Senate Hearing Uncovers Sexploitation In Apps And Social Media

Statement by Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of NCOSE

hold technology companies accountable

KlausHausmann / Pixabay

Washington, DC – On July 9, The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing with twelve senators and a packed room on the topic of “Protecting Innocence in a Digital World” in order to talk about the predatory targeting, grooming, sex trafficking, hardcore pornography, and more that make up the experience of so many young users on platforms like Snapchat, TikTok, and Instagram. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation submitted written testimony, including screenshots of proof, for this hearing.

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“The age of abandoning parents to alone navigate child protection in the digital age is coming to a close,” said Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE). “On popular apps like Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and more, children are routinely groomed for sexual abuse, child pornography, sexual extortion, and even sex trafficking. Tragically, I recently met with several 15 year old girls in DC who were sex trafficked through Instagram. The experience of most young users on these platforms includes exposure to hardcore pornography, messages from strangers soliciting sex acts, and relentless sexual harassment. It’s time for a larger conversation and to hold technology companies accountable for creating safe spaces for minors. The problem is too vast for parents to handle alone, and too many children without stable families will be left vulnerable until these companies take a more proactive approach to protection.”

“Congressional leadership is urgently needed to hold technology companies accountable for developing solutions to these complex problems created by their platforms. Solutions like an independent app ratings board, default settings based on the age of the user, or updating the Children’s Online Protection Act or the Children’s Internet Protection Act, or a Congressional study on these issues would significantly help in creating a safer online world for kids in America. We would like to especially thank Chairman Graham for noting that default settings for devices based on a user’s age need to become a reality,” concluded Hawkins.

If you would like to schedule an interview, please contact Jake Roberson at (202) 393-7245 or press@ncose.com.

About National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE)

Founded in 1962, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) is the leading national organization exposing the links between all forms of sexual exploitation such as child sexual abuse, prostitution, sex trafficking and the public health harms of pornography.



About the Author

Jacob Wolinsky
Jacob Wolinsky is the founder of ValueWalk.com, a popular value investing and hedge fund focused investment website. Prior to ValueWalk, Jacob was VP of Business Development at SumZero. Prior to SumZero, Jacob worked as an equity analyst first at a micro-cap focused private equity firm, followed by a stint at a smid cap focused research shop. Jacob lives with his wife and four kids in Passaic NJ. - Email: jacob(at)valuewalk.com - Twitter username: JacobWolinsky - Full Disclosure: I do not purchase any equities anymore to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest and because at times I may receive grey areas of insider information. I have a few existing holdings from years ago, but I have sold off most of the equities and now only purchase mutual funds and some ETFs. I also own a few grams of Gold and Silver