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Nobody’s Talking About Online Pornography. Hmmm…We Are

No one can legitimately claim that online Porn is, and has been, rampant since “online” was invented. Purveyors of Pornography probably financed the creation of the internet. I guess the internet-inventor Al Gore probably was involved. After all, he and Tipper were headed to trouble in their marriage. Pornography could have been involved.

How does Pornography get so powerful and become so compelling?

Based on multiple studies, “When a person is aroused by porn, their brain releases a chemical called dopamine that makes them feel pleasure.” Should the viewing of Pornography become repetitive, our brain responds by removing some of its dopamine receptors. For a person to achieve the same pleasurable response they experienced when first beginning porn use, they must view an increasing amount or look at more shocking forms.

Pornography, unlike drugs, is not a substance that eventually works itself out of the body. It is thoughts; it is images; easily recalled and difficult to forget. In other words, Pornography is highly addictive and creates a thought process that is not easily overcome.

Once thought processes are in place, the thoughts easily express themselves as behavior. The unrealistic expectations created by regular viewing of Pornography may lead to the abuse of faithful spouses or children. Only a few are not attracted.

Seriously, no one is exempt from the ills of Porn. It’s EVERYWHERE! One has to look no further than billboards on city streets and highways, television ads and shows, fashion magazines, and even cartoons. Of course, we are now fighting the fight to get Pornography removed from books in school libraries that teach the use of condoms to first graders.

But nowhere in history has Pornography been so widespread and diverse as it is on the internet. The “Net” makes it simple, quick, and easily kept private. These help to attract the most innocent among us to test the pornographic actions promoted in the Porn they see. Testing most often becomes a gateway to the hardcore porn that is deadly to millions of Americans. Marriages are destroyed, families are dissolved, and millions see millions (of dollars) disappear into the pockets of the “Porno Kings.”

Financial institutions have an essential role in preventing online sex trafficking, including the monetization of filmed underage sexual abuse, which is rampant on mainstream websites. Last year, Pornhub, the world’s most popular porn site with 47 billion visits per year and enough content that it would take 169 years to watch the videos uploaded in a single year, was globally exposed and condemned for enabling and profiting from mass sexual crime, including child rape and abuse, sex trafficking, and a spectrum of illegal image-based sexual abuse.

In December 2020, an explosive New York Times investigation revealed Pornhub as a site “infested” with the filmed criminal sexual abuse of victims. The spotlight for enabling this mega-sex trafficking operation was placed on the credit card companies whose services allow exploitation to remain profitable. Within days of the damning exposé, Mastercard confirmed the presence of illegal content on the site, including child pornography, and was the first to cut ties with Pornhub. Visa and Discover quickly followed suit. PayPal had already stopped doing business with the site in late 2019 after a Sunday Times investigation revealed dozens of illegal videos found on the site within minutes, some featuring children as young as three years old.

These moves by credit card companies to disengage with Pornhub and its parent company MindGeek were not done solely out of benevolence but also self-protection. According to the U.S. Trafficking Victims Protection Act, a company knowingly benefits from a sex trafficking venture is liable to be sued. In the case of Visa, removing its services from Pornhub in 2020 was too little, too late. The company was aware of sex trafficking and child exploitation on the site long before the New York Times exposé, yet chose to continue doing business with the company anyway. Because of this, Visa was named as a defendant in a massive landmark case filed by attorneys Michael Bowe and Lauren Tabaksblat of the New York firm Brown Rudnick against Pornhub on behalf of 34 women, 14 of whom were children when they were exploited for profit on the site.

Big Porn sites like Pornhub have been operating for far too long with little scrutiny or oversight, enabling them to get away with distributing user-generated filmed sex acts on a massive scale without even the simplest of measures in place to prevent criminal abuse. Until December 2020, all it took to upload to Pornhub was an email address. Anonymously, in minutes, anyone worldwide could upload content to the site without verification to ensure the individual in the video was not a child or a rape victim. This is clearly an unacceptable practice for a company that profits from distributing and monetizing filmed sex acts. But Pornhub is not alone. Most user-generated pornography sites operate in the same reckless and negligent manner.

The situation with Pornhub has put banks and credit card companies on high alert. Financial services actors realize the serious liability risk they face in continuing to do business with websites exposed for generating profits from criminal sex acts that amount to trafficking. They are now taking measures to implement policies and regulations to prevent further abuse and mitigate their own liability — as they should.

In response to becoming aware of the significant risks associated with doing business with Big Porn sites that do not verify the age or consent of those in the millions of videos they profit from, Mastercard recently implemented a new protective global policy that disallows the use of their card on all user-generated pornography websites unless a site engages in rigorous moderation of videos and images before upload along with age and detailed consent verification for every person shown. These are common-sense preventative measures that all pornography websites should have implemented from the moment they went live. These new policies took effect on October 15.

