It’s not surprising, then, that Facebook has turned into a gathering place for strangers sharing their deepest secrets. Emotional-support groups have sprung up around topics broad and narrow: diabetes, addiction, egg donation, a specific birth-control device now pulled from the U.S. market, parenting children who might grow up to be psychopaths, rare diseases that affect only a few dozen patients in the whole world. The internet has always promised to connect people by common interest rather than geography, and with its 2-billion-user base, Facebook is where those connections are often being made. “For people searching for support, [Facebook] is a one-stop shop,” says Andrea Downing, a moderator for BRCA Sisterhood, a support group for women who have tested positive for breast-cancer mutations.
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