February 11, 2019

Leading Contributors to Sexual Exploitation Revealed: 2019 Dirty Dozen List

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) today launched its 2019 Dirty Dozen List, a list of carefully selected entities that are major, mainstream facilitators of sexual exploitation in the United States.

No corporation should profit from or facilitate sexual exploitation,” said Haley Halverson, Vice President of Advocacy and Outreach at the National Center on 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 mainstream players in America that perpetuate sexual exploitation—whether that be through sex trafficking, prostitution, sexual objectification, sexual violence and/or pornography.”

“The Dirty Dozen List is an activism tool that gives back power to individuals who want a voice in the culture. It has led to victories including Snapchat creating in-app reporting for harassing and pornographic snaps, Walmart removing Cosmopolitan from checkout aisles, Hilton Worldwide halting the sale of on-demand pornography, along with changes at the Department of Defense, Google, and more.” Halverson stated.

Take Action: you can help drive these entities to change for the better!

Go to DirtyDozenList.com and take online actions like emailing corporate executives and tweeting at companies to demand policy improvements.

United Airlines has been named to the 2019 #DirtyDozenList for apparent failure to holistically address sexual harassment problems on its airlines, including in-flight porn-use. @united Click To Tweet @MassageEnvy has been named to the #DirtyDozenList for alleged systemic mishandling of more than 400 reported sexual assaults. Click To Tweet This year, Nevada has become the first-ever state to receive the ignominious distinction of placement on the #DirtyDozenList. @NevadaSenate ‏@NevadaAG ‏ Click To Tweet

Watch the Press Conference Revealing the 2019 Dirty Dozen List:

The 2019 Dirty Dozen List:

Amazon: Amazon delivers sexual exploitation right to your doorstep. As the world’s largest online retailer, Amazon facilitates sexually exploitive products such as sex dolls (many with childlike features), eroticized child nudity photography, and books offering “how-to” instructions for sex trafficking.

Further, Amazon Prime produces original movies and TV shows that insert unnecessary gratuitous nudity thus bringing softcore pornified content to mainstream entertainment. Amazon therefore sets a standard among online retailers that it’s ok to profit from sexual exploitation.

EBSCO: EBSCO Information Services offers online library resources to public and private schools (K-12), public libraries, and more. In its advertising, it promises “curriculum-appropriate content.” While EBSCO has made significant improvements to elementary and middle school databases, high school databases still contain sexually graphic, non-academic, materials. This includes graphic sex act instructions and some live links to pornographic websites.

Google: Google has failed to prioritize the digital wellbeing of its users through Google Chromebooks used in schools, Google Images, and YouTube. Google Chromebooks are marketed to schools as “built from the ground up to be shared with an unlimited number of students.” Unfortunately, many schools distribute unprotected and unfiltered Chromebooks when Google could easily turn on a default setting for safer use by children. Further, in a fraction of one second, Google Images turns up countless graphic pornographic results where penetration is clearly visible for innocent search terms. YouTube, the world’s largest video-sharing platform, regularly hosts pornography and sexual violence while Google shirks responsibility by forcing users to act at content flaggers.

HBO: Home Box Office Inc. (HBO) is a premium cable and satellite television network with extensive cultural influence, which regularly produces original programs that incorporate graphic sex scenes and eroticized rape scenes. Examples include The Deuce, True Blood, and Game of Thrones. Previous shows such as Cathouse and Hung normalized commercial sexual exploitation. Despite hosting graphic content, parental controls on HBO are clunky and ineffective, decreasing the odds of parents even using them, and increasing the odds that children will be exposed to sexually exploitative material.

Massage Envy: #MassageToo! From Hollywood, Capitol Hill, Silicon Valley and beyond the #MeToo movement has revealed the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault in our society. But at your local massage studio too? Yes! Massage Envy has been, and is being, sued by hundreds of women for failing to take appropriate measures when a massage therapist sexually harasses or assaults a client. The biggest massage chain has clauses in customer agreements which force women to surrender their rights to bring forward cases, apparently even in cases of “unlawful” conduct.  Massage Envy does not even require reporting of suspected assaults to the Massage Therapy Board, thus allowing perpetrators to continue preying on vulnerable clients.

Netflix: Netflix has become a staple of at-home entertainment and a major producer of media normalizing sexual exploitation and objectification.  Despite much highly-rated originally produced content on its platform, Netflix sinks to storytelling which portrays gratuitous nudity and graphic sex acts in shows meant for teen and young audiences. Further, Netflix portrays graphic and violent depictions of sexual assault in a number of their shows and has even produced shows normalizing sex trafficking and eroticizing children.  Netflix allows a loophole for children to easily get around parental control features and it regularly recommends children’s content paired right next to NC17 and TV-MA content.

Nevada: Nevada has become home base for pimps and sex traffickers. As the only U.S. state in which prostitution is legal in certain counties, Nevada legally sanctions male sexual entitlement. Its sexploitation industry has a predatory dependence on women with economic disadvantages, as well as childhood histories of neglect and sexual abuse.

