How To Debunk A Fact-Free Fox News Fearmongering Piece About New Video Game

from the a-few-options dept

I'm admittedly late to the game in discussing the (unintentionally) hilarious Fox News fearmongering attack on the new video game BulletStorm, that (among other things) quotes someone suggesting that it will lead children to rape women because certain actions in the games (which includes no sex) include "sexual" names. For example, shooting someone's torso off is called "topless," while killing a bunch of enemies in one shot is called a "gang bang." A bunch of folks submitted this story last week, but I only had a chance to read it now, and... wow. It's a "classic" in the almost totally fact-less genre of how video games will lead children to their doom.

Since I'm so late to the story, rather than directly going through all of the laughable (or downright false) claims directly, I'll simply point to three of the best debunkings that were done to show you how to properly debunk this type of thing:
  • There's the straightforward debunking, done by folks like Winda Benedetti at MSNBC, which calmly and rationally responds to many of the claims that Fox News reporter John Brandon made in the original review (or quoted people to make). For example, Brandon quotes Carole Lieberman, a psychologist, who claims that "The increase in rapes can be attributed in large part to the playing out of [sexual] scenes in video games." The only problem? As video games have become more popular, rape rates have gone down.

  • If that's not enough of a debunking, John Walker, over at the RockPaperShotgun blog went with a dig deeper debunking, in which he contacted folks quoted by Brandon in the article, and discovered (surprise, surprise) that Brandon appears to have selectively chosen his quotes in at least some of the cases, to make "experts" say something quite different than what they really said. Walker got the full email interview that Brandon did with Billy Pidgeon, a video game analyst with M2 Research, which Brandon uses to suggest that the game won't sell well, since people aren't interested in such violence. But that's not what Pidgeon said at all. In fact, Brandon mixed and matched parts of Pidgeon's answer to have him "say" something quite different than what he actually said. On top of that, Walker's research shows the way that Fox News approached this story, asking incredibly leading questions.

    Update: In the comments, Patrick points out that Walker has posted another "dig deeper" debunking of Carole Lieberman's "research" to attempt to prove her claims. It's a long and thorough takedown.

  • And, finally, we have the absolutely epic takedown debunk, as done by Eddy at Botchweed, where he did a giant image of the entire Fox News piece, overlayed with his own commentary (including a chart showing the rape rates declining next to the quote mentioned above). Here's just a snippet of the image, but you should see the whole thing:
So there you go. When someone like Fox News publishes a ridiculously wrong and misleading attack on video games, three perfect templates for debunking.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Pickle Monger (profile), Feb 15th, 2011 @ 11:08am

    Fox News? Really? Can't be...

    I remember watching the Kenny Centre Honours and one of the presenters, while introducing Jon Stewart (or Stephen Colbert?), has described him by saying "He has done for news... what Fox News has done for news."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Feb 15th, 2011 @ 11:49am

    It's Fox News

    It's Fox News. They make their mark by fear mongering.

    I was just reading their article on how Anonymous release the source code for stuxnet. They spent the entire article saying how it's practically going to destroy the planet. Didn't even once mention that now the source code is out, it can be protected against. I bet security companies are dancing at the release (well, not HBGary who had it in the first place).

    The really sad thing is that some people believe their crap. The writers don't believe it, but some of their readers are dumb enough to.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    kisune (profile), Feb 15th, 2011 @ 11:55am

    Reading the comments that Eddy made about the article, I have to agree with most of them. I worked at a Gamestop for awhile. It was actually a weird twisted pleasure for me and my coworkers to tell younger kids they couldn't buy a game because they were too you or to explain to parents what exactly an "M" rating meant (one grandmother was told by her 10 y.o. grandson that "M" stood for monkeys). So, the theory that these games are in the hands of mythical 9 year olds is a bit much for me. I don't think that the the employees of an establishment should be the sole gateway to kids buying games that may be too graphic for them. What happened to parents actually caring? I mean really, the box clearly states the rating. If you decide that your kid can play it when you buy it for them, don't come complaining later when you find it out may have cursing or gratuitous violence. You should have read the box in the first place.

