Operationalize the Harm

[content warning: discussion of paedophilia, homophobia]
 
I’ve been trying to expand my filter bubble these last few months. I’ve been watching some right-wing YouTubers, and while some of them have alright commentary, a lot of it seems not backed up by numbers at best. For example, I was watching a video talking about how leftist politics is incubating some growing movement of activists trying to get people to accept non-offending paedophiles coming out and seeking help in public, and praising them as virtuous for doing so. Examples of these things happening are given to prove they technically exist, but these things blow up in the news and get blown out of proportion. For all manner of reasons one might oppose a public policy of paedophiles seeking treatment in this way, and it’s easy to see how a virtual mass hysteria can be generated, and stereotypes perpetuated.
 
That there are a non-zero number of politically left-wing activists also part of this paedophilia acceptance(?) movement isn’t useful data about how big or imminent a threat it is, or what kind of threat it is so as to effectively address it. These moral panics seem pretty standard in the news cycle these days. It’s hard to tell which ones are actively the worst. The same sort of thing happens on the left. Some people on the left have been using the actions of the Westboro Baptist Church to stereotype all manner of American Christians for years. That’s despite the fact the Westboro Baptist Church is a small but loud organization which does all sorts of things all manner of Christian would reject anyway. I guess you could say, technically, this means there are a non-zero number of right-wing activists who are dangerously homophobic, but that hardly means there’s a threat of the tide turning against progressive popular opinions overnight. The same goes for these paedophilia activists.

We need to substantiate the claims of alleged threat with evidence, because if we end up very wrong, it’s just a waste of resources on top of everything else.

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