Facebook monkey see, Facebook monkey do.

Apparently.

Facebook 'increases teenage drugs and alcohol abuse '

Teenagers who regularly use Facebook, Myspace and other social networking sites are much more likely to drink, smoke and use marijuana, a study of 1,000 children indicates.

It found those who used such sites daily were five times more likely to smoke tobacco as those who did not, three times as likely to drink alcohol and twice as likely to use marijuana.

What an excellent study. Kids who use Facebook also smoke, drink and get high. It's nothing to do with the general sociological makeup up people who are likely to take up these vices, it's purely the fault of Facebook itself.

Could it not be that people who smoke and drink are more social animals than those who don't, and are therefore more likely to use Facebook and Myspace? Nah! If people on social media smoke and drink then that has to be the fault of the social media itself.

The poll of 12 to 17-year-olds Americans, conducted by Columbia University, found 70 per cent of those interviewed said they used social networking sites on a typical day, while 30 per cent did not.

With a test group of only 1000 children in America, those results are certainly compelling. Not!

One of the main reasons for going on such sits, besides actually communicating with friends, is to keep tabs on peers by looking at their photographs.
But the study found that pictures of teenagers "drunk, passed out, or using drugs on Facebook and other sites" were "rampant".

Of course this isn't about young people taking up drinking, smoking or drugs, it's about censoring the internet. The web allows a free flow of unchecked communication, ideas and thoughts. That cannot be allowed to continue. We are only supposed to have the kind of free speech that the government grants us. Any other kind must be stamped out, even if they have to go to the lengths of proving that unchecked free speech turns our children into drug addicted alcoholics.

However, parents seemed unaware that browsing such sites could increase their child's likelihood of abusing drink or drugs, with almost nine in 10 believing it did not have an effect on them.

So who has the better idea of how Facebook use affects children? The parents of those children or a 'scientist' who has done a 'study' of a minute section of the population?

Joseph Califano, founder of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, called on operators of Facebook and others to instigate tighter controls to block such photographs.
He said: "The time has come for those who operate and profit from social networking sites like Facebook to deploy their technological expertise to curb such images and to deny use of their sites to children and teens who post pictures of themselves and their friends drunk, passed out or using drugs.

And if they don't? Regulation. And if they do? Probably also regulation as people like this will just say it's not working or they haven't gone far enough.

"Continuing to provide the electronic vehicle for transmitting such images constitutes electronic child abuse."

Oh here we go. Another person who has no idea of what the term 'child abuse' actually means. Just like those who say smoking around children is abuse.

It's a classic strategy. Find something you don't like and find a way to compare it to something that every right minded person finds abhorrent. Disagree with them and you are accused of facilitating child abuse, you monster.

If someone puts a picture of themselves pissed up, on the internet, they are not being abused. If someone else looks at it and has a giggle, they are not being abused either. The argument is ridiculous in the extreme.

The survey also found that one in five teenagers claimed to have been bullied online.

Don't get me started on that.



And in the spirit of this next piece of internet scaremongery, here it is again, for your viewing pleasure, The Daily Mail Picnic.

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