AW: [LINK] more shonky stats
james.pearce at zdnet.com.au
Fri Feb 13 13:40:52 EST 2004
A couple of years ago I heard the argument that the Internet was increasing
child abuse because potential pedophiles were going online and coming across
groups of other pedophiles. These tended to be groups they would not
otherwise meet. The result is that the behaviour began to appear "normal" to
them. Where as before they may have been too scared - or even had to much
guilt - to act on their urges, or even admit them, once they perceived the
act to be normal and relatively common it increased the chance they would
fulfill the act themselves.
I have no idea how valid these comments are, but they did make me think.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Craig Sanders" <cas at taz.net.au>
To: <link at www.anu.edu.au>
Sent: Friday, February 13, 2004 11:49 AM
Subject: Re: AW: [LINK] more shonky stats
> 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
> that the problem is NOT an internet or an online problem, there were
> around long before the net existed, they are still around now, and they
> 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
> 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
> loss of privacy and anonymity, of the negative affects on society that
> technology brings) that the mainstream have about anything to do with
> or technology.
> > The problem is kids are abused, and yes, a small minority, and these
> > are passed around, sold even, and the circle goes on and on. And in
> > years, as I've said before and I'll say it again, law enforcement
> > are finding new photos because there is a demand for the first time in
> and because they're actually bothering to look. and because the net has
> existing child abuse networks visible to normal people who get offended by
> report it to the police.
> in other words, increased REPORTING of crime does NOT mean increased
> of crime. e.g. after the introduction of mandatory reporting laws for
> and doctors etc, the number of reports of child abuse went up
> that shows that the reporting laws were effective but it does not in any
> prove or even imply that the incidence of child abuse increased.
> it would be absurd to say that mandatory reporting laws increased the
> 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
> > 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,
> very little information and a large amount of exaggeration & hype.
> > There are kids who lie to their parents because they want to meet
> > they've met online and this person they are meeting can be much older
> > they ever imagined. Sounds like you all have no idea about how kids will
> > and deceive and gild the lilly to do things their parents would normally
> > allow them to do. Don't you remember when you were kids?
> you are evading the issue of parental responsibility with this red
> why are these kids using the internet unsupervised? why have they not
> taught elementary privacy and safety principles?
> > And many parents trust their kids and don't realise what they get up to.
> > if you think that parents are able to monitor their kids 24x7 when
> > working and whatever else is happening in their lives - I'd say get in
> > real world, not your utopian view of the world.
> it is their responsibility to teach their children about privacy and
> issues, so that the child can look out for their own interests when the
> can't be there - at least to the extent that they should know not to
> meet strangers by themselves, whether via the internet or otherwise.
> and even there, there are more sensible messages than "just say no". as
> say, kids ignore or wilfully disobey such blanket instructions. better to
> teach them safety principles like "never arrange to meet a stranger alone,
> 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
> they have never met before in real life, or that a trusted adult (e.g
> has not met in real life - EVEN IF THEY HAVE "KNOWN" THE PERSON ONLINE FOR
> TIME. They are still a stranger until they have been met in person. This
> 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
> child abuse is committed by a parent or close relative or close friend of
> family. families, not strangers, are the danger).
> > And how can parents effectively educate their kids when they don't
> > the medium, as is sometimes/often the case?
> if they don't yet understand it, and they are concerned that it might have
> impact on their child's safety then it is their responsibility to learn
> no excuses, no whines about "too hard" or "not enough time". it is
> > I still find it disturbing that people here find child protection a
> > issue.
> 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
> cancer from the benzene in unleaded fuel or brain-damage from lead or
> 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
> 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
> pushers, inflicting their dangerous and addictive product on ill-informed
> > As for dubious stats - the claimed threat to freedom online posed by
> > governments as has been discussed here often is pretty dubious. The
> > children, albeit tiny, is much greater than the threat to your freedom.
> that is a very naive point of view.
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