Won’t someone please think of the children?

So says Helen Lovejoy in many episodes of the Simpsons, and so says John Beyer in a Sunday Herald article recently. The article is about the apparant rise in internet related crime, including that shown on internet video sites such as Youtube. Beyer says:

The links between screen violence and unacceptable behaviour in public are well established and that we have continued to tolerate children’s exposure to this sort of material is outrageous.

The links are well established. Of course Beyer has a peer-reviewed study from a well-respected journal to back this claim up.

Well no, he doesn’t. Yet again Beyer confuses correlation with cause, something he seems to have built his career on.

The entire article is well worth a read with opinions from a variety of different people. Perhaps most surprisingly, the most insightful comment comes from Markus Berger de Leon, the Managing Director of Jamster, the mobile phone company that brought you the “pleasure” of the Crazy Frog ringtone.

He points out that although the amount of violent and pornographic material available on the internet has increased, it has only done so in direct proportion to the growth of the entire inernet. In other words, the same percentage of the internet is violence and porn as it was ten years ago and before that. He says:

Any responsible company takes this seriously, but ask the European police forces and they will tell you: is there more paedophilia? No. Are there more rapes and murders? No.

The only thing the internet has done is to bring such unpleasant cases to our attention. The web means that, no matter how far away they happen, every incident is reported around the world.

Absolutely right. There is no increase in violent activity, there is an increase in the reporting of it. And we, at least partially, have the internet to thank for that.

3 Responses to “Won’t someone please think of the children?”

  1. ZombieHunter says:

    Does John Beyer get paid for ding what he does??

    If he does then maybe he should have his funding cut off and should be told to go and get a real job.

  2. Sam says:

    Stephen Green was on Radio 5 live on Sunday, on the subject of Gay clergy, his line was “the lack of tolerance is on the homosexual side” that they were trying to force Christians to disobey the scripture.
    He was completely outargued by the Archbishop of Cape Town who said “incorrect interpretation of the scriptures was used to justify slavery and apartheid”

  3. Stuart says:

    I trust the fact that Green is an insatiable personification of intolerance wasn’t lost on listeners…