How do ads for pornography appear on a website that provides advice and how-to columns related to cub scouts and boy scouts?
The answer is simple: Amazon.
This issue first came to our attention when a concerned parent reached out to the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. She had stumbled across ads for pornography on a popular Cub and Boy Scouts blog (not affiliated with the official Boy Scouts of America) while researching troop tips.
Disturbingly, this pornography promotes themes of group sex – including one film titled “Group Sex Is Lots of Fun!” and “Ganged by the Contractors: First Time Group.”
This graphic content is being promoted on a website that is often used by young boys.
Pornography use causes numerous public health harms. For example, over 40 major studies that have revealed porn has negative and detrimental impacts on the brain. In fact, a 2015 study from Cambridge found that pornography use can drive novelty-seeking, so users need more and more extreme content over time in order to achieve the same level of arousal. Clearly, pornography is harmful to users of all ages, but it is also particularly harmful to children who are uneducated on matters of sexual consent and who have developing brains.
So how did this happen?
The scout blog has an ad widget for “Ads by Amazon” which generates ads based on Amazon’s algorithms.
While Amazon’s corporate policy ostensibly prohibits it from selling pornography, Amazon.com is promoting pornography and material that sexualizes children and adults alike. This is one reason why Amazon is on the Dirty Dozen List, which names and shames 12 mainstream companies profiting from or promoting sexual exploitation.
The simple truth is that these pornographic ads would not have been marketed towards children on the scout blog if Amazon enforced its own rules against pornography![email protected] please enforce your policies against pornographic content - remove pornographic films/magazines! #NotMyAmazon Click To Tweet
Take action below and email Amazon executives to enforce their policies: