WASHINGTON, DC (May 23, 2023) – The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) awarded Imgur, an image sharing and hosting site, with its Dignity Defense Award for banning and removing all sexually explicit content and pornography from its platform.
“Imgur has made a significant move to confront sexual abuse and exploitation by committing to a policy that removes pornography and other sexually explicit content from its platform – made even more commendable since the point of the platform is to share images. When online platforms allow pornography with little to no age or consent verification, they inevitably become a breeding ground for image-based sexual abuse and child sexual abuse material. We are glad to recognize Imgur with our Dignity Defense Award, as we know that the pornography ban will ultimately curb sexual abuse and exploitation,” said Lina Nealon, Vice President and Director of Corporate Advocacy for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.
However, NCOSE is calling on Imgur’s parent company, MediaLab AI, to immediately confront rampant sexual exploitation at another company that it owns: Kik, a messaging app that is known for grooming kids and sharing images of their abuse, in addition to hardcore porn and prostitution ads. A recent study found that 9 – 17-year-olds reported Kik as the platform with the second highest rate of online sexual interactions with adults. Kik is on NCOSE’s 2023 Dirty Dozen List.
“MediaLab AI, must address sexual abuse and exploitation on Kik, which a convicted criminal has called ‘a predator’s paradise.’ Kik literally connects strangers together online – no matter whether it’s an adult with a child – and this is highly problematic and must be addressed. As a repeat offender on our Dirty Dozen List, Kik’s failure to take any action in combatting the slew of issues that fester on its platform is widely known. MediaLab AI must prioritize safety across all of its platforms and urgently prioritize change at Kik,” Nealon said.
NCOSE’s Dignity Defense Award (formerly Dignity Defense Alert) is a campaign recognizing the people, companies, and nonprofits who are taking action to defend human dignity from any form of sexual abuse or exploitation.