STATEMENT – Mainstream Contributors to Sexual Exploitation on NCOSE 2021 Dirty Dozen List Revealed
List Includes: Amazon, Chromebook, Discord, EBSCO, Netflix, Nevada, OnlyFans, Reddit, SeekingArrangement, Twitter, Verisign, & Wish
Washington, DC (February 23, 2021) – The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) has revealed that Amazon, Chromebook, Discord, OnlyFans, and Wish are among its 2021 Dirty Dozen List of mainstream contributors to sexual exploitation. This year’s list features several entities that have profited from the COVID-19 crisis by taking advantage of worsening social and economic vulnerabilities and harnessing the dramatic increase in online activity.
“Our list highlights institutions that are facilitating and even profiting from sexual exploitation. Most of the targets greatly benefited from the pandemic, like Google, that saw shipments of Chromebooks double in 2020, but refused to proactively turn on safeguards for the millions of devices going to schools – leaving kids at risk of exposure to pornography and even predators. Others, like OnlyFans, took advantage of the increased vulnerabilities caused by COVID-19. Another target, Wish, irresponsibly advertises on Pornhub, thereby keeping this known exploiter in business,” said Lina Nealon, director of corporate and strategic initiatives for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.
“Corporations and popular brands shape our culture and influence the ways we communicate, what causes we support, and even how our children are learning in school. Unfortunately, many are also perpetuating harm and violence.
“These ‘Dirty Dozen’ are hereby put on notice. We encourage the public and governments to join us in holding these entities accountable, pressing on them to change exploitative policies and to prioritize human dignity over profit.
“We are also highlighting entities on our Watchlist – Snapchat, TikTok, and Visa – as they have made some improvements within the last year, but still have steps to take to fully confront and end harmful business practices with the appropriate urgency these issues demand,” Nealon added.
The 2021 Dirty Dozen List includes:
Amazon – Amazon, the world’s titan of e-commerce, logistics, data storage, and media, also peddles endless amounts of sexual exploitation. As a social platform, Amazon’s Twitch is rife with sexual harassment, predatory grooming, and child sexual abuse. As an online retailer, Amazon is in the business of selling incest-themed porn, sex dolls, photography books with eroticized child nudity, and more. As a media creator, Amazon Prime Video inserts unnecessary, gratuitous nudity and simulated sex scenes into many of its original programming, while providing faulty parental controls. As a web host, AWS is host to many hardcore violent pornography and prostitution websites. Learn more and take action: EndSexualExploitation.org/Amazon
Chromebooks – Google’s refusal to turn on safety features for Chromebooks distributed to schools has resulted in countless students being left exposed to sexually explicit material and sexual predators on their school-assigned devices. More than 40 million students and teachers worldwide were using these popular devices prior to the pandemic. Millions more received Chromebooks for virtual schooling after COVID-19 hit. Instead of helping, this trillion-dollar tech giant chooses to place the burden on overwhelmed schools and parents while leaving children at risk. Demand digital safety in schools: EndSexualExploitation.org/Chromebooks
Discord – The popular platform Discord allows users to connect and chat with each other in real time and it boasts over 100 million active monthly users. Discord has inadequate age verification procedures in place and relies on user reports to moderate much of its content. Hundreds of private and public channels are rife with sexually graphic, violent, and exploitative content, and children are at risk of exposure, grooming, and other predatory behavior. Discord must do more to protect kids: EndSexualExploitation.org/Discord
EBSCO – EBSCO Information Services is the leading provider of online learning resources for schools and libraries. Though they market their products as “age and curriculum-appropriate,” graphic sexual content and live links to prostitution and pornography websites are easily accessible to K-12 students. EBSCO recklessly hosts material harmful for kids under the guise of education. EBSCO must make its products safe for minors: EndSexualExploitation.org/EBSCO
Netflix – Netflix is a staple of at-home entertainment for over 150 million subscribers who stream their content. Mixed in with the hours of entertainment, though, is sexually graphic and degrading content. Netflix has improved its parental control system and added content warnings, but many Netflix Originals still contain gratuitous amounts of nudity or graphic sexual violence which are triggering for survivors and which normalize sexploitation without addressing the very real harms. Encourage Netflix to stop producing voyeuristic content: EndSexualExploitation.org/Netflix
Nevada - Legalized brothels in Nevada have proven to be a failed experiment. They also violate the U.S. Constitution’s Thirteenth Amendment which bans involuntary servitude and slavery because of the trafficking associated with them. Evidence shows that a legalized sex trade increases demand from sex buyers and therefore increases sex trafficking as exploiters try to satisfy the market. Survivors are exposing the ugly truth about life behind brothel doors. By legalizing brothels, Nevada is profiting from sexual exploitation and abuse—just like any other pimp. Nevada is Not Safe for Women: EndSexualExploitation.org/Nevada
