Jim Metrock to Channel One’s Paul Folkemer – Stop Advertising About.com to Kids, NOW!

January 17, 2001

Note: January 18, 2001 – At approximately 11:45 CDT, ChannelOne.com removed banner ads for About.com’s Teen Site from all its pages. Obligation has received no reply from Dr. Folkemer so there is no way to know if this is temporary or permanent. This is a positive move by ChannelOne.com. We do not know if Channel One News has stopped running ads for About.com.

Dear Dr. Folkemer:
You have approved the advertising of violent movies on Channel One, such as – Supernova, The World is Not Enough, and The Mummy. These movieshave brought violence into the lives of schoolchildren. Most recently, you sadly chose to allow an inane "pot-head" movie, "Dude, Where’s My Car?", which normalized drug abuse among young people, to be heavily advertised on Channel One News in December 2000. You will have to live with those decisions. That harm has done. I write you today to implore you to stop the current Channel One commercials and banner ads for About.com’s Teen site.

You have already seen About.com’s advice on drinking and drugs. About.com’s guide wants children not to drink or take drugs but if they are going to do so, he wants to give them tips about how to "drink responsibly" and "take drugs responsibly."

If you explore the Teen Advice site you will be shocked. I hope. The sexual content of this site makes it quality for "adult site" status.
Here is a link to About.com’s "Pagan Religions for Teens" section. http://teenadvice.about.com/teens/teenadvice/cs/paganreligions/index.htm?terms=wiccan When I brought up this witchcraft information to the About.com guide, Mike Hardcastle, he called me a "bigot."
Do you agree with Mr. Hardcastle? Do you think opposing teen witchcraft information on a children’s web site is a sign of a "bigot"?
Dr. Folkemer, I urge you to take an afternoon off and make an extensive tour through this Teen site that you are advertising to unsuspecting children. You owe those children that, at the very least. I feel sure that you will discontinue the advertising of About.com after you see the content.
I hope that you treat this email seriously. If you simply call somebody and they take the teen witch content off and think that is enough, you aren’t taking this seriously. This deserves your immediate attention. If you don’t give it attention now, you most certainly will later when you stand up and defend Channel One in front of a local school board.

Jim Metrock

President of Obligation, Inc.

More sleaze from Channel One’s new partner, About.com Teen Site. Evidently, nothing is held back on the About.com Teen Site. Any person can create content like this poll that was on the teen message board:

 Girls how was your first time making love?
OK, but not great
Great, with oral sex before sex

this is typical of the vulgar content that is presented to children as they visit this site promoted by their schools.

About.com’s Teen Advice site provides children with a convenient Age of Consent chart. Parents can’t be trusted and are rarely mentioned as ones to go to with problems, get the full treatment in About.com’s "Scare Tactics." The About.com guide sets the record straight on how parents "bend" the truth about drugs and alcohol. It appears that anyone can go on the web and give children advice. What is different about this web site is that it is being promoted to 8 million children in their classrooms. If Channel One stops the ads, we will let the public know.