WASHINGTON, DC (March 8, 2022) – The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) has revealed that technology companies Meta, Google Search, Discord, and Twitter, and more, are among its 2022 Dirty Dozen List of mainstream contributors to sexual exploitation.
“Big Tech holds incredible influence over society, so it’s especially egregious when tech companies normalize, enable, and even profit from sexually exploitative practices, policies, and products. There is no other industry that has the capacity to help billions of people by prioritizing user protection and safety like Big Tech,” said Lina Nealon, director of corporate and strategic initiatives for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.
“Tech companies on our Dirty Dozen List have enabled child sexual abuse to thrive on their platforms, and for predators to gain easy access to children. Those same companies frequently ignore survivors of sex trafficking and abuse who are seeking justice.
“Other companies named to the Dirty Dozen List include Visa, which allows the exploitative commercial sex industry to prosper; Etsy, which enables sex dolls and pornographic content to be sold; and Netflix, which normalizes the sexualization of children and whitewashes the violence and exploitation in prostitution.
“It is time for sexual exploitation to end. The 2022 Dirty Dozen List serves as a challenge to these companies and entities named to live up to their social responsibilities and make crucial changes to stop and prevent harm on their platforms and through their products. We urge the public to contact each entity on this list to advocate for urgent reform,” Nealon concluded.
The 2022 Dirty Dozen List includes:
Discord – Discord consistently fails to address the extensive sexually graphic, violent, and exploitative content on its thousands of private and public channels. Inadequate age verification and moderation mean millions of children and teen users are left with near-unmitigated exposure to child sexual abuse material, nonconsensual pornography trading, and the predatory grooming rampant on its platform. Demand that Discord do more to protect kids. EndSexualExploitation.org/Discord
Etsy – Global marketplace Etsy is in the business of selling pornographic merchandise, misogynistic and dehumanizing apparel, and sex dolls – including ones resembling children and young teens. Customers equate unwanted exposure to pornography and sexually explicit content to sexual harassment. Etsy has an ethical obligation to stop profiting from and normalizing child sex abuse and exploitation. Encourage Etsy to stop selling sexual exploitation! EndSexualExploitation.org/Etsy
Google Search – Google Search buttresses the pornography industry by facilitating access to graphic images and videos of sexual abuse – depicted and real – including sex trafficking, child sexual abuse, and rape. The tech giant has also failed to implement survivor-centered practices to remove nonconsensually recorded/shared sexual content from search results. Holding 92% of the search engine market share, Google has the power to help survivors heal by stemming content of their abuse from resurfacing. Call on Google to put survivors first: EndSexualExploitation.org/Google
Kanakuk Kamps – Thousands of families have entrusted their children to Kanakuk Kamps—one of the largest Christian sports camps. Tragically, that trust was broken as years of child sexual abuse at Kanakuk Kamps have been swept under the rug. Responsibility, accountability, and transparency must be required of institutions like Kanakuk Kamps if we wish to stamp out child sexual abuse. Hold Kanakuk Kamps to account for child sex abuse: EndSexualExploitation.org/Kanakuk
Kik – Kik boasts that a third of American teens use the free messaging app to chat with friends and strangers alike. It’s also among the most dangerous online spaces for children. Law enforcement has been warning for years that Kik is a stomping ground for predators – yet Kik has not prioritized keeping kids safe. Keep kids off Kik! EndSexualExploitation.org/kik
Meta (formerly known as Facebook) – Meta owns Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp: all of which are consistently under fire as primary places for grooming, sextortion, child sexual abuse materials, sex trafficking, and a host of other crimes. The tech giant has the potential to lead the industry in online safety standards. Instead, Meta is prioritizing new projects like the metaverse and pursuing sweeping encryption despite international law enforcement warnings about the lack of sufficient provisions for child online safety. Meta must prioritize safety from sexual abuse and exploitation: EndSexualExploitation.org/Meta
Netflix – Netflix is a staple of at-home entertainment, with over 200 million subscribers streaming their content worldwide. Yet mixed in with the fun and entertainment is rampant sexual objectification and glamorization of abuse. Sociologists have identified a marked increase in graphic sex scenes and gratuitous nudity permeating Netflix shows. Further, Netflix continues a trend of normalizing the sexualization of children while also whitewashing the violence and exploitation in prostitution. Encourage Netflix to stop producing sexually explicit and exploitative content: EndSexualExploitation.org/Netflix
OnlyFans – OnlyFans exploded in notoriety and profit during COVID-19, as the subscription-based platform known for pornography preyed on widespread financial insecurities and capitalized on youth spending more time online. Sex buyers and pimps maximize buying and selling people behind the security of a paywall. Yet investigations have uncovered child sexual abuse material, sex trafficking, rape videos, and a host of other crimes, making the case clear: OnlyFans is a safe haven for exploitation. #TimesUp for OnlyFans. EndSexualExploitation.org/OnlyFans
Reddit – Referred to as the “front page of the Internet,” Reddit hosts more than two million user-created “communities” covering nearly as many topics. Among them are countless nonconsensually shared sexually explicit images and videos, child sexual abuse material, hardcore pornography, and prostitution advertisements. Not only does Reddit turn a blind eye to illegal and harmful content on its site, survivor requests to remove images of their abuse go unanswered. Demand Reddit rid itself of exploitation! EndSexualExploitation.org/Reddit
Twitter – Pedophiles and other predators go to Twitter to trade in criminal content such as child sexual abuse and nonconsensual pornography. The platform is rampant with accounts and posts functioning as advertisements for commercial sex. Twitter fails to adequately respond to its victims, claiming it cannot be held accountable for disseminating illegal material. Twitter has even flatly refused to remove verified child sex abuse material from its site when asked by victims. Twitter must be held legally liable: EndSexualExploitation.org/Twitter
Verisign – Verisign provides Internet infrastructure and services and has exclusive management over the .com and .net generic top-level domains. 82% of all websites containing child sexual abuse material in 2020 were registered on .com and .net domains – according to the Internet Watch Foundation. Some other registrars and registries are disrupting domains with child sexual abuse material, yet Verisign fails to take meaningful action and instead inhibits attempts to protect children. Congress must act to hold Verisign accountable. Take action at EndSexualExploitation.org/Verisign
Visa – Visa rightly cut ties with Pornhub in 2020 after public outcry regarding the rampant sex trafficking and child sexual abuse material hosted on the pornography site – but has since re-initiated a relationship with Pornhub’s parent company, MindGeek. Visa also processes payments for brothels and prostitution websites. Visa “helps power the global economy,” but that must not include powering the economy of the exploitative commercial sexual industry. Call on Visa to stop enabling and legitimizing sexual exploitation! 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 harm: catalyzing significant improvements at Google, Netflix, TikTok, Hilton Worldwide, Verizon, Walmart, the U.S. Department of Defense, and many more mainstream institutions.