ASACP Responds to Morality in Media

Tim Henning

In a recent newsletter sent out by Morality in Media entitled “Proof the Tide is Turning!” it was claimed that the adult entertainment industry is scared and “they recognize that we are coming for them and that we are collectively saying no more to sexual exploitation.” MIM claimed this “proof” came from my recent column — “Is the Pendulum Swinging Back.”

Far from scared, I find the professionals that I have encountered over the past 18 years in the adult entertainment space to be some of the most innovative, intelligent, bold and caring business and technology leaders I have ever met — something MIM fails to realize in its clear misunderstanding of the industry. In fact many of the core Internet technologies that exist online today and are enjoyed by us all were invented by these same business and technology leaders.

ASACP has always promoted the concept that adult entertainment should only be made available to adults and believe that parental filtering technology coupled with education and parental guidance is the most effective way to protect children online today.

ASACP takes serious issue regarding the manner that MIM unfairly characterizes our organization and the online adult entertainment industry in general.

ASACP has three key focal points that it embraces to accomplish its core mission — fighting child exploitation, helping to keep children away from age inappropriate content as well as advocacy and education. These nexus points converge to allow ASACP to throw a wide net that ultimately benefits all stake holders. ASACP educates the adult entertainment industry regarding child protection issues, new and pending legislation as well as current political climates internationally. Advocacy and education being one of ASACP’s core focuses is exactly what the aforementioned column was all about — not fear.

Also it must be noted that ASACP is not the adult entertainment industry as MIM seems to believe — ASACP is a non-profit child protection organization that is supported by and lends support to the adult entertainment industry — an industry full of parents and grandparents that care deeply about child protection issues. The proof is in the level of support ASACP receives as well as the commitment and tireless efforts of its members and sponsors.

Another example of this commitment is the ASACP CP Reporting Tipline which has been fighting the heinous crime of online child exploitation since 1996 by accepting and processing tips concerning suspected child exploitation content, as discovered by the global Internet community at large. Each individual raw report is then analyzed by ASACP, which forwards child exploitation reports to relevant law enforcement agencies and hotlines internationally for further action. Despite ASACP’s long-term attempts to squelch this material, along with the combined efforts of other groups and global agencies, the number of CP reports continues to rise — demonstrating the ongoing need for this valuable service, which sits on the frontline of online child protection.

For example, ASACP has experienced reporting volumes that have more than doubled in the past few years. Currently ASACP is processing in excess of 110,000 child exploitation reports per year — and that number continues to grow month after month. Of those approximately 12 percent are new and unique child exploitation reports which are then sent on to, and acted upon by, the relevant global hotlines and law enforcement agencies. Compare this to only a few years ago, not only is the number of reports rapidly rising, but the percentage of actual CP is growing dramatically as well.

In fact recent crime statistics coming from North America and Europe point to the surprising fact that online child exploitation is the only violent crime showing a consistent and dramatic increase in activity year after year. This is partly due to a shift in the way CP is now being disseminated online — a shift that has seen CP go into the dark and hidden recesses of the internet where a “give to get” culture is growing and spawning ever increasing abuse of children internationally. It is no longer uncommon to see CP busts involving hundreds or even thousands of suspects from all corners of the wired globe and from all walks of life.

Importantly, ASACP Tipline data conclusively demonstrates that the adult entertainment industry is not involved in the production or distribution of this heinous material — a finding that allows stakeholders to more effectively target enforcement and policy initiatives. If it were not for the resources provided by ASACP, the children involved in these situations might go unnoticed, the perpetrators unstopped and the blame incorrectly laid — resources that are only possible through the continued generosity of the association’s sponsors, members, supporters and other contributors.

The award winning RTA (“Restricted to Adults”) labeling system — which better enables parental filtering, and demonstrates the online adult entertainment industry’s commitment to helping parents prevent children from viewing age-inappropriate content has greatly helped to reduce unwanted exposure by minors to age inappropriate content. RTA is a functional and robust solution which is freely available for websites and mobile devices, including WordPress via a plug-in. There are now more than 4 million websites labeled with RTA and over 20 billion monthly hits to pages labeled with RTA — which is a further testament to the commitment the adult entertainment industry shows in helping to prevent children from viewing their content — produced by and for adults.

ASACP has always promoted the concept that adult entertainment should only be made available to adults and believe that parental filtering technology coupled with education and parental guidance is the most effective way to protect children online today. In fact, ASACP has a long history of encouraging proactive industrial self-regulation for adult sites, through tools such as RTA, along with the association’s Best Practices and Code of Ethics. These efforts allow publishers and parents to work together to protect youth from age-restricted materials — but do not infringe on the privacy and legal rights of adults to consume legal adult entertainment.

Finding a balance between efficacy in child protection and the preservation of an adults’ legal right to view adult entertainment websites of his or her choosing will be difficult, and will take more than technology or legislation. No technical solution currently exists that is 100 percent effective, especially if attempting to block older, tech-savvy teens, who are actively seeking sexually explicit material. It all comes down to effective parenting and providing parents the education and tools needed, rather than technological placebos, or unfair regulations that impede an adults legal rights, as being the only truly effective method to address the problem of minors’ accessing age inappropriate content online today.

With this in mind, ASACP continues to work with all stakeholders to develop workable solutions that protect the needs and interests of children, their parents and guardians as well as adult consumers and publishers of legal adult entertainment, alike.

For more information regarding ASACP, sponsorship opportunities and how your business can help, please contact tim@asacp.org.


Founded in 1996, ASACP is a non-profit organization dedicated to online child protection.

ASACP is comprised of two separate corporate entities, the Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection and the ASACP Foundation. The Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection (ASACP) is a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization. ASACP manages a membership program that provides resources to companies in order to help them protect children online. The ASACP Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. The ASACP Foundation battles child pornography through its CP Reporting Hotline and helps parents prevent children from viewing age-restricted material online with its Restricted To Adults (RTA) website label (www.rtalabel.org). ASACP has invested 18 years in developing progressive programs to protect children, and its relationship in assisting the adult industry’s child protection efforts is unparalleled. For more information, visit www.asacp.org