Why?

[View the 2018 Dirty Dozen List here.]


No corporation should profit from or facilitate sexual exploitation.

Unfortunately, many well-established brands, companies, and organizations in America do just that. Since 2013, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation has published an annual Dirty Dozen List to name and shame the bad corporate actors in America that perpetuate sexual exploitation—whether that be through pornography, prostitution, and sex trafficking.

The Dirty Dozen List is an activism tool that has instigated tremendous changes, leading to policy improvements at Google, Hilton Worldwide, Verizon, Walmart, and the Department of Defense (see more below!)

NCOSE announced the 2017 Dirty Dozen List on February 22 via a live online press conference.  You can watch a recording of the press conference below.

At the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, we work for a world where the pornified vision of reality—with its raw, brutal, debasing, hate-filled themes—becomes intolerable to all those who have concern for the well-being of humanity, respect for human dignity, and affirm human rights. We work for a world where human beings are not bought and sold for sex, whether on seedy street corners or via the modern convenience of the Internet. We work for a world free from sexual exploitation in all its forms.

One way we do this is through the annual “Dirty Dozen List,” which names and shames a range of actors who contribute significantly to the normalization of pornography, prostitution, sex trafficking, and other forms of sexual exploitation. The groups, agencies, and businesses named to this list are among the nation’s worst for masquerading as mainstream entities with respectable reputations, while facilitating access to, or pandering and profiting directly from pornography and or prostitution. Others push policy agendas that normalize egregious forms of sexual exploitation. This list ensures that their participation and collusion with the various aspects of the sex trade becomes public knowledge, and equips concerned citizens with information and tools to hold them accountable.

We will continue naming and shaming until these mainstream contributors to the normalization of sexual exploitation no longer stand in allegiance with pornographers, sex traffickers, and sex buyers, and join us in fighting for the right of everyone to live sexploitation free lives.

The Dirty Dozen Watch List serves dual purposes. In some instances, it puts entities on notice that they may soon find themselves named as a major contributor to sexual exploitation unless they demonstrate significant and sustained efforts to address their role in fueling sexual exploitation. In other cases, by placing an organization on the Watch List, NCOSE is affirming an entity’s positive step towards addressing its role in sexual exploitation. However, because some such steps represent only small progress in terms of the entity’s total contribution to sexual exploitation, or because we may have concerns about the entity’s intent to carry through with its pledge, placement on the Watch List also signals our lingering concerns about their commitment to ending sexual exploitation.

In 2015, Hyatt Hotels Corporation followed other major hotel chains in pledging to remove all on-demand hardcore pornography offerings from its hotels. But some of its hotels are still offering hardcore pornography. Will Hyatt carry through with its pledge to remove this material from all its properties?

This staple of the supermarket checkout lane is a visually hypersexualized and verbally pornographic magazine. With inexhaustible predictability, Cosmopolitan accosts shoppers with covers pronouncing dozens of recycled “sex tricks” and flaunting an endless supply of hypersexualized cover models. Within the Cosmo magazine, and increasingly on its website, it relentlessly glamorizes things like public, anal, group, and violent sex to its young female readership.

For the past eight years, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) refused to enforce existing federal obscenity laws (hardcore pornography) despite the fact that these laws have been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court and previously enforced. This gross negligence gave a free pass to producers and distributors of pornography and enabled the culture of sexual exploitation to flourish. Will the new leadership at DOJ take robust action against the purveyors of obscenity?

Verizon profits from sexual exploitation by providing hardcore pornography as an Internet service provider, through its FiOS television packages, and as a wireless carrier. They have even defended child, rape, incest, and racist-themed pornography as a benefit to their customers. However, Verizon has taken a step toward curbing its participation in sexual exploitation by creating an opt-in system for new subscribers to FiOS IPTV services. Does this step mark the beginning of Verizon’s journey towards becoming a sexploitation-free corporation?

