Watch the reveal of the 2020 Dirty Dozen List here:
No mainstream entity 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.)No corporation should profit from or facilitate sexual exploitation. 2020 #DirtyDozen List of leading mainstream facilitators of exploitation to be revealed Feb 6th. Click To Tweet
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.
Snapchat Discover exposes minors to sexually graphic content, including hyper-sexualized photos and articles with sexually explicit written content, sometimes even promoting participation in the sex trade. It’s time for Snapchat to create age-based default safety settings and to create a safe environment for minors on their platform.
While this juggernaut of information for schools and libraries has made major improvements after being listed to the Dirty Dozen List, they unfortunately still host sexually explicit content on EBSCO K-12 school databases and continue to deceptively market their systems to libraries and schools as safe and curriculum appropriate. We also remain concerned that EBSCO places most of the responsibility for removing such content on school and library administrators, yet EBSCO doesn’t adequately warn these administrators that the content is available so easily on its systems.
Facebook is taking steps to increase encryption on its platform, including potentially on Kid’s Messenger, without adequately consulting with subject matter experts on the potential impact to sexual exploitation. These encryption efforts will make online crimes against children harder to track by law enforcement and Internet watchdogs. Facebook must not enable more abuse and exploitation as they build new systems.
For years, NCOSE has been requesting that Amazon Prime Video create systems to prevent kids from easily accessing material harmful to young viewers. In 2020, Amazon finally rolled out some key developments to address our concerns. You can now set up multiple users under one account with optional “Kids profiles” where only films and shows that are appropriate for kids under age 12 will be available.
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 2013, after being placed on the Dirty Dozen List and meeting with NCOSE, Facebook took significant steps to improve efforts to block and report child sexual abuse material on its site. Facebook’s example, continued work to find solutions to reduce CSAM, and their transparency in reporting and talking about it has set industry-wide standards and moved many of the other social media platforms to better prioritize child safety. We believe more can be done and are grateful for the open door to keep these conversations going with Facebook and platforms they own like Instagram.
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.
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 2020, after much urging, Google improved Google Images to decrease exposure to hardcore pornography for users looking up unrelated or innocent terms. Previously, searches for basic anatomical terms did not yield scientific drawings, but instead returned images of and links to hardcore pornography. The search term “happy black teen” returned thousands of images of rape and extreme sexual violence. [Note: pornographic images may still appear in Google Image searches for search terms more closely related to the pornography industry.]
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.
After thousands of emails were sent to Netflix by grassroots supporters through the Dirty Dozen List, Netflix took a step forward. Netflix’s parental controls have improved so that 4-digit pin codes used to block certain shows or ratings remain consistent across Profiles, thereby closing a loophole where children could accidentally access sexually graphic content. Further, there are now content warnings at the beginning of every show. These policies are impacting nearly 150 million subscribers!
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.
We brought concerns about Snapchat being used to facilitate pornography and sex trafficked/prostituted advertisements to Snapchat headquarters in Washington D.C.. Snapchat has made improvements to allow Discover publishers to age-gate content, and allowing users to delete specific Discover publishers. We thank Snapchat for discontinuing Snapcash—which was being used to facilitate commercial sexual exploitation. Snapchat has also updated its Safety Center.
Just a few weeks after our public announcement about TikTok being named to the 2020 Dirty Dozen List, the social media company announced new safety features which NCOSE requested, including fixing the problem of safety features turning off every 30 days, and a new Family Pairing mode for better parental controls. There is still more TikTok needs to improve, but this is a big step forward.
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.
The National Center on Sexual Exploitation applauds United Airlines for changing its in-person flight attendant training to include the issue of passengers using pornography on the plane. This was a rising problem of sexual harassment and United aircrews previously resorted to giving alleged ‘hush’ money or even openly joking about the harassment. Flight attendants reported to the NCOSE that this new topic of training began in January 2020, and a United Airlines spokesperson confirmed to NCOSE that the training is now taking place.
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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Netflix, the global, mega-popular streaming service, recently came under fire for the reveal of their newest film acquisition: Cuties, a French film dedicated to the hypersexualization of young children. In the now-updated poster and movie description, 11 year old girls pose in tight, revealing outfits on a glittering stage, with one girl even posing on…
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With more than 500 million active users worldwide, TikTok is a social media video app for creating and sharing short videos and the app is well known for being popular with minors. TikTok has been placed on the 2020 Dirty Dozen List due to lack of moderation and insufficient safety controls, which put minors at risk of exposure…
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