January 4, 2017

Statement: Alexa Viral Scandal Exposes Amazon.com’s Reckless Approach to Sexual Harm

Statement by Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of NCOSE

Washington DC – A video which captured Alexa, Amazon’s intelligent personal assistant, spouting graphic pornographic phrases to a little boy after he requested it to play a song popular with toddlers has gone viral.

“This Alexa scandal reveals what the National Center on Sexual Exploitation has already documented—Amazon is reckless about exposing the public to pornography and sexually exploitive materials,” said Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. “While I’m grateful that Amazon quickly resolved this particular problem and apologized to the affected family, it is not enough. Amazon must adopt a proactive approach to pornography and sexual exploitative materials across its business platforms.”

“Amazon.com features thousands of pornography-related items and has so far refused to remove sex dolls (many with childlike features), eroticized child nudity photography books, and other pornified items including T-shirts, baby clothes, and pillowcases, as well as hardcore pornographic films from its website,” Hawkins continued. “Further, Amazon Prime is producing original television programming with highly sexualized content, and does not provide a means for blocking unwanted recommendations of sexually explicit programs.”

“Other companies are refusing to facilitate sexual exploitation. Walmart, for example, within 24-hours of being contacted by NCOSE removed the same child nudity photography books that Amazon still carries. It is clear that the pervading business culture at Amazon continues to cater to pornographic interests that are harmful to not only minors but adults as well. It is time for Amazon to accept its corporate responsibility to adopt and rigorously enforce standards that seek to foster a world free sexual exploitation.”

Amazon is a member of the 2016 Dirty Dozen List, which names 12 mainstream companies facilitating sexual exploitation. You can learn more here: http://endsexualexploitation.org/amazon/

Proof of the sexually exploitive and pornographic materials sold by Amazon can be found here: http://endsexualexploitation.org/amazon/ – proofs

Further Reading