August 26, 2008
Fighting the flood of unchallenged parental advice and unsubstantiated assertions on the Internet, a new site called OpposingViews.com offers a media platform where experts state their case and defend their views. The result? Parents have a place to go on the web to help them understand the complex questions they face each day.
Covering subjects such as education, health and nutrition, discipline, child safety and special needs, Opposing Views asks experts specific questions on topics like spanking, concealed weapons in schools, vaccines and autism, food safety and sex education - and the experts then make their argument, allowing parents to see all sides of "the truth" and make better decisions.
Authorities like the National Autism Association, Teen Aid, the American Public Health Association, PETA and the National Rifle Association (NRA) have participated in debates.
Squaring off against the American Public Health Association, non-profit Teen Aid argues for abstinence-only sex education, saying parents "do not understand that contraceptives are being promoted to underage students promising no parental involvement or information under current confidentiality laws." APHA responds.
Taking on the NRA, the Legal Community Against Violence, a public interest law center, calls for tougher gun laws by saying "Children and young people up to 24 years of age constitute over 40 percent of all firearm deaths and non-fatal injuries each year." The NRA has its own argument.
Opposing Views debates give people a forum to learn about all sides of the issue directly from the experts. Users can also comment, discuss issues with each other, vote on the discussion, rate the debate and gather more information on the expert's site. In the near future, consumers will be able to directly ask experts their own questions. Each debate goes three rounds.
"Being a parent of young twins, I know how many tough decisions parents face each day. From vaccines to choosing the right school, I'm constantly looking for reliable information that will help me raise my children," said Russell Fine, founder and CEO of Opposing Views. "Opposing Views gives consumers a chance to see direct interaction between well-known and credible experts on issues they care about."
Opposing Views features more than 100 experts and organizations debating important issues on the economy, same-sex marriage, euthanasia, free trade and religion.