LOS ANGELES — The Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection (ASACP) has announced its launch of a special 20th anniversary sponsorship drive in hopes of “raising some much needed funding.”
Founded in 1996, ASACP is a nonprofit organization dedicated to online child protection that offers free educational and other resources and tools that help digital media companies keep children out of and away from age-restricted materials. These include market-specific Best Practices and a Code of Ethics to help guide businesses and app and website operators.
According to ASACP Executive Director Tim Henning, summer has always been the association’s most difficult time financially. But this year, ASACP said, the need for increased support is greater than ever before.
“ASACP is currently facing decreasing financial industry support, and we need critical help to cover vital operational expenses,” Henning said. “ASACP has implemented as many cost-cutting measures over the past couple of years as is possible without effecting vital services, but it is proving not to be enough.”
Henning said that if further cuts are necessary, they will seriously impact critical functions such as the operation of ASACP’s globally recognized sexual child exploitation tip line — which, according to ASACP, has processed well over one million reports of suspected child pornography since its inception — as well as support for the Restricted To Adults (RTA) meta labeling and age-verification system, which the association provides free to all websites as a proven means of preventing access by minors.
“These vital services are heavily utilized by the industry and the public alike, and have very significant and positive real-world impacts for children and the industry globally,” an ASACP spokesperson said. “Unfortunately, providing these services do not come free of charge, and today, the association has to cope with increasing demands in the face of decreasing revenues. This has been caused in part by consolidation within the industry, where companies that once sponsored ASACP have been acquired by larger entities that may have only maintained a single sponsorship under a parent organization — or none at all. In addition, other sponsors have decreased their level of support, in part due to the overall decline in industry revenues.”
Henning said, “With a drastically shrinking and consolidating industry — especially over the past two years — to support our mission, I must utilize every avenue if ASACP is to survive and continue to provide the vital services it does to the industry, children and parents. I am asking that every company that can afford to support this crucial mission step up and do their part to avoid the disastrous consequences of not having such a vital trade organization protecting children and the rights of the digital media and online adult entertainment industry.”
Some industry leaders, according to ASACP, are helping out financially. For example, online billing specialist SegPay recently stepped up its level of support for ASACP. YourPaysitePartner and YNOT Group generously donated as well, ASACP said.
Shannon Brewster offered $700, and Colin Rowntree of Wasteland.com offered $50 recurring monthly.
“Please help us to avoid our 20th anniversary year being the one where we lose ground in this ongoing and essential fight to protect children from sexual exploitation, report child sexual exploitation crimes, protect children in their digital lives and protect your business and industry,” Henning said. “You can also support us through a tax-deductible donation to the ASACP Foundation.”