Faith leaders are being urged to step up to the plate to fight against pornography – especially its online accessibility by children.
Haley Halverson of the Nation Center on Sexual Exploitation says it's been quite a battle – and that while high-tech firms have made some progress, it really amounts to very little in comparison to the need. Halverson cites one example of children exposed to online porn.
"We heard from a mother whose young son – maybe in 5th or 6th grade – was doing a school project about slavery," she explains to OneNewsNow. "He typed in the word 'bondage' to look up and learn about the chains that were used in slavery and instead, in 0.2 seconds flat, [he] was exposed to hard-core, violent pornography through Google."
Pope Francis has gone on record demanding that high-tech companies remove child porn and take steps to prevent young people from accessing porn online. Halverson says that's a good first step.
"We think that people of any faith have a moral responsibility, and even just a socio-economic responsibility, to see why this is really important," she adds.
Halverson explains that porn causes rampant public health harm and has prompted 15 states so far to declare pornography a public health crisis.
In February, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation plans to release its annual Dirty Dozen List, a compilation of companies it says proliferate pornography online and elsewhere. Halverson has no doubt that some recognizable high-tech companies will be on that list. Names such as Amazon, Google, and Twitter appeared on the 2019 list – and SnapChat has been highlighted as a "contender" for the list.