Group Behind Biased Online Alcohol Survey Drunk On Misinformation

from the we-have-a-nice-bottle-of-bs-'87 dept

Last week, we reported on a survey that showed very few kids were ordering booze online. The survey was backed by a trade group with an obvious interest in getting online alcohol sales banned again, and pretty completely undermined their claims that sites selling booze were significantly contributing to the drunken delinquency of America’s youth — but that didn’t stop the group behind the survey from claiming otherwise, and plenty of news outlets took the bait. Now, the Wall Street Journal’s numbers guy, Carl Bialik, has taken on the survey in his weekly column that examines statistics in the news, poking some huge holes in the surveys and the conclusions the group drew from it: the sample wasn’t particularly representative of all teens, and the group focused on a stat about kids who said they knew somebody that had bought alcohol online, then extrapolated their claim of “millions” of kids being online boozehounds. The company that was hired to administer the survey even admits that the claims made by the group that paid for it really can’t be made from the data they collected, but the trade group issued their overblown, truth-bending, apocalyptic press release anyway. Who needs push polls when you can just do any old survey, ignore the results and make wild claims based on your bias and predetermined outcome?

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Comments on “Group Behind Biased Online Alcohol Survey Drunk On Misinformation”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

the point of the article is that a bunch of teenagers *aren’t* getting drunk due to ordering alcohol online. so, you’re basically just as bad as the people who made wild claims based off a survey that said the exact opposite. your provide no proof taht this even a problem. why do you always try to act like some genius by putting some words into google, getting some sort of result and posting it back as if it were your own thoughts? you’re probably a 17 year old kid with no background in anything. you’ve yet to ever show you have any background knowledge in any subject you’ve touched upon, everything seeming like it was gleened from a web search, never probing deeply into anything.

Ric says:

No dorpus, we should make drinking legal for teens, that way they are not disenfrancised for adult culture. Adults drink, most casual adult social settings involve drinking, and teens are stuck in limbo, far beyond little league and barbie, but legally barred from normal adult social interaction. So they make their own culture, instead of drink a few beers with friends, like a responsable 20-something. They hide out in basements downing handles of hard liquor, because of its transport/hidability, and then drive home drunk, because they can’t tell mom and dad they are going to stay over because they have been drinking.

Chirs says:

Amen Ric

The problem with teenage drinking in america is what ric said; a complete disconnect between adult and pubescent behavior. The harder something is to achieve the more desireable it becomes, and because of it kids will do anything to get their hands on booze. Take a look at european countries and how little a problem drinking amongst teens is compared to the US. American families tend to “protect” their youth as much as possible, and when teenagers finaly realize that what mom and dad say has just been a bunch of propaganda, the’ll go out with a bang to celebrate their enlightenment. Go “fight for your country” pushing political agendas, have a child, or start developing lung cancer; but god forbid you have a beer or two in a relaxing environment to help subside your angst.

Todd says:

leave it to the cheeseheads

Since dorpus got us off the point of the article so quickly, I’d like to mention the laws of Wisconsin. They allow minors (i’m not sure if you have to be 16 or 18 or any age) to drink at bars/resteraunts as long as a parent or guardian is with them. This enables older teens to learn responsible drinking habits with their parents. They also loose the lure of drinking just b/c its something you aren’t allowed to do. Having visited Wisconsin and lived near Wisconsin for a few years, it is easy to tell that alcohol is very much apart of the local culture. However, there does not apear to be as much ‘problem drinking’ as other parts of the country i have lived/visited. This policy also encourages responsible parenting, but i guess as other blog entries have suggested, this policy will never get widespread adoption b/c it doesn’t ‘protect the children!’

it’s 5 o’clock somewhere, and i feel like a beer….

KevinG79 (profile) says:

WI = Alcoholics

Yeah, there’s a reason why WI has such an insane policy that lets kids (and it is any age. If you’re 6 and go to a bar with daddy, you can drink all you want. We’re all a bunch of friggen alcoholics. Yes, I live in WI. Have all my life. The little city I grew up in didn’t have much, but you could always find a bar within walking distance. There’s one on every street corner.

This policy teaches kids how to drink responsibly? Not quite. Cause in WI, when you walk into a bar, there’s not a whole lot of “responsible” drinking going on. So, why does WI have so many alcoholics? Cause we’re all depressed white trash hicks who have nothing else to do.

James says:

Its amazing...

… in a country founded on strong principles of freedom how much crap we have to put up with from the zealtous Christians and other “do gooder” types who think they know whats better for you and yours, than you do.

Its completely sickening, the amount of uptight a-holes that exist when it comes to things like alcohol or whom consenting adults want to sleep with or marry.

For christs sake get off the cross, someone needs the wood already.

Eric says:

Free 2 Cents that No One Wants

Does anyone that posts on this site EVER back up their opinions with data, instead of hellfire and brimstone rhetoric? Are we all that emotional that these topics ignite us into making nonsensical claims to aid the injection of our opinions?

I love TD, /., and Wired blogs man. I scan them using GoogleIG just to see what sensationalistic journalists have to say – and what mainstream America has to say back. It’s not pretty – on either side. I’m moving to Australia.

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