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ASACP Monthly Bulletin

Joan Irvine
Editor's note: this bulletin begins our monthly coverage of the latest happenings at the Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection, a non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating the trade in online depictions of child sexual abuse.

Consumer Awareness of ASACP Grows
Aly Drummond of TheBestPorn.com recently forwarded us an email she received that read: “Hi, I’m a first-time user of your site. I was just wondering if your sites listed are all nice, safe, legal sites. I notice you are a member of ASACP, which is what attracted me to your website in the first place.” ASACP Compliance Director Tim Henning confirms that he receives many similar notes each month and that some consumers will only surf ASACP member sites. Another reason to make sure your ASACP Approved Member button is posted on your site! If you’re not a member yet, information about joining is available at www.asacp.org.

ASACP at ICRA Roundtable
ASACP Executive Director Joan Irvine attended a recent Internet Content Rating Association (ICRA) roundtable that explored issues of online child protection. Mainstream companies such as Microsoft, AOL, Yahoo and Google voiced concerns that sounded remarkably similar to those of the online adult industry: too much government regulation, privacy and 1st Amendment issues and giving customers what they want. They also share the same frustrations as the adult industry when it comes to child protection; they provide labeling and various parental controls, but parents aren’t taking responsibility by using them.

An Important Tip for Webmasters
“Circle jerk” (or CJ) sites may be a time-tested method for filtering poor quality traffic, but unfortunately, ASACP has received reports from both surfers and webmasters about CJ sites with thumbnail images that allegedly feature underage models. These are used for shock value, which generates clicks. Some of these images have been altered, while others originated from nude modeling and “art” sites. But even if none of them actually features underage models or are really child pornography, this technique is unwise and ultimately harmful to the online adult industry.

Even the appearance of catering to pedophiles reinforces the perception that legal adult entertainment and illegal child pornography are two sides of the same coin. ASACP statistics prove that this is not the case, but in the current political climate, protecting your business means making sure your images are legal and look legal. ASACP was involved in the case of one consumer who was actually arrested for viewing such questionable images even though he only surfed sites with 2257 disclaimers. He’s not likely to trust adult sites in the future. ASACP recommends that webmasters of both TGP and CJ sites use their own licensed images or exercise control over what images participating webmasters are posting. ASACP’s Best Practices and Code of Ethics are also designed to address these issues.

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