January 17, 2019

Three Recent Victories We Almost Missed: Snapchat, Google, U.S. Navy

At the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, we’re incredibly busy defending dignity each and every day. For example, we’re currently preparing for the launch of our 2019 Dirty Dozen list on February 11th at 11am Eastern. We hope you’ll join us!

We’re so busy that there’s three major victories we almost missed! Each of these is a great step in the direction of ending sexual exploitation. Check out these awesome victories:

Snapchat:

The most popular social media app among teens, removed the function known as Snapcash. This feature allowed users to send money to each other. Snapcash was largely used to pay for prostitution and pornography on the platform.

Snapchat also enabled in-app reporting so that users can finally report abusive and sexually explicit behavior. For example, many teens have been bombarded with unsolicited pornographic photos from other users. In-app reporting helps mitigate these malignant accounts.

The removal of Snapcash, and the creation of in-app reporting, were some of the key requests we made when we put Snapchat on the 2018 Dirty Dozen List! We’re excited to see progress being made in response to our concerns. Click here to learn more about NCOSE’s longtime activism against Snapchat.

Google Safe Search:

In our long back-and-forth with Google over the years, one thing we have asked for is that they make their built-in filter, called Safe Search, much more visible.

A filter is only useful if users know it’s there. Specifically, we have met with Google executives and asked for Safe Search to be put in the top right corner of Google Images.

While we continue to go back and forth on other matters of concern, Google agreed to make the change and have now placed it in the top right of Google Images. Considering that a search of the word “sex” returns countless images of hardcore pornography in a fraction of a second, we count this as a great step forward. More users will now know the filter is available to them.

United States Navy:

For several years, we have made a sustained effort to reduce sexual exploitation in the United States military. In 2013, Army and Air Force bases stopped the sale of pornographic magazines at on-base exchanges after advocacy efforts from the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. However, the Navy was slow to make this change. NCOSE recently learned that the Navy has indeed stopped selling pornographic magazines on their bases! This action will help prevent the rise of sexually hostile environments within our military. We are deeply grateful that the Navy has followed through with this plan.

Sometimes the battle against sexual exploitation can seem dark and never-ending. Victories like these remind us that this is a winnable battle and great progress is being made. Thank you to all of those who have supported this movement and made these victories possible.

Be sure to visit our 2019 Dirty Dozen List page and take action against this year’s targets! Your activism on this campaign is clearly making a difference, so get equipped with the latest actions and ways to get involved.

Now let’s go out and win some more!

 

Ben Miller

Former Digital Strategies Coordinator

Ben joined the National Center on Sexual Exploitation as Digital Strategies Coordinator in July of 2018. As Digital Strategies Coordinator, Ben raises awareness for issues of sexual exploitation through digital media, email marketing, and website development. He works to create a community of activists who are enthusiastic about combating sexual exploitation and changing culture.

Ben earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. He graduated with Honors in the Liberal Arts and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. During his college career, Ben spent a semester studying in Washington, D.C. and interned for a member of Congress. On campus, he actively sought to change Greek culture, especially with respect to sexual exploitation, through his membership in Phi Kappa Theta fraternity. Ben also supported his peers who were afflicted by the harms of pornography through a weekly men’s purity group.

Ben’s deep commitment to fighting sexual exploitation was ignited in part by the work done by NCOSE. While writing a research literature review for a public policy class in college, he came across Porn Harms Research and the initiatives being carried out by NCOSE. Ben, a strong anti-pornography activist at the time, began to learn more about the connections between all forms of exploitation and how prominent these issues are in today’s society. He devoted himself to raising awareness about the web of sexual exploitation and is deeply grateful for the work NCOSE has done on these issues. Ben is excited to be a part of the team at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation and to contribute to this important cause.

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