Take the latest case of the problem of online sexual predators. Adam at Emergent Chaos discusses a recent report that suggests online predators are not a large problem, and cyber-bullying (among adolescents) is a much bigger issue. Given the expectation that this task force would identify pedophiles as a major problem, some state attorneys general were not happy and are quick to refute the study they commissioned (exercising Cialdini's "commitment and consistency"). Adam concludes: "I'm glad Richard Blumenthal [Attorney General, State of Connecticut] knows the truthy, and isn't going to let facts stand in his way."
Another response from the State of South Carolina points out:
"In South Carolina, Internet Predators pose a clear and present danger to our children. Our Internet Predator Task Force, formed in 2004, has made 147 arrests for online child solicitation with 66 convictions to date with the remainder awaiting trial. Our task force is comprised of 43 state and local law enforcement agencies participating in highly visible sting operations to catch these predators." (hat tip: "dissent" writing in Emergent Chaos comments)
The problem with these numbers is that we don't have any way to evaluate the information. Lest I get caught in my own commitment/consistency bubble, I'd like to understand whether 147 arrests across 43 state and local law enforcement agencies is high or low relative to other types of arrests.