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Sometimes the Truth is More Easily Expressed…through Puppets

This video from a puppet maker in Australia has an interesting take on the fear-mongering that often drives public policy for Internet safety. The video does a good job of putting into perspective the real risk to kids of online predation.


For instance, we often hear the scary statistic that “1 in 5 children are sexually solicited online.” This was based on data originally released by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). It’s since been updated to 1 in 7, which still sounds bad, but not so bad in perspective — what does solicitation mean, and by whom? Well, “solicitation” is broadly defined to mean “unwanted contact.” In the study, it encompasses any unwanted discussion of a sexual nature. But the real perspective comes from learning 90% of this unwanted contact comes from other peers or young adults! So, it’s rarely the creepy perverted middle-age man in a wife beater t-shirt — even though the messaging from many policymakers focuses almost entirely on this scenario.