Victories

American Apparel stopped using nudity and sexually explicit advertising for its clothing line and took extensive measures to remove these types of ads from its online and print catalogues.

Backpage.com, a large classified ad website notorious for facilitating prostitution and sex trafficking, recently blocked its prostitution ads in the U.S. While arguably a publicity stunt, this move was taken due to intense pressure for its role as a facilitator of sex trafficking. However, the site continues to operate and is arguably the largest facilitator of sexual exploitation in the world. For these reasons Backpage remains of the Dirty Dozen list for a third consecutive year.

Carl’s Jr., one of four brands under CKE Restaurants including Hardee’s, has announced that it will stop producing hyper-sexualized, misogynistic ads for their fast food products.

CKE Restaurants received substantial negative press for their demeaning ads after being placed on NCOSE’s 2015 Dirty Dozen List.

Comcast improved usability and tightened the parental control settings for cable users. However, Comcast is still distributing hardcore pornography, which is why it is on the 2018 Dirty Dozen List.

The Department of Defense stopped the sale of pornography in all Army and Air Force base exchanges. The DOD also ordered regular search and removals of all sexual materials in public and workspaces take place for all military branches.

Facebook has taken steps to improve efforts to block and report child pornography on its site.

The Fifty Shades of Grey film release was met with substantial opposition, including a viral social media campaign and hundreds of PR interviews to highlight how the series and film normalizes sexual violence. NCOSE’s 2017 social media campaign against the cinematic sequel, Fifty Shades Darker, reached more than 1 million individuals with the message that #FiftyShadesIsAbuse.

Google adopted a policy to prohibit pornographic ads and any ads that link to websites with sexually explicit content.

GooglePlay instituted policies that prohibit pornographic apps in their app store after the first year on our list, though lax enforcement of this policy followed. After a second year on the list, GooglePlay removed all apps in violation.

Hilton Hotels Worldwide publicly announced it would stop selling pornography and issued orders to implement this policy in all of its brand contracts around the world. It is expected to be in full-force by July 2016.

Hyatt Hotels & Resorts revised their brand standard to stop profiting from all in-room pornography film offerings and has demanded that all of their properties comply. The compliance progress is on-going across Hyatt properties.

InterContinental Hotel Group performed an audit of their more than 4,800 properties around the world and insisted that all hotels immediately cease selling porn films or face the risk of losing good standing as an IGH brand. IHG made this move without having to be publicly named to the Dirty Dozen List.

Marsh Supermarkets, a chain of produce markets and convenience stores in Indiana and Ohio, removed Cosmopolitan magazine from its checkout lanes. As a result, Marsh customers can enjoy a sexploitation free checkout experience.

Snapchat recently announced that it will prohibit sensitive content, including overly sexualized content, within Discover, the publisher section of the app. However, given the extremely pornified atmosphere of Discover which Snapchat allowed to flourish, and other serious concerns about sexual exploitation on Snapchat, the company remain on the Dirty Dozen list.

Twitter is blocking direct searches for porn within the “Photos” and “Videos” tabs, although not in the general search tab. Twitter must do much more to curb sexually exploitive content, but this recent decision to block blatant searches for pornographic images and videos is a significant break from their past laissez-faire approach and should be commended.

Verizon removed the child-themed and slavery-themed pornographic films they were offering through their FIOS TV. In 2016 Verizon also changed its policy for new FiOS IPTV customers so that they will automatically be offered pornography-free television packages unless customers specifically request to opt-in to such content. While we wait to see if the policy is implemented, Verizon is on NCOSE’s 2018 Dirty Dozen Watch List.

Walmart, RiteAid, Food Lion and other retailers mandated policies to put the sexually explicit Cosmopolitan magazine behind blinders in their retail shops.

YouTube launched the much safer YouTube Kids app, which gives kids a better protected space to watch age-appropriate videos without risk of being exposed to the violent and sexual content on the official YouTube site. However, YouTube still needs to make significant improvements to its monitoring and reporting systems.

