March 29, 2017

Statement: Twitter Blocks Porn Keywords, Takes Stand Against Cyber-Based Sexual Harassment and Exploitation

Statement by Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of NCOSE


Washington DC – As first reported by HeatStreet, Twitter is now blocking several pornography-related search terms—particularly from results in the “Photos” and “Videos” section of the social media platform. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) commends this improvement but calls for more change.

“It’s encouraging to see a social media platform taking steps to combat the flood of cyber-based sexual harassment and pornography online,” said Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. “We live in a digital age where social responsibility online is often discarded in favor of increasing views, favorites, or retweets. Twitter has a long history of doing just that.  At long last, Twitter is beginning to take responsibility for creating a sexploitation-free online environment. While some argue that Twitter is suddenly “censoring” content, Twitter has long retained a policy against pornographic pictures and videos and is just now taking effective steps to enforce it. Public pressure is mounting on corporate leaders from government officials and the public to take a stand against online sexual exploitation, and Twitter is just the latest company to respond to this prevalent concern.”

“This is the first step in a series of changes Twitter must make,” Hawkins added. “Twitter was listed on NCOSE’s 2017 Dirty Dozen List, which names 12 mainstream contributors to sexual exploitation, because it facilitates distribution of hardcore pornography, as well as allowing pornography- and prostitution-themed accounts to flourish on its site. I hope that Twitter will continue to combat sexually exploitive content on its platform, specifically in its links to the video streaming app Periscope and accounts featuring pornography and/or promoting prostitution.”

NCOSE encourages the public to tweet @Twitter using the hashtag #ThanksTwitter to applaud the company for its improvements.

Learn more about the 2017 Dirty Dozen List at DirtyDozenList.com.

National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Founded in 1962, National Center on Sexual Exploitation is the leading national organization opposing pornography by highlighting the links to sex trafficking, violence against women, child abuse, addiction and more. The organization changed its name from Morality In Media to the National Center on Sexual Exploitation early in 2015 to better describe the organization’s scope and mission, which is to expose the seamless connection between all forms of sexual exploitation.

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