With Great Power Comes Great (Corporate) Responsibility: Promising Improvements from 2022

Last night, Facebook reminded me a friend’s birthday was coming up. So I hopped on Google Search for some gift ideas based on the hobbies and recent interests she posted about on Instagram. I quickly ended up on Etsy where I found a present and purchased it with the credit card on my account (Visa). I sent her an early birthday greeting through WhatsApp letting her know some love was on the way. Friend duties done, I relaxed the rest of the evening by watching a show with my two oldest daughters on Netflix

In less than an hour, I had used HALF of the targets on the 2022 Dirty Dozen List: the annual list of mainstream corporations we call out for facilitating, enabling, and even profiting from sexual abuse and exploitation. 

(If you’re counting and things aren’t adding up from my anecdote, DDL target Meta owns Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram, and Verisign owns all .com domains that I used.) 

I can guess what you’re thinking: well, isn’t that a bit hypocritical of you, Lina? Shouldn’t you be boycotting these companies, not giving them your business–especially when you are naming and shaming them? 

Great question.

(Keep reading for my answer.) 

With great power…. 

The companies and brands we use exert enormous power: politically, economically, socially, and culturally. Whether we like it or not, they hold influence over all of us. Over you, over me.

With their power comes great responsibility for corporations to not only operate ethically, but to promote the dignity, well-being, and safety of communities and individuals. Unfortunately, in addition to providing us with great products, entertainment, and necessary services, many are also perpetuating and enabling violence and harm. 

How? Through inherently dangerous product design, through insufficient policies or lack of enforcement of what’s on paper, by buttressing the infrastructure of abusive entities, or by simply turning a blind eye in order to protect their bottom line. 

Most mainstream companies boast lofty corporate responsibility statements. We must challenge them to actually live up to those statement and address the harms they cause or allow with an urgency commensurate with the gravity of the situation. 

Shouldn’t we boycott irresponsible companies?

While there are certainly times to boycott (and we have called for that in the past), our experience is that customers and shareholders calling out corporations has a greater impact on effecting change. And even if you’re not a customer, for-profits consider everyone to be a potential user, so public opinion matters. 

Of course, we applaud those of you who whose conscience has led you to take your business elsewhere. But if you are using the companies we are calling out, don’t feel ashamed–use your power and act as a responsible citizen and demand better from companies. 

When you act, change DOES happen . . . we have proof! 

Since 2013, the Dirty Dozen List and other NCOSE corporate campaigns have yielded some 125 major victories that YOU and others like you have helped make happen–often by taking the easy actions and using the tools we provide through the DDL.

This year was no different. Some 30,000 individuals called on the entities we highlighted, catalyzing a number of victories and progress toward the goal of stemming sexual abuse and exploitation.

Here’s a recap of the corporate wins we’ve had since last year’s Dirty Dozen List launch on International Women’s Day, March 8. 

Building a Safe Internet for Kids and Adults

Today, February 7, is Safer Internet Day. Celebrated in approximately 180 countries and territories worldwide, Safer Internet Day is dedicated to raising global awareness of emerging and current concerns regarding online safety.

At NCOSE, we are devoted to making online spaces safer by holding tech companies accountable and pushing them to prioritize the security and wellbeing of their users.

Download our newly released resource Building a Safe Internet so Youth Can Connect, Learn, Love, and Thrive  

The 2022 Dirty Dozen list once again featured several tech giants, including those that continued to reap soaring revenue without making substantive changes to address the abuses and harms on their platform. Among the most egregious harms were the continued exponential increase in online child exploitation and the ever-expanding crime of image-based sexual abuse.

But we saw some progress on both of these fronts with the tech giants we called out: 

Defaulted Safety Features  

NCOSE has been pushing on Meta and its brands (Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp) for years to default to all the highest privacy and content settings, as well as to mitigate risky features. This past year, Meta defaulted the “Sensitive Content Control” to “Less” for 15–13 year olds and will also default them to more private settings when they join Facebook. Furthermore, suspicious adults will no longer be shown in teens’ People You May Know recommendations (Meta labels a “suspicious” account as one that belongs to an adult that may have recently been blocked or reported by a young person).

