Technology with attitude

Mainstream Media and Ideological Attacks

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When Professors Cheryl Olson and Lawrence Kutner released their study, Grand Theft Childhood, they no doubt understood they would receive strong criticisms from some in the mental health field. After all, their failure to find violent video games a “bane to civilized society” certainly contrasted with many other researchers who sought to categorize these games as such.

Dr. Kutner, in fact, has welcomed such dissent and noted as much in one of conversations. “I have no problem with anything I do being criticized,” stated Kutner, “even being torn to shreds.”

But the Harvard professor also indicated that in welcoming intellectual discourse, he expects critiques to be based in facts. So when PyschCentral.com, a site that bills itself as the Internet’s largest and oldest independent mental health social network, posted a scathing review of Grand Theft Childhood that was factually deficient, the Harvard Professor asked the site editor to take a closer look at the editorial.

Within the matter of 18 hours of the request, the respected site pulled the editorial written by Joanne Cantor, Ph.D. Before taking the bold action of dropping the article, the editor of the website apparently called in a couple of outside reviewers to take a look at Cantor’s assertions. When the reviewers had completed their task, the site acknowledged that the editorial “was not up to the usual standards we look for in our editorial content. There were also questions about specific assertions and accusations….”

Full story.