As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

But Think Of The Children!

Or, rather, think of the distortions we peddle to get you to think of the children!

The Internet may not be such a dangerous place for children after all.

A task force created by 49 state attorneys general to look into the problem of sexual solicitation of children online has concluded that there really is not a significant problem.

The findings ran counter to popular perceptions of online dangers as reinforced by depictions in the news media like NBC’s “To Catch a Predator” series.

Wait, you mean a sensationalized television show doesn't provide the whole story? You mean not everyone on the Internet is a pervert?

Well, blow me down.

“This shows that social networks are not these horribly bad neighborhoods on the Internet,” said John Cardillo, chief executive of Sentinel Tech Holding, which maintains a sex offender database and was part of the task force. “Social networks are very much like real-world communities that are comprised mostly of good people who are there for the right reasons.” [...]

The task force, led by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, looked at scientific data on online sexual predators and found that children and teenagers were unlikely to be propositioned by adults online. In the cases that do exist, the report said, teenagers are typically willing participants and are already at risk because of poor home environments, substance abuse or other problems.

Can't wait until Joe Lieberman gets the news. Think of how great he'll feel to be able to stop endlessly moralizing!

The Internet is "dangerous" in the same respect that walking down the street is "dangerous." The meme was always pushed by over-sensitive figures on the theocratic right who wanted to use fear as a weapon to censor and stifle dissent. It happens to be untrue.

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