Children: Stop Us Before We Chat Again!

from the seems...-questionable dept

Over in the UK, they simply can’t get enough stories about children abducted be people after going into online chat rooms. If you read the news stories, you would think your chances of being abducted about hovering around 50% these days. Are the abductions a problem? Absolutely. But, all these news stories focus on blaming the chatrooms themselves, and not the sick individuals who do the abducting. All the hype about these chat rooms made MSN decide to shut down their chat rooms in the UK in a high profile move last year. Of course, for those who wanted to keep on chatting, they quickly moved onto other chatrooms — many of which were less carefully watched than the MSN chat rooms. Now, however, comes news of a completely pointless “survey” saying that the kids, themselves, want the chat rooms closed for their own protection. Excuse me if I’m a bit confused, but if the kids are so worried about chatrooms… why do they keep going in them? It’s pretty simple to just stay away if you really think it’s a problem. The answer may come from the way in which this “study” was conducted. It turns out that it wasn’t a study at all, but a discussion in “consultation groups” run by the people putting on this study. Double blind, be damned! Anyone who knows anything about investigator bias would immediately question these findings. Basically, you have someone who wants to get a certain response, and then goes into a bunch of children for a “discussion,” and leads them to provide the exact quotes they wanted. It’s not to hard. A leading question here or there. A misleading discussion about current events that gets people worried. Leaving out details or nuances of things. Voila, all the quotes needed for a high profile “study” that is completely meaningless.

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