[LINK] NetAlert Campaign 'truth' finally coming out

Scott Howard scott at doc.net.au
Sat Dec 15 11:56:37 EST 2007

On 12/15/07, Stilgherrian <stil at stilgherrian.com> wrote:
> While this is a valid concern, whether you're a parent or not, the
> duplicity
> of Coonan's statement is the conflation of "someone you haven't met
> before"
> with "stranger" with "danger". The pre-existing alliterative "stranger
> danger" meme made it even easier for the (previous) government to continue
> their campaign of fear.

The first definition for "stranger" on dictionary.com :
stran·ger      –noun
1.    a person with whom one has had no personal acquaintance: "He is a
perfect stranger to me."

which sounds pretty much like what you've got above.

The jump from "stranger" to "danger" is a little more subjective, but when
we're talking about kids is it necessarily the wrong one to make?

you suddenly have "half of the kids have been
> approached by a dangerous paedophile". Hardly the same thing.

I'm sure that you're just about to cite your reference for where the
ex-government said anything that looked even remotely like that? Or are you
just putting words in their mouth?  In Jan's initial email the wording was
"more than half of 11-15-year-olds who chatted online were contacted by
strangers" (I'm not sure if that's a direct quote from the advertisings, but
it's close), which, using the definition of "stranger" above, is almost
certainly correct.

Even in "real life", we meed "strangers" all the time. That conversation we
> strike up at the bus stop, in the theatre queue or at the pub.

You let your 11 to 15 year old kids strike up conversations down the pub?

Of course if another 11 to 15 year old came up to them at the bus-stop and
started talking to them you'd probably be OK with it - but what is a 50 year
old man did it?

The issue with the internet is a simple one - you can't really tell if that
"13 year old girl" is actually a 13 year old girl, or really a 50 year old
man.  In real life it's a very different story.

How many of us met a "stranger" last week? I'd wager that it was more than
> half of us!

How many of your children met a 50 year old man in person who claimed to be
a 13 year old girl?  I'm guessing not so many.  How about on the net?


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