When I created a fake 13 year old account on Instagram two years ago, the first person Instagram recommended to me was a 43 year old man who had accounts on several “sugar daddy” prostitution sites! 

Don’t be fooled, Instagram is still a very dangerous place for kids (It made top 5 in every category of harm on Bark’s 2022 Annual Report, and the UK Children’s Commissioner just released a report naming Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter as the top three social media sites where kids access pornography)–but we celebrate every incremental improvement and hope many more kids will be spared harm with these changes than if they weren’t there. 

Caregiver controls 

NCOSE believes that the burden of responsibility to keep kids safe online should rest on the well-resourced platforms themselves. However, we also advocate that a critical aspect of child online safety is the availability of substantive caregiver controls on any device or platform where children are likely to be. This past year we consulted with both Snap and Apple multiple times throughout their respective parental tool development processes – and will continue to do so as they are constantly evolving. These companies were not on the 2022 Dirty Dozen List, but Snap has been on in the past and we’ve had some public calls to action with Apple. You can read about Snap’s Family Center parent tools here and about changes to Apple’s Screen Time here.

Improved Platform Policies 

Discord has been on the Dirty Dozen List for the past two years for failing to address the extensive sexually graphic, violent, and exploitative content; nonconsensual posting and sharing of sexually explicit images; and insufficient child protection – including from predators. We have to commend Discord for adding and improving several policies this past year. Some changes they’ve made: 

We are still watching and testing to see how well these policies are being implemented. General consensus among child online safety experts we work with is that Discord is not safe for minors. 

Increased Reporting Options 

For survivors of image-based sexual abuse, one of the most traumatic aspects they have to deal with is trying to get their content removed from the Internet. Together with survivor experts, we’ve been working extensively with DDL target Google Search for more than 18 months to improve their reporting and removal process. In the fall, Google added a reporting option on all images (the three dots on the top right) and streamlined their process for removing IBSA. We continue providing guidance and case studies for how to improve the process, including advocating that images be removed immediately, with the entity who posted the image shouldering the burden of proving consent was obtained–rather than the survivor needing to prove that consent was not given. 

Further, Snap and Twitter finally added a specific reporting option this year for child sex abuse material.

Sadly, we’re not seeing evidence that removing child sex abuse material from Twitter is actually a priority for Elon Musk. In fact, we’re hearing that the problem is becoming even worse. Additionally, Twitter is still hosting multiple verified accounts for Pornhub, despite the fact that Pornhub has come under fire for distributing and monetizing child sex abuse material, image-based sexual abuse, and other criminal content.

Pushing Pornography and Prostitution Out of the Mainstream

For Pornhub, 2022 was a year full of major hits and 2023 isn’t looking up for the once vast pornography empire. Predatory pornography site Pornhub was booted off three major social media platforms that in effect served as distribution channels and de facto advertising–putting children and adults alike at risk of accessing the criminal, violent, racist content Pornhub peddles. After NCOSE and allies shared evidence of wrongdoing, YouTubeTikTok, and Instagram all removed and blocked Pornhub’s verified accounts for good, depriving Pornhub of more than 14 million subscribers on those three platforms combined. Read all about it and why this is so significant here. 

Now we just need Twitter to do the same. Sign the petition asking Twitter to remove Pornhub’s account! 

Further, Visa and Mastercard finally cut ties with TrafficJunky, the advertising arm of Pornhub’s parent company, MindGeek. After renewed public and private pleas for Visa and Mastercard to also cut ties with Pornhub’s biggest competitor, XVideos, Mastercard finally agreed.

When our staff called XVideos to confirm Mastercard was no longer accepted, we were advised to “use a Visa card.” Urge Visa to also cut ties with XVideos here!  

In addition to many platforms giving Pornhub their final sendoff, several corporations curbed access to pornography on their platforms: 

I used to receive graphic pornography and prostitution ads through my fake 14 year old Snapchat account on a weekly basis. This past fall, Snap started identifying likely prostitution and pornography bot spam. They now provide users with a warning and block the ability to click the link unless a user friends the account. This is something we’ve been requesting Snap do for years. The number of these ads has also drastically decreased. 

