Last week, Wired Human submitted a brief (authored by Jason) to the Canadian Ethics Committee. Why you may ask. Canada's House of Commons Ethics Committee has been investigating MindGeek (parent company of Pornhub) for profiting from online exploitation involving minors (CSAM). Canada is finally waking up and becoming a front runner in protecting kids online. 70 Members of Canadian Parliament and Senators are demanding a full criminal investigation of MindGeek, Pornhub's parent company, located in Montreal, for profiting of rape of minors, shared through their porn tube sites.
Sadly, abuse and sexploitation of children online is a very real threat to childhood. Regarding the PornHub/MindGeek case, there are at least 104 survivors who are willing to bravely testify about their sexual trauma made public to the world for the sake of "entertainment." This criminal content and millions of hours of other acts of dehumanization can be accessed by any child holstering a smartphone in their pocket.
Exert from Brief: "Consider a young boy who is exposed to mainstream pornography, often involving aggression, violence, humiliation and degradation towards women. While his logical mind recognizes that what he is being exposed to is deeply wrong, the primitive wiring of his brain’s reward circuitry is activated by the inherent sexual nature of the content, pumping his body with a neurochemical bath of feel-good hormones. What child, let alone adult, is able to sort through the confusion of experiencing sexual reward for witnessing the dehumanization and abuse of another human being? The conclusion that countless teens are subsequently reaching about their identity and self-worth is catastrophic. What’s worse is that these sexually conditioned mindsets are becoming normalized within society itself, as the vast majority of their peers are conditioning their brains to become dependent consumers of sexploitation online.
MindGeek has profited greatly from the normalization of injustice through profiting off of trafficking and exploitation and the ease of access that children have to their products, which has remained widely accepted through legalization, reckless policy making, lack of corporate responsibility and legislative actions that have failed to take into consideration the situation of the family and the best interest of the child. Porn has wondered into nearly every family home in our global community and our youth are paying the price with their childhood.
“Every time society sees injustice but accepts it as a part of life, terrible atrocities
follow. We must only turn the pages of history to see injustice repeat itself over and over again,” The Glass Between Us, p. 126
The tech empire we know today was born in America's backyard. We have to deal with the past to build a better future. Section 230 of the 1996 Communication Decency Act (CDA) was designed to promote business interest online and expand the internet. Author and assistant professor of cybersecurity law at the United States Navel Academy, Jeff Kosseff refers to this legislation as the "26 words that created the internet." It provided unprecedented legal immunity to web based platforms (Facebook, YouTube, Pornhub, etc.) that post third party content. If they did not create the content, they are free to monetize it and push it in the faces of the public, both young and old, without any fear of legal consequences.
Without reforming Section 230, we cannot expect businesses like Facebook, Google or porn tube sites like Pornhub to behave better. Their business models aim for maximum profit rather than valuing people, human dignity or physical and mental wellbeing.
Please support the National Center On Sexual Exploitation's efforts to bring the Earn It Act into law to put an end to legal immunity that thrives off of exploitation. Make companies earn their lawful protective measures by supporting human dignity and protecting children and teens from exploitation online.