No corporation should profit from or facilitate sexual exploitation.
Unfortunately, many well-established brands, companies, and organizations in America do just that. Since 2013, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation has published an annual Dirty Dozen List to name and shame the bad corporate actors in America that perpetuate sexual exploitation—whether that be through pornography, prostitution, and sex trafficking.
The Dirty Dozen List is an activism tool that has instigated tremendous changes, leading to policy improvements at Google, Hilton Worldwide, Verizon, Walmart, and the Department of Defense (see more below!)
NCOSE announced the 2017 Dirty Dozen List on February 22 via a live online press conference. You can watch a recording of the press conference below.
At the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, we work for a world where the pornified vision of reality—with its raw, brutal, debasing, hate-filled themes—becomes intolerable to all those who have concern for the well-being of humanity, respect for human dignity, and affirm human rights. We work for a world where human beings are not bought and sold for sex, whether on seedy street corners or via the modern convenience of the Internet. We work for a world free from sexual exploitation in all its forms.
One way we do this is through the annual “Dirty Dozen List,” which names and shames a range of actors who contribute significantly to the normalization of pornography, prostitution, sex trafficking, and other forms of sexual exploitation. The groups, agencies, and businesses named to this list are among the nation’s worst for masquerading as mainstream entities with respectable reputations, while facilitating access to, or pandering and profiting directly from pornography and or prostitution. Others push policy agendas that normalize egregious forms of sexual exploitation. This list ensures that their participation and collusion with the various aspects of the sex trade becomes public knowledge, and equips concerned citizens with information and tools to hold them accountable.
We will continue naming and shaming until these mainstream contributors to the normalization of sexual exploitation no longer stand in allegiance with pornographers, sex traffickers, and sex buyers, and join us in fighting for the right of everyone to live sexploitation free lives.
The Dirty Dozen Watch List serves dual purposes. In some instances, it puts entities on notice that they may soon find themselves named as a major contributor to sexual exploitation unless they demonstrate significant and sustained efforts to address their role in fueling sexual exploitation. In other cases, by placing an organization on the Watch List, NCOSE is affirming an entity’s positive step towards addressing its role in sexual exploitation. However, because some such steps represent only small progress in terms of the entity’s total contribution to sexual exploitation, or because we may have concerns about the entity’s intent to carry through with its pledge, placement on the Watch List also signals our lingering concerns about their commitment to ending sexual exploitation.
In 2015, Hyatt Hotels Corporation followed other major hotel chains in pledging to remove all on-demand hardcore pornography offerings from its hotels. But some of its hotels are still offering hardcore pornography. Will Hyatt carry through with its pledge to remove this material from all its properties?
For the past eight years, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) refused to enforce existing federal obscenity laws (hardcore pornography) despite the fact that these laws have been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court and previously enforced. This gross negligence gave a free pass to producers and distributors of pornography and enabled the culture of sexual exploitation to flourish. Will the new leadership at DOJ take robust action against the purveyors of obscenity?
Verizon profits from sexual exploitation by providing hardcore pornography as an Internet service provider, through its FiOS television packages, and as a wireless carrier. They have even defended child, rape, incest, and racist-themed pornography as a benefit to their customers. However, Verizon has taken a step toward curbing its participation in sexual exploitation by creating an opt-in system for new subscribers to FiOS IPTV services. Does this step mark the beginning of Verizon’s journey towards becoming a sexploitation-free corporation?
American Apparel stopped using nudity and sexually explicit advertising for its clothing line and took extensive measures to remove these types of ads from its online and print catalogues.
Backpage.com, a large classified ad website notorious for facilitating prostitution and sex trafficking, recently blocked its prostitution ads in the U.S. While arguably a publicity stunt, this move was taken due to intense pressure for its role as a facilitator of sex trafficking. However, the site continues to operate and is arguably the largest facilitator of sexual exploitation in the world. For these reasons Backpage remains of the Dirty Dozen list for a third consecutive year.
Carl’s Jr., one of four brands under CKE Restaurants including Hardee’s, has announced that it will stop producing hyper-sexualized, misogynistic ads for their fast food products.
CKE Restaurants received substantial negative press for their demeaning ads after being placed on NCOSE’s 2015 Dirty Dozen List.
Comcast improved usability and tightened the parental control settings for cable users. However Comcast is still distributing hardcore pornography, which is why it is on the 2017 Dirty Dozen List.
The Department of Defense stopped the sale of pornography in all Army and Air Force base exchanges. The DOD also ordered regular search and removals of all sexual materials in public and workspaces take place for all military branches.
Facebook has taken steps to improve efforts to block and report child pornography on its site.
The Fifty Shades of Grey film release was met with substantial opposition, including a viral social media campaign and hundreds of PR interviews to highlight how the series and film normalizes sexual violence. NCOSE’s 2017 social media campaign against the cinematic sequel, Fifty Shades Darker, reached more than 1 million individuals with the message that #FiftyShadesIsAbuse.
Google adopted a policy to prohibit pornographic ads and any ads that link to websites with sexually explicit content.
GooglePlay instituted policies that prohibit pornographic apps in their app store after the first year on our list, though lax enforcement of this policy followed. After a second year on the list, GooglePlay removed all apps in violation.
