Statistical Stupidity: 95% Of All Lazy Journalists Believe That 88% Of All Homemade Porn Ends Up Online

from the that-cannot-possibly-be-true dept

We are often told that we need mega-media news organizations because they, unlike their smaller internet bretheren, are more trustworthy because they fact-check. This is a repeated premise (despite example after example after example showing that it just isn't true), which is why some folks may still be surprised when an organization like CBS can botch their reporting so horrifically. Witness their reporting of a new study put out by the Internet Watch Foundation concerning explicit images that end up on so-called parasite websites.
Eighty-eight percent of homemade pornography, including videos and still images, finds its way onto porn sites, often without the owners’ knowledge, a new study from Britain’s Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) has found.
The study analyzed more than 12,000 sexually explicit images uploaded by young people and found that the great majority of images had been stolen and published to what the organization calls, “parasite” websites.
If you read that first sentence, the one that says that 88% of all homemade pornography ends up online, and didn't immediately begin laughing at the sheer silliness of that number, you're a stronger person than I am. Now, granted, being both a horribly ugly pasty white and being, at best, mildly attractive, I'm not someone prone to taking pictures of my man-junk, nor mid-coitus. But what the hell? Eighty-eight percent? There's no way that could possibly be true.

And, of course, it isn't true. Nor is it even what the report concluded. What it actually concluded was that 88% of explicit images uploaded to the internet end up on parasitic websites. Now, that claim may still be inflated, but it isn't as outlandishly inflated as CBS made it sound. This isn't to say that major media should be 100% accurate all the time, but to claim that journalism will die if this kind of reporting goes away is the kind of over-exaggerated false claim that you would expect...well...I guess CBS to make.

So keep this story in your back pocket for the next time someone tells you how much we need mega-media news because they fact-check. Also make sure you throw some random made up statistics at that person. Hell, if they love major news media so much, there's a 43% chance that they'll believe them one-half of the time. Every time.

Filed Under: journalism, porn, statistics


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. icon
    byte^me (profile), 25 Oct 2012 @ 11:38am

    Re:

    Really? I thought it was 83% of all stats are made up on the spot.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: Copying Is Not Theft
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.