- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Verizon, YouTube, Cosmopolitan magazine, and the parent company of Hardee’s restaurants are all part of the new “dirty dozen” list of entities that sell pornography or use explicit sexuality in their advertising.

The way companies can exit this list is by changing their policies and activities, said the leaders of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, formerly Morality in Media.

The public is encouraged to report issues with explicit advertising, public pornography or offensive movie titles offered in hotels or their cable company, said Dawn Hawkins, executive director of the center.

For instance, parents and others can request that Cosmopolitan magazine be “covered” like other pornographic magazines when it is on public display, and not be sold to minors, Ms. Hawkins said.

Parents can also protest to universities and colleges not to hold “Sex Week” events, since those merely provide a platform to demonstrate torture sex and other kinds of risky sexual behaviors.

This is the third year the anti-pornography group has created its “dirty dozen” list. Companies named in previous years have taken the complaints seriously — Google, for instance, began to block advertising for explicit pornography websites, and Comcast tightened its parental controls.

Verizon, however, is on the list for running movies themed around sex-trafficking, incest and other deviant activities.

YouTube is also named because of the pornography posted to it, which is often not policed.

The center’s goal is to defend women, children and even men from sexual exploitation and report on the ill effects of a hypersexualized culture. Originally founded in 1962, the center has built its case by highlighting research that shows that “porn harms.”

According to the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, this year’s “dirty dozen” list, and the reasons for their inclusion, are:

• American Apparel, for using sexualized, unclothed and young-looking models in its advertising;

• American Library Association, for encouraging libraries to not use filters on computers, resulting in patrons viewing pornography around children;

• Backpage.com, for its “adult services” advertising, which is suspected of being used in sex trafficking and prostitution;

• CKE Restaurants, which own Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s restaurants, for using women in sexualized situations to sell food;

• Cosmopolitan magazine, for encouraging group sex, torture sex and other potentially destructive activities in its pages;

• The Department of Justice, for not enforcing existing laws against distribution of pornography and obscenity;

• Facebook, for not purging its site of illegal pornography and other deviant or criminal activities;

• “Fifty Shades of Grey,” for promoting torture as sexually gratifying and normalizing domestic violence, particularly against women;

• Hilton, for providing pornographic movies in its hotel rooms;

• “Sex Week” events on campus, for encouraging unhealthy sex practices without regard to research or real-life application;

• Verizon, for carrying pay-for-view movies that are themed around sex with minors, sex with family members and sex with trafficked persons; and

• YouTube.com, for not enforcing its own strict terms of use on inappropriate content and for forcing users to go through a rigorous process to report content for removal.

A spokeswoman for the American Library Association said Wednesday that the list misrepresents ALA’s position on access to information. She recommended people read an ALA report called “Fencing Out Knowledge” and the organization’s position on intellectual freedom for further details.

Requests for a response from others on the list were not immediately available Wednesday.

Ms. Hawkins said that a letter signed by 100 groups is going to the Senate Judiciary Committee, to ensure that Loretta Lynch, the attorney general nominee, is asked about her plans to enforce obscenity laws.

• Cheryl Wetzstein can be reached at cwetzstein@washingtontimes.com.

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