    With all of that said, I fully support the game developers decision to make and market these types of games even though I don't play them myself.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    Patrick (profile), Feb 15th, 2011 @ 11:56am

    John Walker debunks the story (again)

    John Walker at RPS just published a followup to his original debunking post. In this one he requests, receives, and then breaks down the studies originally referenced (then later provided) by Dr. Carole Lieberman. Its very thorough, detailed and quite long.

    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/02/15/bulletstormgate-lieberman-offers-evidence/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Phillip, Feb 15th, 2011 @ 12:02pm

    Rating systems

    Yeah, I mean obviously the ESRB system for game ratings is far inferior to the movie version. I mean we have all these 9 year old kids playing violent video games, but fortunately no one underage has seen an R-rate movie.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    icon
    crade (profile), Feb 15th, 2011 @ 12:04pm

    "The ERCB Rating isn't working [and the ones on movies work fine]"
    It's true, I sent a 9 year old to the mall by themselves, and they were able to get bulletstorm with his 50$ (which I gave him for the experiment of course, no 9 year old has that kind of money) but when he tried to get killbill out of the 2 for 6$ bin, a gang of security tackled him because of the rating.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Feb 15th, 2011 @ 12:20pm

    Damn it!

    "The only problem? As video games have become more popular, rape rates have gone down."

    Oh Christ, here we go....

    (j/k Rose! Please don't kill me!)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    puggugly, Feb 15th, 2011 @ 12:21pm

    "news"

    Unfortunately, this is true of most "news" sources these days. It's just that only Fox gets lit up because the rest report with a left-leaning bias whereas Fox is considered to be right/conservative. Do the same fact checking on a lot of news stories from different sources and you'll find this to be pretty common - unfortunately.

    As for sexual references to non-sexual things...I've lost count of how many times the "mainstream" media has referred to members of the Tea Party as Teabaggers on news shows - I wonder if any of the reporters have a clue what that term refers to.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    Berenerd (profile), Feb 15th, 2011 @ 12:24pm

    Re: Rating systems

    When I saw "Watchmen" in the theater near the front was 2 mothers and 6 kids ages 5-10 years old. they stormed out half way through because of the violence and sex. I thought to myself "its your own damned fault, it said the movie was rated R for god sakes!"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    icon
    Anonymous Coward (profile), Feb 15th, 2011 @ 12:24pm

    Wow just look at their logo and laugh

    I can't embed the logo due to the html limitations, but click thru here to see it in use: http://www.foxnews.com/. This is a link to just the logo: http://www.foxnews.com/static/all/img/head/logo-foxnews.png. If this reporting is "Fair and Balanced", I'd really hate to see what happened if they weren't.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    icon
    Chris Rhodes (profile), Feb 15th, 2011 @ 12:29pm

    Re: Damn it!

    I've actually been waiting for her take on this particular story. Should be interesting.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2011 @ 12:35pm

    Re: "news"

    Give us one example of a mainstream news outlet using the word 'teabagger.' Just one, please.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Jeff, Feb 15th, 2011 @ 12:35pm

    Who's looking at this data?

    I like how we're told a kid playing a video game can be turned into a serial murdering rapist with no evidence to back it up. All the while we've seen combat soldiers returning from war for the past century with actual psychological damage. If the games were so god-awful wouldn't soldiers already be desensitized to war that they wouldn't feel anything from seeing their buddy or even the enemy turn into red mist in front of their eyes?

    Granted video games are a recent addition to comics, music, sexual orientation, they are all the downfall of our society if we don't pass law "x".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2011 @ 12:38pm

    The "rape rate" graphics is wonderful, but somewhat misleading. It is "rapes per 1000", not total rapes.

    Consider:

    http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2008/12/18/us-soaring-rates-rape-and-violence-against-wo men

    Further, you have to consider the lack of reporting of rape, the acceptance of rape in certain segements of society as "normal", and related issues.

    The numbers aren't exactly adding up.

