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 mainstream players in America that perpetuate sexual exploitation—whether that be through pornography, prostitution, sexual objectification, sexual violence and/or sex trafficking.
The Dirty Dozen List is an activism tool that gives back power to individuals who want a voice in the culture. People can participate by taking easy online actions, from sending emails to sharing social media messages.
The Dirty Dozen List has a track record of uniting thousands of individual actions and targeting them to create monumental changes, such as policy improvements at Google, Hilton Worldwide, Verizon, Walmart, and the Department of Defense (see more below.)
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At the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, 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 and where sexual violence or exploitation are not tolerated in any industry. 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, businesses (and this year, individuals) 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 progress, placement on the Watch List also signals our lingering concerns about their commitment to ending sexual exploitation.
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 ten 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 has 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?
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.
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 significantly improved usability and parental control settings for cable and Internet users. Comcast executives told NCOSE “We heard your feedback and made improvements.” While NCOSE is still petitioning Comcast to stop selling pornography, these important innovations make Comcast a leader on family safety within the telecommunications industry.
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.
RiteAid and Food Lion mandated policies to put the sexually explicit Cosmopolitan magazine behind blinders in their retail shops so that customers are not forced to view Cosmopolitan’s sexually degrading and objectifying themes.
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.
Current college student and mother of 3 boys Stephanie Strawser was working on an essay on slavery for class and did what most students do first: she Googled it. Looking for a synonym for the word ‘bondage’ for her assignment, Stephanie was instead bombarded with pornified imagery and sexual content. The problem was so bad […]
According to news reports, YouTube has blocked comments on most videos featuring minors to combat child exploitation, following the unveiling of pedophilia rings on its platform. “To the cynical eye, it appears that YouTube could be trying to retain the ability to monetize videos of children with hundreds of thousands, and millions, of viewers who […]
While this work is sometimes dark and depressing, we are so grateful to see many victories from 2018! Join us in looking back and recognizing the forward momentum our movement has, from corporate policy progress at Walmart and Comcast, to more state resolutions recognizing the harms of pornography, and more! 1) SUBSCRIBE to our podcast. […]
Do you have a child that loves superheroes? Do you have a Netflix account? Then you may have heard of Marvel’s Netflix-exclusive superhero series, including Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, The Iron Fist, and The Defenders. These shows are readily available and advertised throughout the Netflix site and app, and may especially entice young fans […]
Excerpt from SeattlePi.com, published Jan 22, 2019 A lawsuit filed last week accused United Airlines of failing to protect a 16-year-old girl who was sexually assaulted on a July 2017 flight from Seattle to Newark, New Jersey. Vijaykumar Krishnappa, 29, was sentenced to 90 days at a federal court in New Jersey earlier this month. But the […]
Devin Ashford was charged in Lincoln, Nebraska for sex trafficking of a minor and possession of child pornography. Devin Ashford was arrested for sex trafficking a 17-year-old girl, after the young woman he exploited was able to call her mother for help. This launched a police investigation, and one month later police got search warrants for […]
Legalized prostitution in Nevada has also led to an increase (not decrease) in the state’s illegal sex trade. In fact, Nevada has the highest rates of an illegal sex trade in the country, adjusted for population—63% higher than the next highest state of New York and double that of Florida.[i] At least 5,016 individuals are being sold […]
As of February 2018, there were at least 21 brothels active in Nevada.[i] While some people claim that legalization of prostitution provides better regulation and increased safety, the truth is that sexual objectification, coercion, violence, as well as racism and socioeconomic disadvantages are inextricable from the prostitution experience—including Nevada’s legal brothels. Indeed, the very exchange of […]