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Porn Industry Email Reveals They’re Fighting Against Child Protection

Despite what porn industry press statements would have you believe, this industry has proven time and again to be driven by higher profits at any human cost. 

Exodus Cry recently got a hold of an email sent out by the Free Speech Coalition (FSC), the porn industry’s main trade association, admitting they’ve been “aggressively” fighting against the protection of children online for years now in Europe. Their main reason? It’s expensive to comply. 

Here’s an excerpt of the FSC email:

“Over the past several years, our industry has aggressively battled European regulators over mandatory age-verification protocols, which many have argued lack privacy safeguards for visitors and unfairly burden businesses. During the battle over the 2019 Digital Economy Act, adult sites were almost uniformly opposed — and helped kill the bill.

The bill that the email is referring to is a 2019 UK age verification bill aimed at protecting children from being exposed to pornography. Since then, the UK government has drafted an updated bill, pioneering the way for age verification, called the Online Safety Bill

In an unexpected endorsement, popular UK-founded adult content site OnlyFans, publicly declared their support of the bill’s implementation. The FSC seemed to have deemed this move by OnlyFans as a threat, calling it a “wake-up call” for porn producers, webmasters, and distributors. 

They state further down in the email:

“Should the Online Safety Bill pass, and should Germany, France and other countries step up their enforcement of AVS [age verification] regulations — either banning… or requiring expensive protocols that other sites can’t affordOnlyFans is poised to pick up the market.

Can the porn industry afford age verification?

It’s important to remember that the porn industry is a multi-BILLION dollar industry and that porn sites today receive more website traffic in the U.S. than Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Netflix, Pinterest, and Zoom combined. So the idea that it’s a financial burden for these businesses to protect children from exposure to the “adult content” they put on their websites is unconvincing, and it’s borderline criminal.

At the very end of their email, the FSC signaled that out of necessity, and so as not to lose their competitive edge against OnlyFans, they would like to work with porn sites to begin age verification talks. It’s likely these measures would be the very least they could do to save face while allowing the maximum number of visitors, including children, to access their explicit content. Regardless of their reasoning however, we’re glad the industry is feeling the pressure to comply with age verification measures. 

RELATED: Porn Has Become Sex Ed for Children

Childhood Exposure to Porn

The reality is, with the current lack of age verification on porn sites, millions of children are accessing and being exposed to porn every day, with the average age of exposure tragically hovering somewhere between just 7 and 13 years old. This means that a typical middle-schooler has likely already seen porn and one study showed that ten percent of 12-year-olds think they’re already addicted.

Our team has personally received hundreds of stories from people around the world sharing how they were exposed to pornography as children and how porn use led them into depression, abuse, body dysmorphia, attempted suicide, prostitution, broken relationships, and sexual abuse/assault. Research strongly confirms these toxic implications of underage porn exposure.

This is just one of the stories:

“When I was in middle school I had a boyfriend who had a serious porn addiction and would send me videos he downloaded off Pornhub. He would tell me if I didn’t act like them and do exactly what they were doing he would kill me. He gave me an ultimatum: have sex with me by your birthday or kill yourself. I tried to kill myself and failed. He then knocked me unconscious and raped me. When I asked him why he did it… he told me it was just a kink he caught while watching porn. He said, “it’s just BDSM, look it up, girls love to get raped and threatened with death.” – Rebecca (pseudonym)

RELATED: Violent Porn Is Shaping Children Everywhere 

Mandatory age verification is vital

Porn sites have no financial incentive to implement age verification systems and, without external pressure, they will continue to exploit young viewers for as long as they can. True age verification not only costs money to implement, but also potential millions in ad revenue. How?

If millions of children are suddenly no longer able to access porn, the ability to advertise to them or use their viewership as an ad metric is also eliminated—it’s the only logical reason the porn industry has pushed back so hard against the suggestion of required age verification on porn sites. 

RELATED: Age Verification Is the Most Effective Way to Protect Children from Porn

On their website, the FSC states that their mission is “to protect the rights and freedoms of the adult industry” with a vision to see a “world in which body sovereignty is recognized, sexual expression is destigmatized, and sex work is decriminalized.” 

“Sexual expression” should never come at the cost of the innocence of millions of children.  

Exodus Cry is pushing for required age verification, with ID, on all sites that host porn. We recently co-hosted a National Symposium on this very subject in Washington, DC for members of Congress.

YOU can join with us as we push for robust age verification laws to be implemented in the United States.

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