Dirty Dozen List 2016 - Verizon

The Problem

In 2014, we wrote letters to Verizon’s board of directors asking each member of the board if they believe Verizon should profit from pornographic films that promote child sex abuse and incest.

We received a response from Verizon’s Director of Global Corporate Citizenship stating that the company believes its “explosion of choice” in programming is a “tremendous benefit” to consumers.

However, soon thereafter, Verizon quietly removed all child-themed porn from their FIOS video-on-demand service.

This is a significant victory, but there is still work to do.

Verizon’s corporate actions have an impact on the coarsening of our nation’s culture. It seems they feel making money is more important than making the world a better place. They fail to realize they can do both.

Pornography is remarkably harmful. Research has proven this repeatedly. Not only does pornography exploit, degrade and dehumanize the people in the production of films and photos, but it exploits, degrades and dehumanizes the people exposed to it. Porn neurologically highjacks users to view others as mere objects for selfish, sexual satisfaction rather than opportunities for healthy intimate relationships.

Through Verizon’s FIOS video-on-demand service, offensive videos laud the sexual benefits of sex trafficking, incest, racism and violent physical abuse. These titles include “Gang Bang Sex Slaves,” “I Banged My Stepdad,” “Massive Black Butts,” and “Inside Asian Teens.” These, and many films like them, teach and form sexual templates where such attitudes and actions are desirable, even socially acceptable.

Aside from the fact that Verizon profits from degrading, dehumanizing, and exploitative material, they are also potentially breaking the law.

According to Title 18 U.S. Code § 1468, it is illegal to distribute “any obscene matter by means of cable television or subscription services on television,” punishable by law. It goes on to clarify that “matter that is obscene [is] … unprotected by the Constitution.”

For these reasons, in addition to the science and the laws against porn, we are asking Verizon to stop seeking profits from exploitation. We demand that they stop all pay-per-view porn offerings. We request that they lead the way in the US by following ISP examples in the UK to make porn an “opt-in” choice to customers of their wireless Internet. We also ask that they make strong parental controls and filtered devices available to users of their cellular phone/tablet services.

Our society, especially our children and relationships, are suffering the affects of a pornified mentality and culture. As Verizon is a leading distributor of pornography, Verizon is responsible for much of that harm.

Read our letter to Verizon

Take Action

Public Health Harms of Pornography

Download the research summaries of studies on the harm of pornography


Deeply Damaging to Relationships, Mental Health, and Empathy for Other Human Beings

Research Spotlight: “Sexual Violence as a Sexual Script in Mainstream Online Pornography”

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