The National Center on Sexual Exploitation released its 2022 Dirty Dozen List yesterday (March 8), calling out 12 companies whose business activities contribute to the dissemination of images and videos of exploitation, human trafficking and abusive material and behavior.
Netflix, Meta and Etsy are among the tech companies dominating this year’s list.
“Big Tech wields incredible influence over society, so it’s especially glaring when tech companies normalize, enable, and even profit from sexually exploitative practices, policies, and products,” said Lina Nealon, director of initiatives. and Strategy from the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. “No other industry has the ability to help billions of people by prioritizing user protection and safety like Big Tech.”
Nealon said tech companies on the Dirty Dozen list have “allowed child sexual abuse to thrive on their platforms” and given predators “easy access to children.”
“These same companies frequently ignore survivors of sex trafficking and abuse seeking justice,” Nealon added.
2022 Dirty Dozen List
The Dirty Dozen 2022 roster includes:
- Discord – A free voice, video and text chat app used by millions of people aged 13 and over, Discord “consistently fails to address the vast sexually graphic, violent and exploitative content on its thousands of private and public channels. Inadequate age verification and moderation means that millions of children and adolescents are left with near total exposure to child sexual abuse material, the non-consensual pornography trade and the predatory grooming that plagues its platform,” the NCOSE report said.
- Etsy – The popular marketplace site has been cited by the NCSE for selling pornographic, misogynistic and dehumanizing merchandise, including sex dolls that look like children and young teens.
- Kik – Another free messaging app used by many American teens, NCOSE reports that “law enforcement has been warning for years that Kik is a breeding ground for predators.”
- Netflix – The video streaming service continues to produce shows that include graphic sex scenes, gratuitous nudity and the sexualization of children, according to the NCSE report.
Other tech companies on the list are Google Search, Meta (formerly known as Facebook), OnlyFans, Reddit, and Twitter.
Kanakuk Kamps, based in Branson, Missouri, was also on the list. The Christian camping organization has recently been in the spotlight amid numerous allegations of sexual abuse at their camps. “Years of child sexual abuse at Kanakuk Kamps have been swept under the rug,” NCOSE reported. “Responsibility, accountability and transparency must be demanded of institutions like Kanakuk Kamps if we are to eradicate child sexual abuse.
Two companies, Verisign and Visa, have been cited for providing infrastructure and services that encourage child abuse and other forms of exploitation. Verisign handles the .com and .net Internet domains, while Visa processes payments for companies like MindGeek, Pornhub’s parent company. Visa also processes payments for brothels and prostitution sites, according to the NCOSE report.
Call to action
The Dirty Dozen List was launched in 2013 to encourage affected individuals to take action against companies, government agencies, and organizations with exploitative policies and practices. Past entities that have made the list and made progress toward putting protective measures in place include Google, TikTok, Hilton Worldwide, Snapchat, Walmart, the US Department of Defense, according to the NCOSE report.
Hilton, for example, was among several chains that stopped offering porn channels as on-demand amenities in their rooms. Snapchat has created an in-app reporting tool for harassing and pornographic snaps. Walmart has removed Cosmopolitan magazines from checkouts.
But there’s still work to be done, as the 2022 roster shows, Nealon said.
“It is time for sexual exploitation to end. The Dirty Dozen 2022 list is a challenge for these companies and named entities to live up to their social responsibilities and make crucial changes to stop and prevent harm on their platforms and through their products,” she said. . “We urge the public to contact every entity on this list to advocate for urgent reform.”
Click here to find suggestions on how to get involved in NCOSE’s campaign against human exploitation.