Can You Catch Herpes From Chugging An Influencer's Rancid Bath Water?

It's not a question we imagined answering today, but here we are.

It really didn’t take long for the news that an Instagram star was selling her bathwater to be accompanied by the (ahem) viral news that said bathwater had infected 50+ people with herpes.

And TL;DR version: it was a hoax. Or, less kindly, fib.

Now, some of the story is true: Instagram gaming identity Belle Delphine did indeed announce that she was selling jars of her bathwater via her online store, and it would appear that some was genuinely shipped to fans.

However, the claim that the water was infectious was made up by Twitter user @BakeRises who mocked up a fake Daily Mail avatar and headline above.

And said account has been suspended, although fact checking site Snopes reported that it wasn’t before they tweeted the astute “It seems the best way to grow on Twitter is to impersonate a company and say things about a celebrity that legally can be considered libel and I could potentially be sued for”.

And for the record, you can’t get herpes though bathwater.

The herpes virus can only be transferred via skin-to-skin contact, as it can’t survive for long without a living host. They’re pretty specialised things, viruses, krazy little not-quite-living things that they are.

That’s the GOAT difference, friends: come for the tea, stay for the epidemiology!

Instagram's Latest Update Will Force You To Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

It's like a best friend saying "hey, how about you *don't* post that?"

Cyberbullying is one of those wicked problems which have baffled legislators, parents and people who know nothing about the internet but have opinions they like to express regardless.

How can we restrict bullying while not accidentally blocking legitimate speech? How can an algorithm tell a joke from a threat? Is it better just to burn down the internet and return to the sea? No-one seems to know, beyond that Something Simply Must Be Done.

And now Instagram – aka The Legacy Social Media Platform Young People Actually Still Use – are taking active steps to make things less fraught in a move which deserves widespread and sustained applause: one using A1, and one in the hands of users.

First up, there will shortly be a new option: restrict.

It’s a softer alternative for young people who are worried that blocking, unfriending or reporting bullies is a great way to make things escalate IRL.

Messages from restricted people will be moved to Message Requests, meaning that people can more easily ignore them, and they don’t see whether you have read their message or interacted with their post, or be alerted when you’re on the platform. Also, you’ll be able to delete comments and messages without having to read them.

And that’s great, but there’s also the A1 powered Comment Warning, which gives people a chance to reflect on whether the thing they’re about to post is actually worth posting – and hopefully you haven’t attempted a flamewar yet because it’s already been rolled out.

These are small changes with potentially huge positive effects, and seems like something Facebook (who own Insta) should be adding to their platform asap.

Twitter, obviously, doesn’t need it since it’s already a textbook example of genteel good manners.

Twitter, today.

Hey, Dudes, Sneakily Taking The Condom Off Is Assault And Just Stop Doing It

Australia, it's time to fall back in love with the humble franger.

It shouldn’t really need saying, but condoms are awesome.

Using them generally means that there’s some sex-doing going on, which is generally a fun sort of a thing, and when used correctly they’re great for preventing pregnancy and helping prevent the spread of STIs.

According to a new report out of Monash university of people that have sex with men, one in the three women and one in five dudes had their partner de-condom themselves during sex.

Gif makes a good point.

And given that 75 per cent of young Australians are having condomless sex as it is (mainly partnered, but a third of whom barebacking with casual partners), it’s amazing that we’re not seeing a massive spike in sexually transmitted diseases and oh wait we are dear god how are any of us even alive?

And removing the condom during sex should fall under the umbrella of sexual assault, but it’s legally still something of a grey area. And “grey area” is not a term that should be applied to anything sexual.

A starting point would be to make it a crime in itself, because saying yes to safe sex is not remotely the same as saying yes to absorbing someone’s mysterious personal fluids.

So let’s start again: condoms are great, practical, low-risk high-effectiveness ways to prevent pregnancy and disease.

But also, if you’re the sort of a dude that is prepared to put your partner at risk for literally a couple of minutes of action which you’re already getting (and which, if you’re any good at doing the sex, should be feeling pretty spectacular in any case), then you literally have no business being up in anyone else’s business.

And be advised that men who refuse contraception are correlated with other abusive behaviours, meaning that this is a giant red flag.

Again: dudes. Be better.

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