allowing the emboldening of the pharmecutical industry to hawk their wares as *a position of authority*.
This is not an insult to the intelligence of the PB populace but rather a serious matter of how one dispute those in a position of authority representing themselves as members of the medical community, and most importantly, those dispensing actual medical advice in that position of authority (in this case through real or imaginary doctors to try to bypass the *direct medical advice* part).