    Not to support Faux News, they are lying pieces of left over poop. But sometimes people run to fast to slam them by doing the same thing that they do, misusing data. Sort of the Masnick Effect at war with itself.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2011 @ 12:50pm

    Re: "news"

    I bet if you check you will find that all the talking heads who call the Tea Party Teabaggers have seen the John Waters movie "Pecker".
    So yes they do have a clue, just not to the totality of the first Amendment to the Constitution.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    PlagueSD, Feb 15th, 2011 @ 12:51pm

    Re: Wow just look at their logo and laugh

    Actually, I'm glad you didn't embed the logo. That's all techdirt needs is for Fox News claiming trademark infringement...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    icon
    Chris Rhodes (profile), Feb 15th, 2011 @ 12:51pm

    Re:

    The "rape rate" graphics is wonderful, but somewhat misleading. It is "rapes per 1000", not total rapes.

    Err, wouldn't you want to use a rate for comparison, rather than a total? Otherwise your results won't make sense.

    Which country has a bigger problem with rape: The country that has 1,000 rapes in a population of 10,000,000, or a country that has 999 rapes in a population of 1,000?

    Further, you have to consider the lack of reporting of rape, the acceptance of rape in certain segements of society as "normal", and related issues.

    You think rapes are reported less often these days than in days gone by? If anything, I would think they would be reported more often, which would make this graph even more compelling.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    icon
    Tom Landry (profile), Feb 15th, 2011 @ 12:55pm

    we've seen this all before.

    The problem isn't the article, the problem is the amount of attention its getting. The author of the piece knows full well what he's doing because this shit gets repeated a couple of times a year.

    A totally over-the-top negative piece is written about videogaming. Add oversensitive fans rushing to set things right to the author, author sits backs and laughs while his piece shoots to the top of the op/ed charts with very little work on his/her part. Traffic peaks at Fox.com and the author gets a pat on the back.

    ??=

    Profit

    In other words, the guy just trolled game-dom and many fell for it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2011 @ 12:56pm

    Re: Re:

    The question isn't "increase in rapes per thousand" but "increase in rapes". Are there or are there not more rapes in the US today than 10 years ago?

    Actually, if you dig around, you can find plenty of reports and news pieces regarding the decrease in reporting of rapes. Snitches get stitches and all that crap plays heavily in many parts of the world.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Feb 15th, 2011 @ 1:03pm

    Re: Re:

    "You think rapes are reported less often these days than in days gone by? If anything, I would think they would be reported more often, which would make this graph even more compelling."

    I'm telling you, you're making it worse....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    icon
    Chris Rhodes (profile), Feb 15th, 2011 @ 1:06pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    The question isn't "increase in rapes per thousand" but "increase in rapes". Are there or are there not more rapes in the US today than 10 years ago?

    Why in the world would that be "the question"? It makes no sense to make that comparison, as it doesn't tell you anything useful.

    Snitches get stitches and all that crap plays heavily in many parts of the world.

    In many parts of the world? Yes, I'm sure BulletStorm is prepped and ready to increase the rape rate in the Sudan. That's clearly the measuring stick we should be using . . .

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    icon
    weneedhelp (profile), Feb 15th, 2011 @ 1:07pm

    Postal

    After playing Postal it was hard to resist setting ppl on fire then urinating on them to put them out.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    icon
    Chris Rhodes (profile), Feb 15th, 2011 @ 1:09pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Making what worse? =P

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    icon
    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Feb 15th, 2011 @ 1:13pm

    Re:

    The sad thing is that it must be done. If it's not, the people who read this and already drink the coolaid or just don't know any better will think it's true because no one fought it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    icon
    Tom Landry (profile), Feb 15th, 2011 @ 1:25pm

    Re: Re:

    Feeling the need to debunk a Fox news piece is like having to convince people the Weekly World News isn't on the up-and-up. The ones who read it and believe are already too far gone.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    icon
    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Feb 15th, 2011 @ 1:31pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    From a purely statistical point of view, it's much better and more scientific to use the PPT (parts per thousand) rate of measurement. You can't compare a select group in a population of millions to the same select group in a population of thousands. The numbers don't add up. You also can't properly compare the numbers from year to year. Total population numbers change greatly from year to year. Statistically one needs to use the PPT numbering.

