Catholic News Agency

NGO releases 'Baker's Dozen' list of contributors to sexual exploitation

Washington D.C., Feb 6, 2020 / 04:39 pm (CNA).- The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has updated its annual “Dirty Dozen” ranking of mainstream companies or entities that it says are not doing enough to stop the spread of sexual exploitation.

This year, the “Dirty Dozen” has been expanded to include 13 companies–a “Baker’s Dozen” List. This is the first time more than 12 companies have been added to the list. The NCOSE has released a “Dirty Dozen” list each year since 2013.

“In today’s world, corporations drive our culture,” says the NCOSE’s website. “They influence how people communicate, how they dress, and what information they receive. When a company makes a positive change to stop promoting sexploitation, it has a ripple effect that influences countless lives.”

This year, the listed companies or entities are: Amazon, Google, Massage Envy, Netflix, Nevada, Seeking Arrangement, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, Steam, TikTok, Twitter, Visa, Wish, and Wyndham Hotels and Resorts.

Nevada, the only state to be included on the list, was listed because it is the only state with legalized brothel prostitution. In 2018, Lyon County, which is home to four registered brothels, voted overwhelmingly to keep brothels open.

New to the list this year are Seeking Arrangement, TikTok, Visa, Wish, and Wyndham Hotels and Resorts.

Seeking Arrangement is, as described by the NCOSE, “one of the largest pseudo-dating prostitution websites.” The NCOSE accused Seeking Arrangement of targeting “college students who struggle with student debt to be sexually accessible to socio-economically advantaged older men in exchange for money or gifts.”

TikTok is a mobile app popular with teenagers. TikTok does not have an option to make a profile private, and various safety restrictions on the app automatically turn off after a 30-day period. The NCOSE also cited TikTok for a “lack of moderation” and the ability for children to be sexually groomed.

Visa “partners with the pornography industry by processing payments for pornography,” including films with “themes of sexual violence, racism, incest, and the fetishization of minors,” said the NCOSE.

The NCOSE is presently suing Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, which includes several hotel brands owned by the corporation, including Days Inn, Super 8, Ramada, and Wyndham Grand, for “facilitating underage sex trafficking.”

Worldwide, the Wyndham Hotels and Resorts brand has more than 9,000 locations.

Progress was, however, made in some respects. United Airlines, which was included on the 2019 Dirty Dozen list, was removed from the list after adopting new policies.

“We are starting this year with an exciting victory as United Airlines has been removed from the 2019 Dirty Dozen list where it was previously listed due to improved training for flight crews regarding in-flight pornography use,” said the NCOSE’s Vice President of of Advocacy and Outreach Haley McNamara in a statement.

“As confirmed to the NOCSE by a United Airlines spokesperson, and United flight attendants, United has now begun training staff on how to respond to this disturbing new trend.”

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