OnlyFans - OnlyFans makes money off of vulnerable people’s bodies – especially the bodies of women and minors. Exploiting financial insecurities deepened by the COVID-19 crisis, OnlyFans promises fast cash, empowerment, and even fame. While “Fans” may pay fees for nude images, videos, and livestreams, it is the “creators” who pay the high price of psychological, emotional, and physical harm that the sex industry imparts. Expose OnlyFans for enabling sexual exploitation: EndSexualExploitation.org/OnlyFans
Reddit – Reddit, known as the “front page of the Internet,” has become a hub of exploitation where sex buyers and other sexual predators meet to exchange non-consensually shared intimate images, hardcore pornography, and to give advice to each other about how to use and abuse. Prostitution, sex trafficking, and child sexual abuse material is also easily found on the site because Reddit refuses to institute strong policies and, despite being worth $3 billion, refuses to spend money on moderators and technology solutions to reduce sexual abuse and exploitation material surfacing on their site. It’s time Reddit was made accountable. Take action at EndSexualExploitation.org/Reddit
SeekingArrangement – SeekingArrangement is a “sugar dating” platform, “sugar dating” being just another term for prostitution. This company targets college students and people suffering from the economic uncertainty of COVID-19 in order to groom them to be sexually used by wealthier, older men. While the Apple App Store does not carry this prostitution app, Google Play does. #TimesUp for SeekingArrangement: EndSexualExploitation.org/SeekingArrangement
Twitter – Sexual exploitation is rampant on Twitter. Twitter allows countless posts and accounts that function as advertisements for the trading of child sexual abuse materials (i.e. “child pornography”), sex trafficking, prostitution, and pornography. Twitter also fails to adequately respond to child abuse and sex trafficking victims when they are being exploited on the platform. Twitter must be held legally accountable: EndSexualExploitation.org/Twitter
Verisign – Seventy percent of all webpages identified as containing child sexual abuse images were found on .com and .net domains according to the 2019 report from The Internet Watch Foundation. Verisign, a publicly traded U.S. company with annual revenues exceeding $1.23 billion, has exclusive management over the .com and .net generic top-level domains. While some other registries and registrars are working to disrupt domains associated with child sexual abuse material, Verisign refuses to take meaningful action and instead inhibits attempts to protect children. Congress must act. Take action at: EndSexualExploitation.org/Verisign
Wish – Wish, a top ten retail shopping website and app used by over 500 million people, is one of the few mainstream corporations still working with the world’s biggest sexual abusers—MindGeek and Pornhub—even though child sexual abuse material, depictions of actual rape and sex trafficking, and non-consensually shared intimate videos abound on the websites. Not only that, but Wish’s profits rest on the marketing of child-like sex dolls, spycams advertised as useful for filming women nude without permission, and misogynistic apparel. Wish is shopping made exploitative. Call on them to stop prioritizing profits over people! EndSexualExploitation.org/Wish
The Watchlist includes:
Snapchat – A third of US teens named Snapchat as their favorite social networking app. Unfortunately, this popular platform has been used by sex traffickers and predators to groom, abuse, and sell people, including kids. Children as young as 13 have also been exposed to graphic sexual content through Snapchat’s Discover stories as sexual abuse, pornography, and prostitution accounts proliferate on the site. Snapchat’s made improvement recently, but it can still do much more to protect minors. Insist Snapchat make its space safer for teens. EndSexualExploitation.org/Snapchat
TikTok - TikTok has close to a billion monthly users – and many of them are minors. This incredibly popular app was considered a predator’s playground, as the platform enabled easy access to children by strangers. We applaud several major changes TikTok made in 2020 which include enhanced safety features for teens and extensive Community Guidelines. It is encouraging progress, but it is still too early to tell how well these changes will be implemented and we remain concerned about the extent of harmful content accessible by young users. Tell TikTok to keep up the trend of protecting kids. EndSexualExploitation.org/TikTok
Visa – Visa rightly cut ties with Pornhub in 2020 after public outcry regarding the rampant sex trafficking and abuse videos on the porn website. However, Visa intentionally re-initiated a relationship with MindGeek (owner of Pornhub) and other pornography websites so long as they only published studio-produced videos. This action legitimizes an inherently abusive and exploitive industry. Further, Visa processes payments for brothels and prostitution websites. Call on Visa to reject profits from sexual abuse: EndSexualExploitation.org/Visa
The Dirty Dozen List is an annual campaign highlighting 12 mainstream entities for facilitating, normalizing, and even profiting from sexual abuse and exploitation. Since 2013, the Dirty Dozen List has led to major victories in stemming sexual exploitation: catalyzing significant improvements at Google, Netflix, TikTok, Hilton Worldwide, Verizon, Walmart, the U.S. Department of Defense, and many more mainstream players.
About National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE)
Founded in 1962, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) is the leading national non-partisan organization exposing the links between all forms of sexual exploitation such as child sexual abuse, prostitution, sex trafficking and the public health harms of pornography.