AW: [LINK] more shonky stats
cas at taz.net.au
Fri Feb 13 12:49:39 EST 2004
On Fri, Feb 13, 2004 at 10:44:37AM +1100, David Goldstein wrote:
> So Craig, Jan and Karl...
> You still refuse to accept the problem.
no, please try to listen to what we are saying.
we are not saying there is no problem. we are saying that the problem is
nowhere near as large or as significant as you think it is. we are also saying
that the problem is NOT an internet or an online problem, there were perverts
around long before the net existed, they are still around now, and they will be
around in the future - i.e. the "online" in "online child abuse" is a red
herring that diverts attention from the real problem (child abuse) to
sensationalist tripe about scary technology.
mere perversion isn't sexy enough for newspapers or TV these days. it has to
be "sexed up" with a modem or a phone line to make it really interesting,
because that ties in to the nebulous fears (e.g. of inadequacy, fear of the
loss of privacy and anonymity, of the negative affects on society that
technology brings) that the mainstream have about anything to do with computers
> The problem is kids are abused, and yes, a small minority, and these photos
> are passed around, sold even, and the circle goes on and on. And in recent
> years, as I've said before and I'll say it again, law enforcement agencies
> are finding new photos because there is a demand for the first time in years.
and because they're actually bothering to look. and because the net has made the
existing child abuse networks visible to normal people who get offended by it and
report it to the police.
in other words, increased REPORTING of crime does NOT mean increased INCIDENCE
of crime. e.g. after the introduction of mandatory reporting laws for teachers
and doctors etc, the number of reports of child abuse went up significantly -
that shows that the reporting laws were effective but it does not in any way
prove or even imply that the incidence of child abuse increased.
it would be absurd to say that mandatory reporting laws increased the incidence
of child abuse, so why are you claiming that the internet's increase of
visibility for the problem has somehow increased the incidence?
> I guess you ignore the thousands of people around the world who were caught
> in the operation as outlined on the Panorama programme from the BBC and
> described elsewhere.
of course i ignore programs like that. it was sensationalist tripe, containing
very little information and a large amount of exaggeration & hype.
> There are kids who lie to their parents because they want to meet someone who
> they've met online and this person they are meeting can be much older than
> they ever imagined. Sounds like you all have no idea about how kids will lie
> and deceive and gild the lilly to do things their parents would normally not
> allow them to do. Don't you remember when you were kids?
you are evading the issue of parental responsibility with this red herring -
why are these kids using the internet unsupervised? why have they not been
taught elementary privacy and safety principles?
> And many parents trust their kids and don't realise what they get up to. And
> if you think that parents are able to monitor their kids 24x7 when they're
> working and whatever else is happening in their lives - I'd say get in the
> real world, not your utopian view of the world.
it is their responsibility to teach their children about privacy and safety
issues, so that the child can look out for their own interests when the parents
can't be there - at least to the extent that they should know not to arrange to
meet strangers by themselves, whether via the internet or otherwise.
and even there, there are more sensible messages than "just say no". as you
say, kids ignore or wilfully disobey such blanket instructions. better to
teach them safety principles like "never arrange to meet a stranger alone, only
ever do it with a trusted adult OR a *large* group of friends".
the child must also be taught that the term "stranger" also includes people
they have never met before in real life, or that a trusted adult (e.g parent)
has not met in real life - EVEN IF THEY HAVE "KNOWN" THE PERSON ONLINE FOR SOME
TIME. They are still a stranger until they have been met in person. This is not
a concept that is too difficult for children to understand.
(btw, even though the above is useful stuff for a kid to learn "stranger
danger" is also a red herring. child abuse statistics show that almost all
child abuse is committed by a parent or close relative or close friend of the
family. families, not strangers, are the danger).
> And how can parents effectively educate their kids when they don't understand
> the medium, as is sometimes/often the case?
if they don't yet understand it, and they are concerned that it might have an
impact on their child's safety then it is their responsibility to learn it.
no excuses, no whines about "too hard" or "not enough time". it is their
> I still find it disturbing that people here find child protection a minor
it's a major issue to the kids that it affects.
however, the incidence is very low. a child is in far more danger of getting
cancer from the benzene in unleaded fuel or brain-damage from lead or induce
diabetes (or at least obesity) from all the sugar in every "food" product
marketed at children....and since most people don't worry about relatively
common things like that, there is no reason to worry about events that are
even less likely to occur.
BTW, speaking of sugar, if you really want to do something REAL to protect
children then lobby to have the sugar industry banned. these are the real drug
pushers, inflicting their dangerous and addictive product on ill-informed
> As for dubious stats - the claimed threat to freedom online posed by western
> governments as has been discussed here often is pretty dubious. The threat to
> children, albeit tiny, is much greater than the threat to your freedom.
that is a very naive point of view.
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