Its normalization of prostitution as work for women, has turned Nevada into a magnet for sex traffickers and prostitution tourists. As a result, the state-wide illegal sex trade, including sex trafficking, in Nevada is the largest in the country. Police found that 30% of women in so-called legal brothels in Nevada had red flags for sex trafficking. States and local communities profiting from prostitution (by tourist revenues), like pimps, are complicit in sexual exploitation. It’s time for Nevada to join the 21st century by recognizing that sexploitation is nobody’s job.

Roku: Roku, a leading media streaming company, provides customers with the ability to stream TV, movies, and more. Unfortunately, Roku also facilitates hardcore pornography channels through hundreds of private and hidden channels, and is often featured on pornography websites and at pornography conventions for this feature. This stands in sharp contrast to the policies of other streaming device industry leaders such as Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV.

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue: If there were an Olympic medal for sexual objectification, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue would take the gold. The magazine should be more aptly named the Sexploitation Issue. This magazine sends the message that women’s bodies are for public consumption. These images are not about body positivity. They are about feeding male sexual entitlement, and the mega-corporation that profits off of hypersexualizing women. In the aftermath of the sexual abuse scandals that have enmeshed Olympic sports, SI’s flagrant sexual objectification of women—including female athletes—is clearly mainstream misogyny.

Steam: #NotAGame! Steam, the online videogame distributor with over 35 million users under the age 18 has an “allow everything” policy for sexually graphic content so long as it isn’t “strictly illegal.” As soon as this new policy launched, the number of games tagged for “nudity” doubled in just four months. Sexually graphic games feature only mild warnings, and often juxtapose graphic sex scenes with violence and promote the dangerous misconception that sexually exploiting others is a harmless game.

Twitter: Twitter is a major source of breaking news, but it also hosts vast quantities of hardcore pornography and facilitates prostitution and sex trafficking. While the platform removed the ability to search for these terms directly in video or picture tabs, there are still countless pornographic accounts which often serve as advertisements for pornography websites or online prostitution. When Tumblr announced they would no longer allow pornographic content, thousands of users flocked to Twitter attracted by Twitter’s loose policy.

United Airlines: As if limited leg room and baggage space aren’t trouble enough, increasingly air travelers must contend with the sexually charged climate created by public pornography viewing and other sexually harassing and even violent behaviors.

United Airlines appears to fail to adequately train aircrews to address the problem of pornography-use on airplanes and the sexually hostile environment that this fosters. While reports of sexual harassment and even assault have increased in the airline industry, United Airlines has not prioritized policies and procedures to keep customers safe. United needs to enable its passengers to #FlyFree from sexploitation.

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Haley Halverson

Vice President of Advocacy and Outreach

Haley Halverson is the Vice President of Advocacy and Outreach at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation where she develops and executes national campaigns to change policies and raise awareness. Most notably, she promotes corporate social responsibility by constructing annual activism campaigns like the Dirty Dozen List, which names 12 mainstream private companies that facilitate sexual exploitation. Her advocacy work has contributed to instigating policy improvements in the native online advertising, retail, and hotel industries.

She is a member of the Washington DC Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect, September 2018-2019. This Committee advises DC Mayor Muriel Bowser on the multi-faceted continuum of the District of Columbia’s child welfare services, including prevention, early intervention, treatment, and sources of permanency.

Haley regularly speaks and writes on topics including child sexual abuse, sex trafficking, prostitution, sexual objectification, the exploitation of males, and more. She has presented before officials at the United Nations, as well as at several national symposia before influencers from the Department of Justice, Department of Health and Human Services, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Croatian government officials. She has provided training to Arlington County Child & Family Services on the social media grooming, recruitment, and advertising for sex trafficking. She has a Master of Arts in Government from Johns Hopkins University where she received honors for her thesis regarding the online commercial sexual exploitation marketplace.

Previously, Haley served for two years as Director of Communications for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation where she oversaw strategic messaging development, press outreach, email marketing, and social media marketing.

Prior to working at NCOSE, Haley wrote for Media Research Center. Haley graduated from Hillsdale College (summa cum laude) with a double major, and conducted a senior thesis on the abolitionist argument regarding prostitution. During her studies, she studied abroad at Oxford University and established a background in policy research through several internships in the DC area.

Haley has appeared on, or been quoted in, several outlets including the New York Times, NBC’s The Today Show, BBC News, New York Post, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, Fox News, San Francisco Chronicle, the Washington Post, Yahoo News, Voice of America, Dr. Drew Midday Live, The DeMaio Report, the New York Daily News, the Washington Examiner, USA Radio Network, the Washington Times, CBC News, The Rod Arquette Show, The Detroit News, Lifezette, The Christian Post, Lifeline with Neil Boron, EWTN News Nightly, KCBS San Francisco Radio, LifeSiteNews, The Drew Mariano Show on Relevant Radio, News Talk KGVO, and American Family News.

She has written op-eds for the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, FoxNews.com, Townhall.com, Darling Magazine, the Daytona-Beach News Journal, and has been published in the Journal of Internet Law and the journal Dignity: A Journal on Sexual Exploitation and Violence.

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