    There are also many other things you have to take into account. The study you posted is off, to say the least. It only covers domestic violent acts (not just domestic rape). It also only covers a vary small group of people that they chose to ask. When you have a group of people that only make up less then one third of a percent of the total population, the numbers will be wrong. Multiply that mistake by 300 or so, you get vary bad numbers (How do you get 248,000 people raped out of 74,000 people asked?).

    The only numbers you can trust are the ones from the police (to an extent). They had x number of rapes this year compared to x number the next. I can't say for sure, but I believe those are the numbers used in the last report I read about the drop of rape.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2011 @ 1:34pm

    I love how they have an "artist's rendition" of the game instead of a actual screenshot of the demo. That artist's rendition (which looks like a 10 year old made it) is so over the top. Fox news is such a joke. Why people actually watch or read it and believe what they say is beyond me. But then you have an idiot like Glenn Beck on the same station making money with his retarded thinking and tons of people watch him. People are just morons.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    icon
    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Feb 15th, 2011 @ 1:37pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Too many supposedly reputable places repeat this crap. We smack it down at the source, hopefully it doesn't spread. If it does, we already did the leg work on it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2011 @ 1:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The original author said "increase in rapes". They didn't say "increase in rapes PTP" or anything like that.

    What we have here seems to be two groups using the same numbers to prove totally opposing points of view.

    There are more rapes. There are less rapes PTP. Which number do you prefer?

    The point is that the original author, in this narrow little area, is correct. There are more rapes. Slamming them for it is misleading.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    icon
    Chris Rhodes (profile), Feb 15th, 2011 @ 2:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The point is that the original author, in this narrow little area, is correct.

    No, he's not "correct". He was either "wrong" (if he was intending to refer to the rape rate), or "misleading the public" (if he was using total rapes to prop up his argument).

    Ignorant or malevolent. Take your pick.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2011 @ 3:39pm

    If I had to choose, I'd take a guy with a calm, rational rebuttal of every point raised over a guy screaming "INSANELY BIASED, HATEFILLED SCAREMONGERS!!1". As a matter of fact, over-emotional rhetoric like that usually just convinces me that the other side is in the right.
    Of course, if that were the case here, there wouldn't be the deliberate misquoting on Fox News' part. Still, I wouldn't call that last one a "perfect template for debunking".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2011 @ 4:17pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    If you think about it really hard, the population of the US has been steadily increasing. Just stating the number of rapes isn't necessarily going to mean anything and would probably make it appear that the number of rapes per year have gone up. Likely that number has, which is horrible, BUT using the per 1000 as a yardstick you get a much more accurate picture of the number of rapes in relation to population growth.

    It's a good sign if your population goes up, but the percentage of rape victims goes down.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    icon
    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Feb 15th, 2011 @ 4:20pm

    First they came for my energy drinks...

    both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Now they're coming for my rape enablers.

    At some point, I'm going to have to grab the kids and barricade the house before my possession of entertainment console is used as exhibit A that I am unfit to be a parent or part of general society.

    I'll argue that I have a proudly un-hacked PS3 but it won't matter. They'll find the little "M" on half my games and that will be enough.

    The only saving grace is that "they" are pretty busy right now, chasing down every pirate and infringer in the world, hastily assembling various Internet SWAT teams and trying desperately to plug every leaking hole in their rapidly sinking ship with subpoenas and empty threats.

    I did notice in the comments that there seems to be some actual enforcement of the rating system at the game shoppes, so I shan't be sending my little ones out to pick up the latest in mass murdering entertainment. Shame, too. They seemed to like the bright lights and membership cards of the various entertainment purveyors. I guess they'll have to settle for the dimly lit and malodorous thrills of picking up my usual pack of filterless Camels and contraband energy drinks down at the local 7-11.

    Late in the evening we'll gather round the LCD and cheerfully mix metaphors carelessly late into the night. The winner gets to write an incoherent essay in the guise of a comment at their website of choice.

    (I won last night.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    icon
    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Feb 15th, 2011 @ 4:25pm

    Re: It's Fox News

    The really sad thing is that some people believe their crap. The writers don't believe it, but some of their readers are dumb enough to.

    I appreciate the debunking, but unfortunately some people will believe what they want even when given facts.

