Op-ED: Pornography to become even more readily available on the internet
Quietly, with almost no fanfare, the governing board of the internet (ICANN) approved a new .PORN domain on the internet. The .PORN domain joins the .XXX domain already in existence and others proposed, such as the .SEX and .ADULT domains. Morality in Media (MIM) has called for an investigation of the ICM Registry — the company behind the approved .XXX domain and the proposed new porn domains — “for violations of federal laws that prohibit the distribution of hard-core and obscene Internet pornography.”
The rationale for the new domain, as expressed in its application, is that the .XXX domain agreed to certain restrictions that the new domain lifts, and while the XXX domain is expected to remain the first-choice adult-targeted domain, some folks, it seems, want “adult entertainment” that does not provide such strict protections and oversight. It’s all about providing the consumer with more “user choice.” After all, there remains a market for those who are unwilling “to adopt or implement the policies” that interfere with “their own business policies and practices” because “of the oversight required under the Sponsoring Organization model.”
Besides — and this is a major point in the .PORN application — it will be cheaper to provide “adult entertainment” without all those restrictions. Thus, the .PORN domain application stressed their goal of identifying “their products and services to end users, without certain perceived barriers to entry expressed by certain constituencies within the global adult entertainment industry (AEI).” In other words, it is pretty obvious when you see the .PORN domain that you are going to be looking at PORNography. In addition, the proverbial icing on the cake, so to speak, is that the .PORN domain will “promote consumer choice,” provide a “lower entry-price” and “more adult-oriented products and services,” and build consumer trust by reducing “the risk of consumer confusion that might otherwise occur.” But, be assured, the .XXX sites that want to go to .PORN with the same name will be able to be grandfathered into the .PORN domain if they want to “enjoy new traffic opportunities available in the new [domain].”
Keep in mind that every new domain dedicated to pornography expands the market. Pornography-makers are still able to use .com addresses. These new domains will make it safer for pornography users to avoid spyware and credit card thieves, but it will not protect our children from running across all the free pornography already on the internet. New domains do not mean that the .com domain will be scrubbed; it will just become the tame version of .XXX and .PORN.
Further, as Patrick A. Trueman, President of Morality in Media and former chief of the U.S. Department of Justice Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Criminal Division in Washington, D.C., pointed out, “Title 18 United States Code Sections 1462 and 1465 prohibit distribution of hard-core obscene Internet pornography. Yet, isn’t that the purpose of the .XXX and .PORN domains?”
Since data about the adult entertainment industry (AEI) are hard to locate, given they are not generally publicly listed entities, it is almost impossible to know the full scope and size of the availability and identity of users of internet pornography. The .PORN application used the following sobering data from a site that collects internet pornography statistics:
- 414 million AEI webpages contain the keyword “sex”
- 88.8 million AEI webpages contain the keyword “PORN”
- 4.2 million AEI websites and 420 million webpages and 68 million AEI-related search engine requests.
- An estimated 40 million adults in the U.S. regularly visit AEI-related websites — 72% male and 28% female
- AEI consumers are divided evenly by age, but not by income.
- Those making more than $75,000 a year represent 35% of AEI users.
- Majority of AEI users are 35-44 year olds at a rate of 26% and the least likely users are 18-24 year olds at a rate of 14% [Note that these numbers account for less than half the percentage of users.]
- Top worldwide AEI revenues derived from China, South Korea, Japan, US, Australia, UK, Italy, Canada, Philippines, Taiwan, Germany, Finland, Czech Republic, Russia, Netherlands, and Brazil.
- Top producers of AEI worldwide are: U.S., Brazil, The Netherlands, Spain, Japan, Russia, Germany, U.K., Canada, and Australia.
The new .PORN legislation supposedly contains “pioneering registry-abuse reporting systems to ensure that any reported child abuse images” will be routed to child protection organizations. We are supposed to be reassured that the new domain will be worthy of trust because of the “clarity of the nature of those websites” registered as .PORN sites. Users are also reassured that their privacy will be respected through “privacy protection to registrants,” including proxy services, so that users don’t have to use their real names.
The bottom line is that the new domain is a boon to numerous companies who will gain substantial financial benefit from making and distributing pornography that uses, abuses, and objectifies girls and women. With the new .PORN domain, the production and distribution of pornography will expand exponentially. Does anyone truly think that child pornography will not also expand dramatically, and thus that child abuse and exploitation will become an even greater problem? Sex trafficking, already a horrific crime that is abhorrent to decent people around the world, will increase, and we’ll see more and more alerts for missing children and teens. We will see more mainstream use of pornography and, thus, more and more users addicted to pornographic images. We will see more marriages destroyed, more women abused, and lives ruined from the grave social costs of pornography.
By: Janice Crouse Share, Concerned Women for America
August 7, 2013