Monday, September 28, 2009

What Market Is The Murdoch Media Trying To Reach With Fictitious Stories About Children Having Sex?

It was the biggest story for the Australian online Murdoch media yesterday, so does it matter if it was made up?

From :

From PerthNow :
They look like a symbol of childhood innocence. But these bracelets are part of an "insidious" game that sees primary school kids perform sex.

And it is feared the craze may soon sweep WA.
The exact same story, under the same byline, appeared in the Courier Mail. With a slight change of emphasis to lock in local interest, and concern :
"...these colourful bracelets are behind an "insidious" craze of primary schoolkids performing sex acts that it is feared will soon sweep through Queensland."
WA, Queensland, where will this insidious made-up craze that doesn't drive children into sex spread next?

PerthNow readers were not so easily fooled :
"this is so obviously made up/an urban legend, nice 'news' story"

"'And it is feared the craze may soon sweep WA' a fine example of yellow journalism."

"Stupidest news report I've ever seen. Parents don't be concerned if see kids wearing them it means nothing. Ridiculous!"

"These harmless fashion statments are not promoting the sexualisation of youth - this ill-informed journalist is!"

"Theseare all over the u.k media as well with almost identical headlines andstories.why would adults honestly think 11 year old kids would behaving sex behind sheds because the right bracelet was broken!!Hysterical adults on one side and pedo dreamers with wild fantasies ofdelusion on the other.Leave the kids alone!"
This near daily focus on the alleged sex lives of children by the mainstream media,where the stories more often than not turn out to be totally false, is disturbing to say the least.

Incredibly, this trash also made it into The Australian.

Is this the kind of "quality journalism" News CEO John Hartigan thinks Australians will pay to read online?

CosmicJester notes the only sources for this 'story' appear to be a Facebook page and UrbanDictionary.
If the"journalist" had bothered to google these evil sex bracelets, theywould have found out that they are nothing new and they are mainly amoral panic/urban legend designed to scare dim witted journalists andparents. reveals that this panic goes back till at least 2003 and is a slightly updated urban legend from the 1990's.
UPDATE : The bullshit 'shag bands' story did the trick. It became the most read storyon the CourierMail, and PerthNow websites :