February 22, 2017

The Case for Naming Comcast Internet and Cable to the Dirty Dozen List

Comcast provides dozens of pornography titles via its Cinemax, Playboy, Vivid, Hustler, TEN, and Too Much for TV channels and subscriptions. All in all, by one review conducted in April 2016, there were 515 X-rated offerings on Comcast’s Xfinity. Many of the pornography titles offered by Comcast Xfinity contain themes of incest, racism, sexism, prostitution, and exploitation.

Our society is struggling to cope with the impacts of multiple forms of sexual abuse and violence: child sexual abuse, adult sexual exploitation, racially-motivated sexual violence, sex trafficking, and more. These problems have not emerged from a vacuum but flourish within the context of unprecedented access to hardcore pornographic material. Adult, hardcore pornography—with its raw, brutal, debasing, violent and hate-filled themes—exacerbates the deeply entrenched social ills mentioned above and unleashes devastating impacts at the individual and societal level.By distributing pornography, Comcast is participating in and encouraging these harms.

By distributing pornography, Comcast Internet and cable services participate in and encourage these harms.

Moreover, the pornographic material being distributed by Comcast Xfinity likely violates U.S. law, 18 U.S. Code Section 1468, which prohibits distribution of obscene matter by means of cable or subscription services on television.

The Comcast Code of Conduct Handbook states: “. . . it is our actions—how we perform day in and day out—that will ensure our success. It’s as simple as doing the right thing and treating people the right way.” Distributing and profiting from the degradation, abuse, and violence found in pornography is a far cry from “doing the right thing and treating people the right way.”

Additionally, pornography is available to all Comcast customers through its Internet services unless a consumer takes affirmative action to block such material. In the United Kingdom and in other countries, an “opt-in” approach has been adopted. Nearly all ISPs in the UK have begun blocking pornography unless a consumer exercises an option to “opt-in” for such material. Sky Broadband’s approach has been particularly effective.

If Comcast Internet and cable services took the lead in the U.S. by offering the opt-in Internet model and drop its pornography offerings on Xfinity, we believe it would find a large base of support and do much to make up for Comcast’s years of confederacy with the pornography industry. 

See a copy of NCOSE’s letter to Comcast alerting them to their placement on the 2017 Dirty Dozen List. (Warning: graphic language included

Take action here!

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