At last Ally Fogg gets somewhat realistic about False Allegations of Rape
Ally Fogg graciously responded to my post on his site and to this article with among other things:
“My problem with you is not just that you have creepy, stalky tendencies, but that you are a really, really shit stalker. It’s not even a challenge. Please mate, you’ve been at this for about 5 years. Get a life of your own, eh?”
During my time posting on Comment is Free I crossed swords more than once with Ally Fogg about the support he gave to those men who constantly claimed that many, sometimes most reports of rape that women made to the police were false. Here he is commenting on Joseph Harker’s article on 24 September 2010:
My only point here is that it is inaccurate and unhelpful to imply that anyone knows the true extent of false allegations – whether they say 3%, 9% or 90%. The best we can ever give is a range of estimates. (my emphasis)
Now apart from a tiny number of seriously disturbed men I cannot recall any poster on CiF, apart from Ally Fogg, ever suggesting that 90% of rape reports are false. Yet time and time again in front of a coterie of male followers, Ally portrayed the tiny number of false allegations as a significant or crucial factor in the overall prosecution of rape. Here he is dismissing the poster Angie123 who had the temerity to challenge him and his “what about the menz” followers.
But what you’re not recognising is that in any discussion about prosecution of rape, the existence of false allegations is a significant factor to be considered. It is a part of the equation – a small, but crucial factor. (My emphasis)
And because Ally Fogg is a statistician the word “significant” has a very precise meaning.
Angie123 responded with a devastating analysis of how the comments section following every article on the subject of conviction rates for rape had been derailed by Ally Fogg and his followers pushing their agenda of false allegations:
You know exactly what happens to rape threads. For the benefit of anybody not playing whatever game this is, looking at six Guardian articles this year, of the first 50 comments, the number of posts concerning false allegations:
29/7/10 – 20
23/5/10 – 9
21/5/10 – 18
16/310 – 18
16/3/10 – 13
20/1/10 – 23
In each case it was by far the single issue dominating the thread and stifled any other subject.
Since this phenomenon is obvious from one glance at the page, I would like to know why the Guardian is letting it happen. Free speech is to be treasured, but there is such a thing as sabotage. Do they not feel any reponsibility, being the one voice that isn’t pushing an anti-woman agenda on rape, that they should actually be that voice? How did it become a carbon copy of the Daily Mail and where now are people supposed to read that some rape claims are genuine?
Not that he has fully reformed his position. Here he is on 14 March 2013 writing in the New Statesman:
What do we know for sure about false allegations? Very little, beyond the fact that they do sometimes occur. In a judicial system that requires conviction beyond all reasonable doubt it is almost academic whether the proportion is one in a hundred or one in ten…. (My emphasis)
I suppose we should be grateful that he’s not repeated his earlier figure of nine in ten. But we do know enough about false allegations to dismiss his 90% figure as nonsense. Here’s Baroness Stern:
How common are false allegations? It is not possible to establish an exact figure and the research that is available gives a wide range of suggested percentages. Some research suggests that a figure of eight to ten per cent of reported rapes could well be false reports. However, those we spoke to in the system felt that there were very few. A Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) lawyer told us, ‘They are extremely rare. I have been prosecuting for 20 years, and have prosecuted for a false allegation once.’ The judges we talked to said these cases occur very infrequently. An experienced police officer had come across two such cases in 15 years.
Nine per cent of reported cases were designated false, with a high proportion of these involving 16- to 25-year-olds. However, closer analysis of this categoryapplying Home Office counting rules reduces this to three per cent.
So when Ally Fogg writes an article “How not to write about false rape allegations” he might just have included some examples from his own extensive collection of contributions on the subject.