    As for some of the conservative commentators not believing what they say, yes, I'm sure of that. Sometimes, when you compare their private lives to their public lives, there's quite a bit of disconnect.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Tamara, Feb 15th, 2011 @ 4:55pm

    Re: Wow just look at their logo and laugh

    Early last year they were asked about that and said their news was fair & balanced but their editorial shows the presenters could express their own opinion. They then listed about 10 names - O'Reilly, Holmes, Hanity, Greta, and a tonne of other people - so the names that people actually know don't present fair & balanced news, by the stations own admission

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    woohoo, Feb 15th, 2011 @ 5:58pm

    Re: Re: "news"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    icon
    A Dan (profile), Feb 15th, 2011 @ 6:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "When you have a group of people that only make up less then one third of a percent of the total population, the numbers will be wrong."

    Statistically, the number you ask matters, not really the percentage of the population you're drawing inferences about. The real problem here is that you need the sample to be a random sample of the overall group you're interested in, which is extremely unlikely in this situation. And that's assuming the people you ask all tell the unbiased truth.

    I wouldn't have felt the need to bring it up, except that you were already correcting someone else. I agree with you about the rates, not the totals, being the useful numbers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    anon, Feb 15th, 2011 @ 6:48pm

    You can't fix stupid

    Hey, just keep in mind that everyone, including idiots have opinions just like educated people.... Fox news personel have a wide variety of reporters, but in this case, its someone between the stupid and educated sector. See dumb people don't make sense all together with little to no supporting evidence. Educated people have statements that back up their arguments, usualy in the form of Theory, supporting arguments, conclusion. In this case, we have a half educated person trying to sound smart by following the same format, but fails miseribly since they contort the facts to support their argument.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2011 @ 7:31pm

    too bad my wife watches them

    and believes everything they say. (I signed out so she doesn't find this post attached to my user name - I guess I truly am an anonymous coward.) Because of the fear-mongering sensationalism of Fox News, she is still mad at me for having Mass Effect installed, since according to Fox news it is just a porn simulator. And she flat-out FREAKS if our son has any sort of online interaction in a PC game. I'm searching for evidence that anyone has EVER been harmed by someone stalking them in-game, and if so, compare that to how many people play online. I'm sure the chances of being harmed directly and solely due to online interactions in a game are up there with winning the lottery by finding a ticket on the sidewalk, but without numbers I cannot convince her that playing online is virtually as safe as playing offline.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    icon
    mrtraver (profile), Feb 15th, 2011 @ 7:36pm

    Re: Re: It's Fox News

    I do watch/read Fox News somewhat, just because CNN and most other mainstream media have such a leftist stance on most things. For me the "fair and balanced" comes from reading from several sources and making my own decisions. I don't really completely believe any single news source without knowing and trusting their sources.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    icon
    kehvan (profile), Feb 15th, 2011 @ 11:02pm

    Re: "news"

    Yours are the most intelligent and cogent words I've seen posted on this thread. If any of you people making this a democrat/republican/left/right issue had ANY knowledge of the history of the efforts to censor music, movie and video game content, you'd know that Al and Tipper Gore were in the forefront of this effort in the late 1980's and early 1990's.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    icon
    Paddy Duke (profile), Feb 16th, 2011 @ 5:03am

    Re: too bad my wife watches them

    You could explain to her that, statistically, your son is more likely to be murdered by her than to come to any harm by a stranger they play games with online.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2011 @ 7:16am

    Re: too bad my wife watches them

    Step 1: Just get her to play one for a little while (ideally not an FPS... maybe something like SecondLife or the Sims).

    Step 2: Once she gets hooked she won't have a problem letting your son play, because she'll feel the need to legitimize her addiction.

    Step 3: ???

    Step 4: Profit (except for whatever monthly subscription fee(s) you end up paying).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    icon
    vivaelamor (profile), Feb 16th, 2011 @ 10:21am

    Re: Damn it!

    "(j/k Rose! Please don't kill me!)"

    She's probably far more forgiving than I would be. Probably.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2011 @ 10:58am

    Re: "news"

    To be fair...tea party members have referred to *themselves* as teabaggers teabagging.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    icon
    vivaelamor (profile), Feb 16th, 2011 @ 12:04pm

    Re:

    "The "rape rate" graphics is wonderful, but somewhat misleading. It is "rapes per 1000", not total rapes. "

    It's not misleading. Notice how it's referred to as 'rape rate' rather than 'rape count'.