Updates

Indiana Groups Outraged Over EBSCO Databases Still Providing Sexually Explicit Material to K-12 Schoolchildren

There’s more trouble brewing for EBSCO Information Services and the inclusion of sexually explicit material in the databases they claim are curated and completely age- and curriculum-appropriate for K-12 schoolchildren. This time, the outrage is pouring out of Indiana. Here’s one video made by Indiana Liberty Council that already has over 52,000 in 24 hours. […]

Parents File Lawsuit Against EBSCO for Porn in K12 Databases

The Thomas More Society filed suit on October 10, 2018 against EBSCO Information Systems and the Colorado Library Consortium on October 10, 2018 over their involvement in providing sexually explicit material in K-12 databases despite complaints by concerned parents and groups. Read the lawsuit here.   PRESS STATEMENT BY THE THOMAS MORE SOCIETY Pornography Hidden […]

Denver Post: Parent group sues Colorado Library Consortium over EBSCO database it alleges gives kids access to pornography

Excerpt from Denber Post Article By MONTE WHALEY, October 10, 2018 Parent group sues Colorado Library Consortium over database it alleges gives kids access to pornography   Drew Paterson remembers when he and his wife realized their middle school daughter’s online school account in the Cherry Creek School District was linked to raw, unfiltered pornography. “She calls […]

Cherry Creek schools ditches EBSCO student database after prolonged complaints about accessible porn

Excerpt of Sentinel Colorado News Article By GRANT STRINGER, September 14, 2018 Cherry Creek schools ditches EBSCO student database after prolonged complaints about accessible porn AURORA | The Cherry Creek School District is switching research databases after two years of allegations from some parents that the databases contained pornography. Cherry Creek schools spokesperson Abbe Smith said students […]

Open Letter on the Dangers of Normalizing Sex Dolls and Sex Robots

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has joined onto the below Open Letter on the Dangers of Normalizing Sex Dolls and Sex Robots, begun by Campaign Against Sex Robots. You can sign the petition as well by following this link. You can also email Amazon executives directly by clicking here to ask them to remove sex dolls from their […]

open letter sex dolls

Amazon Removes Books Glorifying Sexual Assault, Many Still Remain

Amazon recently removed 9 books from their online store by “pickup artist” Daryush “Roosh” Valizadeh. Valizadeh earns money through self-publishing books on Amazon describing his sexual encounters in foreign countries, including actual confessions of sexual assault and rape. These books are meant to serve as guides for men on how to “pickup” women. “In today’s […]

HBO’s The Deuce Claims Porn and Prostitution are Empowering, Here’s Why That’s Wrong

September 9th the second season of The Deuce premiered despite protests by women’s rights groups like the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. The show chronicles the growth of commercial sexual exploitation with the rise of the pornography and prostitution industry in New York City during the 1970s and ‘80s and is filled with gratuitous nudity […]

The Deuce: Buying and Selling Women's Bodies

Amazon Pushes Pornography Ads on Website for Boy Scouts

How do ads for pornography appear on a website that provides advice and how-to columns related to cub scouts and boy scouts? The answer is simple: Amazon. This issue first came to our attention when a concerned parent reached out to the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. She had stumbled across ads for pornography on […]

boy scout amazon

Comcast Executives Are Making Significant Improvement to Digital Well-Being and Safety Features

Comcast NBC Universal executives met with the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) last week to discuss improvements Comcast is making for digital well-being and safety. After three years on our Dirty Dozen List and many letters, emails, and phone calls back and forth with their leadership, Comcast executives told us: “We took your feedback […]

Comcast safety parental controls

Using Social Media to Defend Human Dignity

We have all heard the story of “The Frog Prince” before: an ugly frog is turned into a handsome prince after being kissed by a princess. It’s a fantastic tale that shows even the ‘ugly’ can become beautiful with a little love and dedication. Twitter is one of our frogs, or perhaps birds. It earned […]

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