WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) released its “Dirty Dozen List” for 2018, an annual tradition which “names and shames a range of actors who contribute significantly to the normalization of pornography, prostitution, sex trafficking, and other forms of sexual exploitation,” as the NCOSE puts it.
This year’s list includes a handy feature in which outraged citizens can make their voices heard using canned tweets like “@HBO stop producing shows like The Deuce that normalize #rapeculture, commercial sexual exploitation, and eroticizing sexual violence with gratuitous nudity.”
Tense and verb disagreement aside, at a glance you can see how effective this tweet will be – in terms of offering unpaid promotion of The Deuce, at least.
These canned tweets are part of the NCOSE’s strategy to make it easy for people who are pissed off about sexual exploitation, but too busy to come up with their own words to express their ire, to get the word out on social media that Steam, for example, “facilitates video games that promote themes of sexual violence, exhibitionism, and rape.”
It’s very important to point this out about the gaming platform, because a lot of parents, activists and professional worriers might be under the mistaken impression that Steam only facilitates video games which promote themes of wholesome non-sexual violence, like Call of Duty, or Counter Strike, or Rainbow Six Siege or Shooty McBombem’s Good Time Bloodbath Jamboree, Iraq War Edition (Part 6).
Far better than the ability to tweet at Amazon, Backpage, Comcast, Ebsco, Roku, Snapchat, etc., is the ability to call out another member of the Dirty Dozen using all means other than Twitter.
Why only offer the ability to tweet your indignation to 11 of the Dozen and not all 12? Because Twitter is the twelfth of these old Dirty bastards.
Yes, that’s right: To call out the Dirty Dozen, you can use Twitter, which is part of the Dirty Dozen, but you can’t use Twitter to call out Twitter over being one of the Dirty Dozen, because… that would just be rude, or something?
What did Twitter do to wind up on the list, you ask? Nothing – and that’s the problem.
“While many know Twitter as an innovator in social media communication, for years it has done little to stem the overwhelming tide of pornography and prostitution accounts on its site,” the NCOSE states. “In fact, media reports suggest that as many as 10 million Twitter accounts may include explicit sexual content. Twitter’s laisse-faire approach to sexually explicit content has gone on for far too long.”
While the NCOSE doesn’t offer canned tweets with which its devotees can name and shame Twitter, they do serve up a canned email and Facebook post, as well as snazzy graphics you can post, along with the hashtag #CleanUpTwitter, “across all social media platforms.”
The good news for Twitter, which I’m sure will be sweating bullets over being named to the Dirty Dozen, because clearly being listed there for the last several years has absolutely killed Amazon’s profits, is it can remove itself from the Dirty Dozen list by adopting a small set of “common sense improvements.”
“To be removed from the Dirty Dozen List, we ask Twitter to initiate a program to sweep through images and keywords to remove accounts, Periscope streams, and web links that include pornographic material or advertisements for pornographic material and/or prostitution,” the NCOSE reports. “Also, Twitter should improve its reporting system so users can specifically report accounts or tweets posting prostitution or pornographic materials or links.”
See, Twitter? All you need do to avoid being named and shamed by the NCOSE is to shut down every account which includes pornographic material or advertisements for pornographic material and/or prostitution. I mean, how many followers of those porn-tweeting accounts would they irritate in the process, realistically?
The ball is in your court, Twitter; do you want to end up like those disgraced losers at Amazon, or do you want to experience the runaway success encountered by others who have extricated themselves from business-killing Dirty Dozen lists past, like Rite Aid – which is currently trading at $2.04 per share, as opposed to the $6 at which it traded when it was part of the Dirty Dozen.
It’s a tough call, but I’m sure in the end, Twitter will #DoTheRightThing… for its shareholders.