While there are legitimate questions to be asked when it comes to Hillary Clinton's health, the following collection of tweets prove people shouldn't be playing internet doctor. From spurious claims about how many x-rays Clinton has received so far this week, to bringing up departed legend Michael Jackson, to sneaking in a low-key reference to the Benghazi tragedy, observers on social media have been out in full force to comment on the health of the former Secretary of State. Plus, First Lady Michelle Obama's thoughts on personal responsibility also manage to come into play.
For anyone who has been under a rock or outside of a data signal, Clinton had to leave a 9/11 memorial event in New York City earlier on Sunday, Sept. 11. After some disturbing video surfaced showing Clinton being half-dragged, half-carried into a waiting motorcade vehicle, chatter about the former Secretary of State's physical health has swelled from a trickle to a torrent.
While the debate on whether or not it is appropriate for the health of either nominee to factor into the race for the White House rages on, it really hasn't been social media's finest hour. Check out some of the more ridiculous examples of social media trying (and failing) to play internet doctor below, and see for yourself.
Even getting a (self-identified) anesthesiologist to weigh in on Clinton's health episode shouldn't give the rest of the Twitterari the idea that it is appropriate to play internet doctor when it comes to the Democratic nominee's health. Lacking access to someone's complete medical history (and a medical degree) should be an immediate disqualification for anyone making any kind of unsolicited comment on anyone's health and welfare as a matter of course.
However, the nature of the internet and social media can lower the walls between public figures and the public at large. While this is just going to have to be accepted as the new normal, that also means that renegotiating the barrier between public life and private. The line between what is oversharing and what is necessary to know will be a constant dance for figures in the public eye.
At the end of the day, a lot of the talk on social media about Clinton's health boils down to needless, uninformed speculation that neglects the very real issue of the perception that there is an honesty and transparency problem that has dogged her campaign from Day 1. Whether or not her campaign is able to successfully address this issue could determine whether or not she is elected in November.