    "Further, you have to consider the lack of reporting of rape, the acceptance of rape in certain segements of society as "normal", and related issues."

    Yes, you do. For example, the there are serious questions (PDF warning) about the methodology behind the US rape reporting statistics.

    "Not to support Faux News, they are lying pieces of left over poop. But sometimes people run to fast to slam them by doing the same thing that they do, misusing data. Sort of the Masnick Effect at war with itself."

    While some of what you've brought up is correct, the majority of it appears to be a moronic attempt to make Mike look bad. Notably, how you keep insisting that the distinction between rape count and rape rate proves Mike is being misleading, despite the rate being the more appropriate statistic. If you genuinely care about the issue then please work harder to understand it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    icon
    vivaelamor (profile), Feb 16th, 2011 @ 12:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "It's a good sign if your population goes up, but the percentage of rape victims goes down."

    You have to also consider whether the rate is changing consistently across the population. If rape has gone down for the majority but increased significantly in a certain segment then that may be evidence of a bigger problem than a flat increase.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    icon
    vivaelamor (profile), Feb 16th, 2011 @ 12:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "I wouldn't have felt the need to bring it up, except that you were already correcting someone else. I agree with you about the rates, not the totals, being the useful numbers."

    Thank you for beating me to it =)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    icon
    vivaelamor (profile), Feb 16th, 2011 @ 12:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "The study you posted is off, to say the least. It only covers domestic violent acts (not just domestic rape)."

    While you may find something misleading about the linked article, the actual study does distinguish between domestic violence and rape.

    A Dan has already corrected your basic misunderstanding of statistics (I'm no expert either).

    "The only numbers you can trust are the ones from the police (to an extent)."

    I can't make any sense of this statement; why do you trust the police statistics and no others?

    "They had x number of rapes this year compared to x number the next."

    Are you talking about reported crimes? Because that would preclude any unreported rape, let alone incidents where victims didn't classify it as rape.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    icon
    vivaelamor (profile), Feb 16th, 2011 @ 12:47pm

    Re: Re:

    "You think rapes are reported less often these days than in days gone by? If anything, I would think they would be reported more often, which would make this graph even more compelling."

    Rape reporting statistics are really hard to do because apart from the obvious issue of victims not reporting rape possibly not wanting to mention it at all, some incidents may not be considered rape by the victim due to varying definitions.

    While I believe that rape per capita has decreased significantly overall (at least in western society), it is easy to overestimate that decrease by presuming that the reporting rate has gone up with a similar trend to the rape rate going down.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    icon
    vivaelamor (profile), Feb 16th, 2011 @ 12:50pm

    Re:

    "A totally over-the-top negative piece is written about videogaming. Add oversensitive fans rushing to set things right to the author, author sits backs and laughs while his piece shoots to the top of the op/ed charts with very little work on his/her part. Traffic peaks at Fox.com and the author gets a pat on the back."

    Video games are no more to blame than comments on internet forums. There might be a more compelling argument for internet porn, but again there is no evidence to back it up and again the porn tends to seem more of a symptom then a cause (a rape insensitive society produces rape insensitive porn). Fox of all places needs to stop hating on free speech and start setting a better example than employing a bunch of sexist assholes.

    Calling them out as attention trolls seems right on the mark.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    icon
    vivaelamor (profile), Feb 16th, 2011 @ 1:02pm

    Re: Re: "news"

    "If any of you people making this a democrat/republican/left/right issue"

    Is anyone doing that? I get the impression that most commenters here don't trust either 'side' on such issues. Most seem to hate Fox, but that's hardly the same as taking political sides.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    icon
    mrtraver (profile), Feb 16th, 2011 @ 6:44pm

    Re: Re: too bad my wife watches them

    Is that you, Aaron Barr's coder?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Feb 19th, 2011 @ 5:00pm

    Re: Re:

    Easy to show.
    Cars are getting worse gas mileage every year as is indicated by the increase of overall gas consumption. :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This