opinion

They're Back, But They Never Went Away

Joan Irvine
In the October XBIZ ASACP Bulletin, I said “I joke about it, but it’s true that whenever I go to mainstream conferences/meetings, I feel like I have a big red “A” on my chest.”

Well, I was recently in Washington D.C. for a online safety conference and guess what? It has not gotten any better. If fact, I believe since the mid-term election, it’s gotten even worst. I am very concerned that we are about to experience the resurgence of the religious right but this time under the guise of the Tea Party. As I stated in the Spring 2009 ASACP Newsletter: the religious right had gained too power — they weren’t about to let it go just because Bush was no longer President and the Democrats were in. No need to mention that many of the sexual child abusers are ministers, teachers, legislators, etc. Attacking the adult entertainment industry aka porn always makes for good press and a great battle cry: blame everything on porn — the media and fanatical right will always eat it up!

It doesn’t seem to matter that

• ASACP established industry Best Practices on how to help parents to prevent their children from accessing age-restricted content.

• ASACP released a white paper based on five years of data from it Child Pornography Reporting Hotline that once again proves that the professional adult entertainment industry is not involved in CP

• ASACP released a Restricted to Adults—RTA progress report with statistical data that there are over 4.5 million sites labeled with RTA and over 6.5 BILLION unique monthly hits to pages labeled with RTA — the most widely used ‘adults only’ label in the world.

• ASACP developed the firstof-its-kind RTA Label/Filter for Parental Controls for Android Apps. The label is being licensed for free to adult app developer and ASACP is beginning talks with Android and the handset manufacturer

I spoke with a representative from an association that holds a tech policy expo who explained once again why ASACP could not be considered as vendor - because the expo is held in a Senate building. So of course, it would reflect badly if a child protection association with a unique, successful, and award-winning technology that is funded by porn (with Letters of Recommendations from legislators) was one of the vendors. Plus, supposedly a legislator lost his recent re-election because he had once been to a party at the Playboy Mansion. Gee, how many non-adult charities have their fundraisers at the Mansion?

I spoke with a trade association about the ASACP RTA Label/Filter for Android Apps and asking them to introduce ASACP to the correct people at Android and handset manufacturers. Even with the success of RTA, they suggested I first go to Europe where they are less uptight about things sexual. Am I missing something; isn’t everyone’s mission to protect children and hasn’t the rapid adoption of RTA by the industry demonstrated anything???

These were even people who had nothing personally against adult entertainment.

But then there is “Enough is Enough”: the RTA Report just happened to coincide their annual White Ribbon Against Pornography campaign. Their president Donna Rice Hughes has stated, “Kids accidentally (and intentionally) access a wide array of pornography (soft-core, illegal obscene adult pornography and child pornography) in the privacy of their homes or through any Internet enable device.” She makes no mention of “legal adult entertainment,” and its efforts, but rather seeks to falsely tie-in child pornography with the legitimate adult industry. If she would only stay on mission: child protection, but once again: this wouldn’t garner as many sound bites. FYI: this is the same woman who derailed Gary Hart’s run for the Presidency in the late ‘80 because the media found out she was his ‘mistress.’

I spoke with someone else who requested that someone from the adult entertainment industry speak at the policy summit; however, it couldn’t be someone from a company that could be directed tied to the porn industry.

Many of the companies I saw in DC make a lot of money from the adult industry, but don’t want to be associated with the industry even if it is for child protection. Justifiably, they are concerned about what the media will report, what their stock holders and board will say, and a loss in their bottom line.

But if ASACP and the industry didn’t make the efforts it does to protect child, all these people would be all over us. I guess the expression: “Damned if you do and damned if you don’t” needs to be the industry’s slogan.

So ASACP continues to do what is the right and smart thing to do: develop systems that help the adult entertainment industry (and others) to prevent children from being in the content and accessing age-restricted content.

However, ASACP needs your support to continue its work. Please ask your affiliates and your business associate to support ASACP as a member or a sponsor.

Ask your mainstream vendors to donate to the ASACP Foundation; it is a charitable tax deduction. Just think how much money they make from your adult business.

Bottom line supporting ASACP is both the right thing on a moral basis and smart thing to do for your business and I’ll stop expecting the mainstream world to be anything but hypocrites.

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