Hilton Hotels Worldwide publicly announced it would stop selling pornography and issued orders to implement this policy in all of its brand contracts around the world. It is expected to be in full-force by July 2016.
Hyatt Hotels & Resorts revised their brand standard to stop profiting from all in-room pornography film offerings and has demanded that all of their properties comply. However, we learned that some Hyatt Hotels are still providing pornography through on-demand offerings. This is why Hyatt Hotels and Resorts in on NCOSE’s 2017 Dirty Dozen Watch List.
InterContinental Hotel Group performed an audit of their more than 4,800 properties around the world and insisted that all hotels immediately cease selling porn films or face the risk of losing good standing as an IGH brand. IHG made this move without having to be publicly named to the Dirty Dozen List.
Marsh Supermarkets, a chain of produce markets and convenience stores in Indiana and Ohio, removed Cosmopolitan magazine from its checkout lanes. As a result, Marsh customers can enjoy a sexploitation free checkout experience.
Snapchat recently announced that it will prohibit sensitive content, including overly sexualized content, within Discover, the publisher section of the app. However, given the extremely pornified atmosphere of Discover which Snapchat allowed to flourish, and other serious concerns about sexual exploitation on Snapchat, the company remain on the Dirty Dozen list.
Twitter is now blocking several pornography-related search terms—particularly from results in the “Photos” and “Videos” section of the social media platform. Twitter must do more to sexually exploitive content on its platform, specifically regarding its video streaming app Periscope and accounts featuring pornography and/or promoting prostitution.
But this recent decision to block blatant searches for pornographic images and videos is a significant break from their past laissez-faire approach and should be commended.
Verizon removed the child-themed and slavery-themed pornographic films they were offering through their FIOS TV. In 2016 Verizon also changed its policy for new FiOS IPTV customers so that they will automatically be offered pornography-free television packages, unless customers specifically request to opt-in to such content. CEO Lowell McAdam told us that they will implement this change in 2017. While we wait to see if policy is implemented, Verizon is on NCOSE’s 2017 Dirty Dozen Watch List.
Walmart, RiteAid, Food Lion and other retailers mandated policies to put the sexually explicit Cosmopolitan magazine behind blinders in their retail shops.
YouTube launched the much safer YouTube Kids app, which gives kids a better protected space to watch age-appropriate videos without risk of being exposed to the violent and sexual content on the official YouTube site. However, YouTube still needs to make significant improvements to its monitoring and reporting systems.
As children head back to school this fall, all of us want to be assured our kids will be in safe environments, right? None of us would want our children introduced to addictive substances like cigarettes or drugs in school, and the same goes for sexually exploitative materials. Yet, children across the nation, in both […]
Too often people feel like they cannot make a difference. The reasons are endless: you don’t have extra money, you live far away, you don’t have the ability to work on these issues full-time, etc. But the National Center on Sexual Exploitation is here to equip and empower you wherever you’re at. Make sure to […]
These actions come after reports reveal Google’s longtime support of Backpage.com, well-known trafficking website Today, Google lobbyists blitzed members of the U.S. Congress with this email asking them to stop their efforts to combat online sex trafficking by amending section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) in the respective bills S. 1693 and H.R. […]
While we’ve had a number of victories, the targets on the 2017 Dirty Dozen List have avoided changing their policies. They are still facilitating sexual exploitation. Examples of minimal progress: Comcast promised to implement changes, but insists on still selling extremely violent pornography. EBSCO Information Services has made some efforts to clean up their K-12 school […]
EDUCATION WEEK A recent dispute over an electronic database used in thousands of schools in the U.S. is a reminder of the precarious balance between access and censorship—especially now that more teachers and schools are using primary sources and online materials to supplement or replace textbooks. The dispute centers on EBSCO, an online databases and resources […]
I have a sign in my office that says simply: “Communicate results.” It’s meant to remind me to tell our supporters the good things we are accomplishing. Yet, things have been happening so fast this year that I find it difficult to honor that command. So, here is a quick update on this last week: […]
Call Comcast Executives! Join Us For An Action Blitz Against This Mainstream Pornography Distributor
Join us for our call blitz to tell Comcast to stop selling hardcore pornography! Comcast is a well-respected mainstream company that provides cable TV, high-speed Internet, and Xfinity video-on-demand. However, Comcast is also a major distributor of hardcore pornography. Through its on-demand videos and premium channel services, Comcast sells pornography with racist themes, incest themes, and teen themes. We […]
*Warning: sexually graphic material discussed, and brief sexualized images are shown in this video. Those of you who have been following our Dirty Dozen List campaign about EBSCO know that this online library database is exposing elementary and middle school students to pornographic and sexually explicit results in online educational resources they’re using for their […]
WATCH THE VIDEO HERE WBRC FOX6 News – Birmingham, AL An investigative report is already making waves, and instigating change. WBRC Fox6 News recently did an exposé about EBSCO Information Services, a school online library database that is on the National Center on Sexual Exploitation’s Dirty Dozen List for its role in exposing elementary and middle school […]
Written by Margo Davison with Lisa Thompson A coalition of groups spearheaded by California-based Consumer Watchdog released an incriminating report entitled How Google’s Backing of Backpage Protects Child Sex Trafficking. The report exposes Google’s multipronged efforts to defend Backpage.com, a website notorious for facilitating prostitution and sex trafficking of women and children. About Backpage With […]