We've written multiple times in the past about a UK-based "children's" charity called NCH that seems to go out of their way to release misleading and/or biased studies about how "our children are at risk." Usually these involve blaming modern technology and are accompanied by breathless quotes about how something must be done to stop the technology. In the past, this has included blaming the internet for child porn, blaming new 3G phones for allowing kids to see porn, falsely claiming that 11-year-olds are gambling online (when all that happened was they pushed one 16-year-old to gamble online themselves). After all of this, when they did a study showing most parents aren't as worried about all of this as they are, rather than thinking that (perhaps) it's because they're overhyping the problem, they got angry and talked about how parents are clueless and need to be educated. They're still pushing that education campaign, and did some research to try to support the fact that parents are clueless when it comes to what their kids are doing online. Unfortunately, their study barely seems to support the premise. This is doubly amusing since their past surveys had been shown to be written in a biased manner. Assuming they employed similar techniques, it's pretty impressive to find that only 10% of 11-year-olds say their parents don't know who they communicate with online. That means 90% do know -- which is pretty good. So, what does NCH do? They use these stats to claim that it's a problem anyway: "our research shows they need to increase their knowledge if they want to protect their children." This isn't to say keeping parents educated and aware of what their children are doing online isn't important. Obviously, it's extremely important. But, rather than fear mongering, why not report this as good progress?
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