Watch the reveal of the 2019 Dirty Dozen List – which names 12 mainstream contributors to sexual exploitation in America.
SHARE THE DIRTY DOZEN LIST ON TWITTERNo corporation should profit from or facilitate sexual exploitation. 2019 #DirtyDozen List of leading mainstream facilitators of exploitation to be revealed Feb 11 by @NCOSE http://bit.ly/2019DirtyDozen Click To Tweet
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.
In today’s world, corporations drive our culture. They influence how people communicate, how they dress, and what information they receive. When a company makes a positive change to stop promoting sexploitation, it has a ripple effect that influences countless lives.
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.)
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.
The popular Snapchat app is arguably the most popular smartphone app used by young teens. Unfortunately, Snapchat regularly exposes children as young as 13 years old to graphic sexual content in its Discover stories, such as articles on “oral sex etiquette.” Further, Snapchat is often used to groom individuals into sex trafficking and prostitution, yet it fails to remove accounts acting as advertisements for prostitution and sex trafficking through pornography distribution. After activism from NCOSE, Snapchat created in-app reporting options and allowed users to block certain Discover publishers.
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?
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?
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.
Over several years of advocacy, Comcast continues to make significant improvements to the usability and parental control settings for cable and Internet users. In 2019, when Comcast added filters at the router level and removed access to pornography from some of their search features for cable, Comcast executives told NCOSE “We heard your feedback and made improvements.” While NCOSE is still petitioning Comcast for further improvements, these important innovations make Comcast a leader on family safety within the telecommunications industry.
In 2014, in the wake of a growing crisis of sexual assault and the Dirty Dozen List highlighting problematic policies, the Department of Defense stopped the sale of pornography in all U.S. Army and Air Force base exchanges. The DOD also ordered regular searches and removals of all sexual materials in public and workspaces to take place for all military branches and updated the training for all servicemen and women on human trafficking to include harms of pornography and reasons why sex buying is harmful. As we continued the pressure, the U.S. Navy finally stopped selling pornography in 2019.
In June 2014, Google enacted policies for AdWords to no longer accept ads that promote graphic depictions of sexual acts or ads that link to websites that have such material in them. In 2021, Google changed their policies to no longer allow ads for prostitution or “compensated dating.” We applaud Google for stemming the ability of sex buyers to more easily purchase people for their own pleasure.
In 2013, 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. In 2014, following 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. Also, as of November 2019, Twitter requires pornography to be marked as “sensitive media” to somewhat curb unintentional exposure to it. However, this appears to be rarely enforced and Twitter continues to not adequately prioritize removing child sexual abuse images and red flags for commercial sexual exploitation.
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.
In 2018, after collaborative dialogue with NCOSE, Walmart committed to removing Cosmopolitan magazine from checkout lines at all of its stores across the country. Cosmopolitan, like Playboy, places women’s value primarily on their ability to sexually satisfy a man and therefore feeds a culture that permisses male sexual entitlement. NCOSE is grateful for Walmart’s leadership to reduce the amount of unsolicited sexually objectifying material that bombards youth and adults alike.
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