How Can You Fear Monger If The Stats Don't Support What You Say?

from the just-fear-monger-anyway! dept

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?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Wyndle, Jul 17th, 2006 @ 12:36pm

    But if they did that...

    If they reported it as good progress then they wouldn't get their message spread around so easily (even if you were mocking their message).

     

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  2.  
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    NSMike, Jul 17th, 2006 @ 12:51pm

    Re: But if they did that...

    Even so, which is better, underexposure with a good message on solid ground, or overexposure and being laughed at?

     

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  3.  
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    Zorro, Jul 17th, 2006 @ 12:59pm

    OH NO!

    TECH DIRT is hurting your children, disconnect from the intarweb now!

     

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  4.  
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    s, Jul 17th, 2006 @ 1:20pm

    oh yesses

    Well for starters, you can spend more time fear-mongering than spending time with your children, thus knowing less about who they communicate with on the internet, and securing that your fear-mongering is indeed, necessary.

     

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  5.  
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    Chronno trigger, Jul 17th, 2006 @ 2:32pm

    90% know

    10% don't care (Like Mine)

     

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  6.  
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    clay, Jul 17th, 2006 @ 2:44pm

    I see this crap everyday

    A scientist or researcher, funded by either "Company that sells crap" or "Organization with an agenda", are told to research a subject. If the scientist or researcher comes back with evidence the company doesn't like, well, they don't fund that person again, and of course those studies are buried. If these scientists and researchers want to keep their jobs, they present evidence that makes their funders look good. Then we buy it because, "Studies show...." or "9 out of 10 (xxx's) agree...."

     

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  7.  
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    Stragus, Jul 17th, 2006 @ 2:55pm

    more like

    5% don't care... 5% care but have no clue why the web browser disappears when you click the x button in the upper right or how to get it back once they've clicked it. (like mine)

     

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  8.  
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    Lay Person, Jul 17th, 2006 @ 3:08pm

    Stats never work anyway

    It's a known fact that staticstics are wrong 9 out of 10 times which equates to 90%!

     

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  9.  
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    tyalor, Jul 17th, 2006 @ 3:36pm

    11-year0olds don't know

    "only 10% of 11-year-olds say their parents don't know who they communicate with online"

    Since when do 11-year-olds really know what there parents do and don't know? I'm certain MOST parents don't know what their kids are doing online. Does anyone knoe what YOU are doing online?

     

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  10.  
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    googly_eyes, Jul 17th, 2006 @ 4:05pm

    It would put them out of work

    Because they just happen to be in the business of educating parents.

    Honestly - they wouldn't get their funding if studies showed that they weren't needed....

    There are any number of useless services, commissions, panels, think tanks, whatever, that are a colossal waste of money, yet they get funding because they make themselves seem important.

     

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  11.  
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    Max Howell, Jul 18th, 2006 @ 2:41am

    This is why I don't generally give to charity. I don't know which ones I can trust and which ones would just "steal" my money in pursuit of their crazy ideals.

     

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  12.  
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    Ted Stevens, Jul 18th, 2006 @ 7:09am

    Tubes

    You can stop your children from seeing online filth by clogging up the internet tubes yourself!

     

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  13.  
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    Senator Stevens, Jul 18th, 2006 @ 9:57am

    How the Internet works

    Let me tell you about the Internet -- I just learned that it is a proper noun and should be capitalized. You see, it's a series of pneumatic tubes in which tiny letters, called packets, are sent from one Windows to another. But sometimes these packets get stuck in the tubes because Tolkien lost his ring in the Ethernet. When this happens you have to close the Windows so that the letters can be copied to another Internet. This clears up the tubes.

    If you elect me president, I will make the Internet faster by moving the Windows closer to each other. This means shorter tubes. Shorter tubes mean it is faster to copy the Internet to your local Windows. I don’t know about you, but I am tired of waiting to download the Internet each day. That’s why I keep a copy of it on a floppy at all times.

     

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  14.  
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    thedevilyouknow, Jul 18th, 2006 @ 8:52pm

    did you know that 73% of statistics are made up on the spot? scary huh?

     

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  15.  
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    thedevilyouknow, Jul 18th, 2006 @ 8:52pm

    did you know that 73% of statistics are made up on the spot? scary huh?

     

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  16.  
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    TheFourFingeredYellowMan, Jul 19th, 2006 @ 2:07am

    Anything can be proven with statistics... 40% of all people know that

     

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