At NCOSE’s specific urgingGoogle Search stopped surfacing pornography sites in the first several pages for criminally-themed terms such as “forced sex porn” and “drugged porn.” We’re still pushing on Google to stop yielding any pornography sites for such terms and will continue urging them to do so for racist, incest, and child-themed pornography searches (e.g. “teen porn,” “black slave porn”).

Sign the petition calling on Google to implement these changes here!

Daring Defenders of Dignity

We believe it is very important to publicly applaud corporations that go above and beyond (without public pressure) to end sexual exploitation. This year NCOSE recognized: 

Bumble: a popular woman-founded, woman-led dating app, for listening to their female users and proactively blurring unwanted sexually explicit photos by default. Bumble made this technology available to other corporations–it’s mystifying why no corporation will do this for kids! Furthermore, Bumble has also spearheaded legislation to combat “cyberflashing.” For these industry-setting moves, NCOSE presented Bumble with our 2022 Corporate Leadership Award to Bumble

Bark: On the occasion of Safer Internet Day 2022, NCOSE presented Bark with the Dignity Defense Alert for championing child protection. Built by concerned parents, for concerned parents, Bark equips caregivers and communities with innovative tools and resources to defend kids from myriad online risks. Check out their 2022 Annual Report, just released in early January, to see where kids are experiencing the most harm. See how many Dirty Dozen List targets you can spot. 

We’d also like to recognize the companies who pulled their advertising from Twitter when they learned their ads were being run next to child sex abuse material accounts. 

The 2022 DDL Duds

You can still sign the actions pressing on these corporations to change by visiting the links over the corporation names!

Etsy: For two years in a row, Etsy refuses to make some very simple, common-sense changes NCOSE and our allies Collective Shout have been asking for – including banning the sale of child sex abuse dolls and image-based sexual abuse products.

Kik: One of the most dangerous apps for kids, Kik has done nothing to make its platform safer, earning the top spot for three years in a row on Bark’s annual report for “severe sexual content.” 

Kanakuk Kamps: Kanakuk cancelled scheduled meetings with NCOSE multiple times, so we eventually stopped trying to meet with them. Survivors continue to come forward about abuse they experienced at Kanakuk Kamps, and independent review of the camp’s Child Protection Plan deemed it “insufficient and inadequate.” 

Netflix: Netflix is still hosting graphic sex scenes and gratuitous nudity, including the child-exploiting Cutieswhich almost 500,000 people have petitioned to be removed

OnlyFans: This prostitution and pornography site continues to boast robust age and consent verification features. So why is CSAM, sex trafficking, and IBSA still so easily found by investigators

Reddit: Reddit is a two-time DDL target and utter hotbed of criminal content, including being a top-spot for trading image-based sexual abuse.

Verisign: Verisign continues to do nothing, despite possibly being the company best-positioned to curb CSAM.

Corporations Are Listening and Changing

 The goal of the Dirty Dozen List and our other corporate campaigns is to put enough pressure on these institutions that they change their problematic practices and proactively advance a culture of dignity– within their corporations, within their industry, and throughout society at large.

Thank you for using your power to ensure corporation exercise their power responsibly! 

We couldn’t have accomplished this incredible progress without you, the relentless work of key allies, principled policymakers, tenacious journalists, and other passionate advocates. There’s still much work to be done (including with many of the corporations listed above)—but working together with you, we’re confident we can bring about a world truly free from all forms of sexual abuse and exploitation. 

Ps. Stay tuned for the 2023 Dirty Dozen List, which will be launched in late spring!

The Numbers


NCOSE leads the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation with over 300 member organizations.


The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has had over 100 policy victories since 2010. Each victory promotes human dignity above exploitation.


NCOSE’s activism campaigns and victories have made headlines around the globe. Averaging 93 mentions per week by media outlets and shows such as Today, CNN, The New York Times, BBC News, USA Today, Fox News and more.



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