June 29, 2018

Twelve Days of Action: It’s Time to Raise Your Voice

A collective call to action has emerged out of the #MeToo Movement. People are raising their voices against a culture that objectifies women, glorifies male entitlement, and normalizes sexual violence. Despite the progress that has been made so far by these brave voices, there is still more to do.

The 2018 Dirty Dozen List includes 12 days of action 2018mainstream companies that facilitate sexual exploitation and consequently contribute to rape culture. Some companies, such as YouTube and Roku, have been included on previous Dirty Dozen Lists because they have failed to take significant steps to address their exploitative policies. Other companies, including Steam and iBooks, are new to the list.

From July 1-12, you have the opportunity to add your voice to the growing call to action against sexual exploitation. Join us at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation and many others in standing up to these companies that contribute to a culture that facilitates and permits sexual exploitation. Your voice is essential in creating a world free from sexual exploitation.

For 12 days, you can take direct action against these companies and demand real and lasting change.

Here’s what you can do:

1) July 1-3: iBooks

Apple’s iBooks contains a vast amount of literature with themes that normalize rape, incest, and racism. These books glorify “forced sex,” inappropriate teacher and student relationships, and racist stereotypes, which only reinforce cultural attitudes that facilitate sexual exploitation. This problem represents a break from Apple’s previous anti-pornography policy. Steve Jobs said that Apple “[has] a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone.” We need to hold Apple accountable to its founder’s commitment against sexually exploitative content.

ACTIONS:

1. You can send an email to iBooks executives here. We have a draft email set up that you can send – or you can edit it to be in your own words!

2. Tweet @iBooks and demand that they stop selling sexually exploitative books. You can include hashtags like #MeToo and #TimesUp to stand in solidarity with the thousands of people that have come forward to demand change. We have more prepared tweets here that you can send with just one click!

.@Apple is aware of the sexually graphic and racially charged content on iBooks but has not taken steps to remove it. #CleanUpiBooks Click To Tweet

2) July 4-6: Roku

Roku is a media streaming company that facilitates access to hardcore pornography through policy loopholes that grant pornography suppliers full access to stream their exploitative and degrading content. Pornography normalizes male sexual entitlement and violence against women, and by allowing pornography on its platform, Roku is complicit in fueling society’s rape culture.

ACTION: Contact Roku executives and demand that they eliminate their policy loopholes and stop permitting pornography on their platform.

3) July 7-9: Steam

Steam is a videogame platform owned by Valve Corporation that hosts numerous pornographic and sexually violent games. With over 35 million minors that use the platform, Steam’s lack of substantial age barriers and filters provides children easy access to games that glorify rape and other sexually predative behaviors. In fact, videogames transform the user from a passive bystander to an active participant in the violent scene. Pornographic and sexually violent videogames are molding children’s attitudes and behaviors, and Steam should be held accountable for this harmful neglect of children’s online protection.

Recently, Steam contacted several videogame developers asking them to remove sexually graphic content in their games or face delisting. After receiving heavy backlash from the gamer community, Steam stepped back and began to rescind these call for removal and instituted a new “allow everything” policy which would even allow games based on themes of sexual assault!

ACTIONS:

1. Send Steam an email letting them know how disappointed you are with their new “allow everything” policy!

2. You can reach out to @steam_games on Twitter to hold them accountable on social media.

3. Click here to learn more about parental controls on Steam, and share them with a friend.

Hey @steam_games protect kids. Create an opt-in 18+ category, so they're not automatically exposed to sexually graphic games. #parentingtips #onlinesafety Click To Tweet

4) July 10-12: YouTube

Despite YouTube’s access to funny, entertaining, and even educational videos, it also provides easy access to sexually graphic material. It received backlash in 2017 due to hosting videos that included sexual content depicting children. Although YouTube announced the removal of this material, it still lacks proactive monitoring services that actively search for and remove sexually exploitative material. In addition, YouTube’s reporting system is both complex and ineffective, and it continues to permit pornographic content to remain in order to increase views and ratings.

ACTIONS:

1. Make a YouTube video sharing your experience with harmful content on YouTube and send it to public@ncose.com.

2. You can also sign the petition to urge YouTube executives to remove sexually graphic content and improve monitoring services.

3. Send the below Tweet with a simple click!

.@YouTube please turn on Safe Search automatically to prevent accidental exposure to graphic material on YouTube. Click To Tweet

As we raise our voices together and take a stand against corporations that facilitate sexual exploitation, we can create a safer society where dignity is protected.

Brynne Townley

Intern

Brynne Townley is a junior at Brigham Young University studying Political Science and Women’s Studies. She lived in Uruguay for a year and a half as a volunteer worker for her church, and she spent a summer studying at the University of Cambridge. She is passionate about women’s rights and the prevention of sexual exploitation. After graduation, she plans to pursue a graduate degree to enable her to continue advocating for marginalized groups. She enjoys reading, watching movies with her family, and traveling.

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