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Archive for February 19th, 2016

It’s important that we look at data and try to shed our assumptions about what we expect and actually pay attention to what the data is actually telling us.  –  Emily Kennedy

It’s been a while since I demolished a bogus anti-whore study, and one of these days I may get around to doing it again.  But today I’m going to do the next best thing, which is to demolish a mainstream article about an anti-whore study and mock its utterly ridiculous assumptions…of which it has many, despite today’s epigram being pulled from the very end of the article.  But writer Emmanuelle Saliba isn’t shy; she starts with the stupid from the very first line:

It’s long been debated whether the Super Bowl is the biggest single driver of sex trafficking in the U.S…

My Little PonyNo, actually it hasn’t; a conflict between actual facts and a myth which flies in the face of such facts, including data collected by the believers themselves, cannot be dignified by the word “debate”.  One might as well speak of a “debate” between those who say My Little Pony is a kid’s show and toy franchise, and those who claim it’s a depiction of real beings and events.

…the focus on football’s marquee event may be disguising the extent to which other major public gatherings and events contribute to the problem, according to a first-of-its-kind study…which…examined patterns in more than 32 million online personals ads published around the time of 33 major public events in the U.S. and Canada since October 2011.  By identifying “new-to-town” or “first-appearance” ads for female escorts and related services, the researchers sought to determine what percentage of the ads appeared to be linked to sex trafficking…

This not only isn’t “first-of-its-kind”, it’s been done to death.  Every clueless economist and opportunistic “sex trafficking” academic in the country imagines they can cull mystical information from escort ads like a gypsy reading tea leaves, and the magical algorithms are all based on the half-witted assumptions that A) the claims made in escort ads are truthful; B) that every escort has only one ad; and C) that “pimps” write and place the ads because whores are much too stupid to advertise or plan tours for ourselves.  Since none of those is true except in a minority of cases, any methodology based on them is approximately as valuable as the paper hanging from a roll next to your toilet.  And any “study” based on that methodology is approximately as valuable as the matter that paper is intended to remove.

The results found that while there was a considerable increase in the number of such ads surrounding the Super Bowl, other events like a Memorial Day motorcycle rally…and various industry conferences had a bigger impact than expected, suggesting that resources devoted to combating the problem of forced prostitution have been misdirected…

We’ve been telling these idiots that their efforts are misdirected for over a decade now, but never mind that.

“It is possible that lawmakers, researchers, law enforcement and first responders who overcommit to Super Bowl are missing other events or occurrences of large-scale activity related to sex trafficking,” said Emily Kennedy, one of the report’s researchers…Previous research has shown that traffickers and pimps use online classified services like Backpage.com to advertise their victim’s sexual services…

No, “research” has shown no such thing; prohibitionist propaganda has repeatedly claimed it, but the actual evidence is that coerced prostitution is a phenomenon representing a single-digit percentage of sex workers.  Of course, cops and other profiteers won’t accept that because it’s much more lucrative to pretend otherwise:

To the untrained eye these ads are nothing more than escorts looking to offer services.  But to law enforcement agents, keywords like “young” and “no pimps” can be indicators that the person in the photo is a trafficking victim rather that someone who knowingly entered the illicit trade.

OthelloRead that again, slowly.  Once a cop is “trained” (i.e. indoctrinated), any word in any ad can be an “indicator”.  When the only tool you have is a hammer, every pic in a hooker ad is really the person who placed the ad, and “no pimp” means “pimp”.  I’m also reliably informed by “sex trafficking experts” that “mature” means “underage”, “downtown” means “suburbs” and “no drama” means the escort and her “pimp” will entertain you with a performance of the climactic scene of Othello.

One previous study surrounding the 2014 Super Bowl in New Jersey concluded that more than 83.7 percent of the ads screened likely involved sex trafficking victims, including 5 percent who were minors…

That would be this ridiculous farce by Dominique “Body Fluids” Sepowitz, which Saliba claimed didn’t exist back in the first sentence of this fiasco.  Sepowitz, like Kennedy, found exactly what she was paid to find:  lots and lots of “trafficked sex slaves”, despite the dearth of such creatures in the real world.  The way they do it is simple: design a “study” to find whatever it is they want to find, and then ignore all data that tends to disprove the hypothesis:

…one finding from the study was especially puzzling.  Data showed that the biggest unexpected increase in ad activity during the study period occurred on May 23, 2015, in Vancouver, British Columbia, when the incidence of “new-to-town” sex ads skyrocketed even though there was no major event occurring in the city.  Kennedy said researchers had no explanation for the spike, but “hope to tease out some of these things” in a future study.  In the meantime, Kennedy said she hopes the study will open eyes about the extent of sex trafficking in the U.S…

Sure, honey, and I hope the fact that you just blew off a finding that invalidated your methodological assumptions will “open eyes” about the junk science used to invent big, scary numbers about the “extent of sex trafficking in the U.S.”  But I’m not holding my breath.

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