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Combat Porn: Heed This Helpful Advice From Anti-Porn Advocates

combat porn

Unfortunately, parents and youth leaders in the digital age must be aware of the need to combat porn. That’s because it’s prevalent online and on teenagers’ phones.

In a Boston Globe column, anti-porn advocate Gail Dines explains how the two most popular social media apps among teens, Instagram and Snapchat, can be gateways to pornography. Today’s teens don’t need to go looking for porn because they have apps that deliver it. With the internet and social media, pornography is out to find whether kids want to see it or not.

On Instagram, porn is often hidden behind hashtags and emojis that appear innocuous but are used as secret code to tag and search for particular types of porn…[on Snapchat] a whole ecosystem of online businesses help budding entrepreneurs manage and monetize “premium” pornographic accounts.

Instagram’s community guidelines specify that the platform doesn’t allow inappropriate content or nudity (with some exceptions). Snapchat has a similar policy. However, from how easy it is to access explicit content, these policies are ultimately ineffective. They really don’t do anything to prevent or combat porn.

How Do People Find It?

If users search the eggplant and/or peach emojis on Instagram, for example, a range of inappropriate content appears. And people don’t have to be looking for such content to run across it. I’ve encountered explicit images on Instagram because I searched an unrelated hashtag (say, #california). How? Someone placed that hashtag on an inappropriate image.

According to Dines, on Snapchat premium pornographic accounts are:

linked to a more innocuous “teaser” Snapchat account and other platforms, including Twitter and Facebook. One of the biggest companies, FanCentro, serves as a channel to a whole universe of private Snapchat accounts and boasts that if one account is taken down, it will seamlessly set up another and redirect traffic. FanCentro also facilitates links from Snapchat to Pornhub, the major pornography site, in just a couple of clicks.

Porn stars are increasingly turning to social media to market themselves directly to users. That’s a change from working with sites such as Pornhub. One adult-film industry consultant says, “All of this is a shift away from the (movie) studio system to a system controlled by performers… These (personal accounts) have really exploded in the past year, and some performers are making a ton of money.”

For example, one star says she relies primarily on Snapchat for marketing. Users pay a subscriber fee to watch her through her account. And she makes more than $1,000 per day!

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Jessica is a content editor for ChurchLeaders.com and the producer of The Stetzer ChurchLeaders Podcast. She has always had a passion for the written word and has been writing professionally for the past five years. When Jessica isn't writing, she enjoys West Coast Swing dancing, reading, and spending time with her friends and family.