opinion

ASACP: Protecting Children, Preserving Your Business

Tim Henning

With the first month of 2015 coming to close, ASACP has already had a busy year, with its recent attendance at two of the major adult entertainment industry trade events, XBIZ 360 in Hollywood and the AEE/Internext events in Las Vegas.

One of the highlights of attending these events was the annual XBIZ Awards, where I presented Social Media Strategist, Lauren MacEwen, 7Veils.com, with the custom engraved crystal ASACP Service Recognition Award, honoring her outstanding commitment to protecting children as well as boosting the welfare of the adult industry — a balancing act that requires a deft touch and high level of dedication to the mission. The ASACP Service Recognition Award was established to honor the dedicated volunteers who have helped the association to carry out its mission of protecting children and at-risk youth by providing vital assistance and services.

The RTA label is recognized by a majority of filtering products and services, and ASACP continues to pursue partnerships with more to ensure that RTA is recognized as widely as possible.

For example, during the past year, Lauren has been extremely helpful to the association in spreading its message of protecting children online by keeping them out of and away from adult entertainment. Her work has enabled ASACP to better reach parents, publishers and other stakeholders with the association’s positive message of using proactive responsibility as a viable alternative to censorship and stringent regulations. In fact it is safe to say that Lauren and 7Veils.com’s work, on behalf of ASACP, in these vital communications mediums has greatly advanced the mission and — among addressing other issues — helped countless individuals who continue to struggle with sexual abuse they suffered as children. Lauren and her staff dealt with complex topics that are difficult by anyone’s standards and did so with the utmost respect and professionalism, earning this year’s award.

As well the first month of 2015 has seen a range of issues involving children accessing or being inadvertently included in online adult entertainment. Even though adult entertainment is by definition intended for adults only, many minors do access it. This is unsurprising, since today’s children become adept with and reliant upon the Internet and technology at ever younger ages — while many teens are even more adept than their parents. Sometimes, children view adult material accidentally. Other times they seek it out. Either way, short of denying them access to indispensable tools that have become integral to much of modern daily life, how can children be prevented from viewing age-inappropriate content online?

Attentive parents make rules about what media their children are permitted to consume. But parents can’t always physically be there to look over their kids’ shoulders, especially since children are able to access such content using an ever growing list of mobile devices that fit into their pockets.

It is true that parental controls are now offered by web browsers, Internet service providers (ISPs), firewall proxy servers, search engines, and even computer operating systems. However, even conscientious parents equipped with an array of tools can’t do it alone. Content providers have a responsibility as well to make sure their sites and content are unambiguously recognizable by parental control systems as being inappropriate for consumption by minors.

That’s why, in 2006, ASACP launched the RTA (“Restricted To Adults”) website label. By providing a single, consistent, universally recognizable tag for adult material, RTA better enables parental filtering —and demonstrates the online adult industry’s commitment to helping parents prevent children from viewing age-inappropriate content.

Embedding the RTA label code in page header metadata tags enables filtering via the various parental control mechanisms that are widely available to parents. The RTA label is recognized by a majority of filtering products and services, and ASACP continues to pursue partnerships with more to ensure that RTA is recognized as widely as possible. Significantly, RTA is recognized by the parental controls in both Microsoft and Apple browsers, including browser use on mobile devices. The RTA label can even be used to tag individual social networking site user pages, blogs, and mobile apps that feature adult material.

The RTA label is completely free to use, voluntary, and universally available to any website that wishes to label itself clearly and effectively as being inappropriate for viewing by minors. Using RTA requires no online form to fill out, no registration, and no fee. RTA does not differentiate between the various types of age-inappropriate content available; all content considered unsuitable for minors is simply labeled “Restricted to Adults.”

Further, it is exceedingly important that content providers are conscientious when choosing content shooting locations to ensure they are private. Under no circumstances should there even be the possibility of children being present or happening by while adult content is being produced. While many reading this would think that this goes without saying and is common sense, there has been more than one issue of this nature so far this year involving web cam models. This not only puts children at risk it also serves to add fuel to the fire when it comes to the ever increasing calls for more regulation of the online adult entertainment industry.

That being said, ASACP will continue to educate its members, the online adult entertainment industry, international government policy makers, and the public about online child safety, child exploitation, and the efforts of the online adult entertainment industry to battle child sexual abuse and be proactive with internet child safety issues.

ASACP’s business is as much about protecting your business as it is about protecting children. Supported by sponsor and membership fees as well as by donations to its Foundation, ASACP is at the forefront of online child-protection on behalf of the online adult entertainment industry. ASACP is the only organization that bridges the necessity of online child safety issues with the needs of legitimate adult entertainment business owners and the noted concerns of international regulators and lawmakers an effort which reaps continued rewards for all stakeholders.

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

About ASACP

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 nearly 19 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.

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