Opposition to pornography filtering in libraries has seen the American Library Association placed on the National Center for Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) naughty list.
Each year, NCOSE publishes a list of the top twelve companies and organizations that it believes are either profiting from pornography or facilitating access. The aim of the list, referred to as the Dirty Dozen, is to name and shame the companies and organizations that are failing to do enough to tackle the growing problem of online pornography.
Pornography is only the tip of the iceberg. Hidden underneath is a world of sexual exploitation, prostitution, and sex trafficking. NCOSE sees companies and organizations that fail to take action as being part of the problem, inadvertently – or in some cases deliberately – contributing to the considerable harm that is caused by pornography.
This year’s list includes technology and telecoms companies (Amazon, Comcast, Roku) the American Library Association (ALA) and EBSCO, a provider of library resources to schools, colleges, higher education establishments and libraries). Four websites make the list (YouTube, Twitter, Snapchat, and Backpage.com), along with Cosmopolitan Magazine, HBO, and Amnesty International.
The ALA is almost a permanent fixture on the NCOSE Dirty Dozen list, having been present for the past five years. It is the ALA’s opposition to the use of pornography filtering in libraries that sees it included year after year. NCOSE says “the ALA zealously encourages public libraries not to install internet filters on public access computers.” By taking such a stance, the ALA is providing patrons – including children – with the means to access sexually explicit and obscene material. ALA told CBN news that “Librarians encourage parents and children to talk with one another. Families have a right to set their own boundaries and values. They do not have the right to impose them on others.”
NCOSE doesn’t hold back, saying the ALA stance on pornography filtering in libraries “has turned the once safe community setting of the public library into a XXX space that fosters child sexual abuse, sexual assault, exhibitionism, stalking, and lewd behavior in libraries across the country.”
Only this month, NCOSE responded to the ALA’s continued opposition to pornography filtering in libraries on the grounds of free speech, saying there is no constitutional requirement for libraries to provide access to hardcore pornography to patrons.
EBSCO made the list as its databases “provide easy access to hardcore pornography sites and extremely graphic sexual content,” pointing out that its system allows schoolchildren to easily circumvent web filters in schools. In response to its inclusion on the list, EBSCO says it is working on enhancing its web filtering systems and will implement better algorithms to filter pornographic content.
Amazon made the list, even though it has a policy prohibiting the sale of pornography, because of its pornography-related items on its site, including hardcore pornographic films and sex dolls with childlike features.
Amnesty International made the list for its stance on the decriminalization of prostitution and for creating “a de facto right for men to buy people.” Cosmopolitan was included for its hypersexualized imagery and glamorization of violent, public, and group sex. Roku, Comcast, Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube and HBO were included for peddling pornography, pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable, and making it too easy for pornographic content to be accessed.