by Patrina Mosley
February 12, 2019
The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE), the leading national organization exposing the links between all forms of sexual exploitation, has released their annual “Dirty Dozen List” that exposes and calls to account groups, agencies, and businesses who contribute significantly to the normalization of sexual exploitation through pornography, prostitution, sex trafficking, and other forms of exploitation.
At yesterday’s event announcing the list, NCOSE said, “This list ensures that their participation and collusion with the various aspects of the sex trade becomes public knowledge and equips citizens with information and tools to hold them accountable.” The Dirty Dozen List is meant to be an activism tool for consumers and a public call for these companies to reform their exploitive policies.
Since 2011, NCOSE has instigated 98 policy improvements in corporations and government entities. As NCOSE’s vice president of advocacy and outreach Haley Halverson said, “No corporation should profit from or facilitate sexual exploitation.”
Here is this year’s Dirty Dozen List of shame. Click on the organization’s name to join the campaign and send a message to these entities that are profiting from the sexual exploitation of women and children.
“Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer” is “promoting material that sexualizes children and normalizes the dehumanization and sexual commodification of women.” … “Items for sale on Amazon include child-like sex dolls, photography books with eroticized child nudity, pornographic magazines, and clothing items, and more. Their Kindle e-reader is riddled with sexually explicit content containing incest, babysitter, and group-sex themes.”
“EBSCO Information Services offers online library resources to public and private schools (K-12), colleges and universities, public libraries, and more. In its advertising for schools, it promises ‘fast access to curriculum-appropriate content.’ However, its Explora, Science Reference Center, Literary Reference Center, and other products, sometimes provide easy access to hardcore pornography sites and extremely graphic sexual content.”
Google Chromebook, which is often used in schools, is marketed as “built from the ground up to be shared with an unlimited number of students.” “Unfortunately, many schools distribute unprotected and unfiltered Chromebooks when Google could easily turn on a default setting for safer use by children.” … “YouTube, the world’s largest video-sharing platform, regularly hosts pornography and sexual violence while Google shirks responsibility by forcing users to act at content flaggers.”
“HBO, a division of Time Warner, is an American premium cable television network that has consistently produced content which normalizes rape myths, sexual violence, and commercial sexual exploitation through [sic] with sexually exploitive depictions of sex and sexual violence. This has been displayed over the years through shows like Game of Thrones and The Deuce. The HBO GO home streaming service and app make accessing this exploitive content even easier.”
5. Massage Envy
“Massage Envy has been and is being, sued by hundreds of women for failing to take appropriate measures when a massage therapist sexually harasses or assaults a client. Among a number of poor policies, the company has hidden clauses in customer agreements which force women to surrender their rights, and many former employees report being trained to do all in their power not to encourage police to show up at their locations. Massage Envy does not even require reporting of suspected assaults to the Massage Therapy Board and a number of cases against Massage Envy involve prior complaints of sexual assault by customers being made to management and them doing nothing about it, thus allowing perpetrators to continue preying on vulnerable clients.”
“Despite much highly-rated originally produced content on its platform, Netflix sinks to storytelling which portrays gratuitous nudity and graphic sex acts in shows meant for teen and young audiences. Further, Netflix portrays graphic and violent depictions of sexual assault in a number of their shows and has even produced shows normalizing sex trafficking and eroticizing children. Netflix allows a loophole for children to easily get around parental control features and it regularly recommends children’s content paired right next to NC17 and TV-MA content.”
“Nevada is the only state in America with legalized brothel prostitution, in select counties. As of February 2018, there were at least 21 brothels active in Nevada. While some may claim that legalization provides better regulation and increased safety – the truth is that sexual violence, racism, and socioeconomic disadvantages are inextricable from the prostitution experience.”
“Roku, a leading media streaming company, provides its users with the ability to stream television programs, movies, music, and more, on their personal devices. Unfortunately, Roku also facilitates access to hardcore pornography channels through hundreds of private and hidden channels.”
“Since 1964 this magazine has sexually objectified women for sport and profit.” … “These images are not designed to be empowering. Rather, they are designed to portray women as sexually desirable and available to the male customers purchasing this magazine. Women who have achieved remarkable athletic feats do not deserve to be put back into the box of male sexual accessibility in order to promote ‘body positivity.’”
“Steam® is a popular distribution platform, owned by Valve Corporation, which sells thousands of video games for PC, Mac, Linux box, mobile device, or even televisions, in addition to connecting gamers with community forums on its website.” After receiving backlash from gamers about working to remove rape-themed games, Steam instituted a new policy to “allow everything onto the Steam Store, except for things that we decide are illegal, or straight up trolling.” As soon as this new policy launched, the number of games tagged for “nudity” doubled from approximately 700 games to around 1,400 in just four months—and now there are over 2,000 games with this tag.
“For years, Twitter has done little to stem the overwhelming tide of sex trafficking, prostitution, and pornography accounts on its site. In fact, media reports suggest that as many as 10 million Twitter accounts may include explicit sexual content. Twitter prides itself as being a platform for ‘free expression’ yet refuses to remove accounts posting likely advertisements for sexual slavery.”
12. United Airlines
“United Airlines fails to adequately train aircrews to address the problem of pornography-use on airplanes and the sexually hostile environment that this fosters. While reports of sexual harassment and even assault have increased in the airline industry, United Airlines has not prioritized policies and procedures to keep customers safe.”