OnlyFans, a user-generated content subscription site earning $2 billion per year with millions of users, is one of the world’s most well-known pornography distributors. The company shocked the public when it suddenly announced it would drop all pornographic content on October 1 before quickly reversing course following backlash. With the deadline of October 15 to implement Mastercard’s required safety measures, anyone can see the timing is no coincidence.

One has to assume that OnlyFans decided it was too costly to comply with the new safety measures implemented by the financial institutions it relies on for income. It is telling that the first reaction of the executives making millions off the site was to rid the entire area of Pornography rather than implement stringent protective measures required by the credit card companies and banks.

Perhaps the issues these executives needed to resolve ran more profound than they believed could be remedied in the specified time frame. You see, OnlyFans was recently exposed by the BBC in multiple published investigations that revealed underage exploitation on the site, illegal content, and bad faith moderation practices. In recent weeks, over 100 members of Congress from the Democratic and Republican parties called on the Department of Justice to investigate the site, and sources say an FBI investigation is underway.

With OnlyFans’ decision to continue to distribute and monetize pornographic content, we will now have to see if and how it cleans up its act to comply with the banks and card companies’ new safety regulations and whether it comes out of this debacle unscathed. We also have yet to see whether they face civil and criminal accountability from victims who have already been harmed. The future of OnlyFans is still to be determined.

Stories of young girls and boys becoming trapped in Pornography are everywhere. It seems no one is exempt. But the most innocent among us are the easiest targets for predators. And sex predators come in all shapes and sizes. They also come from various professions that often include professionals from institutions we once thought passed out exemptions. Who will ever forget the scandals that have plagued the Catholic Church, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and even our schoolteachers?

Pornography, sadly, is a “gateway” to many types of sexual wrongs. And it can be deadly.

Porn In Sex Trafficking

Pornography, while creating a demand for prostitution, also fuels human-sex trafficking. The NCSE affirms that Pornography is used to train and desensitize victims/prostitutes, advertise “products,” and increase demand for trafficking. Sex-trafficking victims are regularly forced to view Pornography as a “training video,” educating victims on how to perform for their “Johns.” Pornography is used to “desensitize victims to the violence, degradation, and humiliation” they may encounter. Through viewing, victims may believe that such sexual encounters are “normal” and that everyone behaves this way, thus teaching resignation and acceptance of future abuse. Victims may be threatened with violence or deprivation unless they watch and learn the desired behaviors.

Pimps create Pornography using victims as a means of advertising “product.” These images are then uploaded on various internet sites or printed in flyers “as a means to entice buyers.” Many innocents, demoralized through regular abuse or life alone on the streets, are forced to create pornographic videos or face additional violence.

As pornography addiction becomes more powerful, users “become more impulsive, making it more likely that they’ll give into their cravings.” On the site stoptraffickingdemand.com, it states, “…many victims of sex trafficking explain that Johns will sometimes bring porn with them and demand the victims reenact what they have seen in the film.”

Photojournalist Steve Baker does a weekly Tuesday segment on “TNN Live!” His stories come from various investigations he is involved in, typically exposing the underbelly of Society. Recently, Steve, on two of his weekly appearances, documented sex-trafficking operations of children happening today in Houston, Texas! These children are brought across the Mexican border by Mexican cartel members portraying themselves as adult family members of these children. The kids are then taken to Houston and “sold” to pimps in the city. Those pimps then sex traffic those children using “Adult” clubs — strip clubs — to find Johns to traffic these children.

One John was asked how he even thought about the availability of children to fulfill one’s sexual desires. His response was that he grew up in a home where his father watched television porn and left porn magazines around the house. The John got hooked as a kid.

Summary

Say what you will, it is uncontroverted that Pornography is dangerous — in so many ways. At best, it is a “place” to go to appease lust. At worst, it is a tool for sex traffickers to market children, which often find themselves being sold around the world. One recent report by a U.S. non-profit that ten million children are trafficked worldwide each year.

And it all begins with Pornography.

Here’s a novel idea. Why don’t we ban Pornography in public? Doing so will not stop all Pornography. But it certainly will prevent SOME exposure to our children and vulnerable adults.

Why not pass laws against Pornography? Sadly, Pornography and its distribution are protected by the First Amendment. However, is it unreasonable for reasonable people to voluntarily do the moral thing in this?

I get it: it’s about the dollars and cents. Hundreds of billions of dollars are made from Pornography.

But… “The love of money is the root of all evil!” (1st Timothy 6:10)

 

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