‘Kidfluencers', social media risks, porn harms, street harassment + pornified ads: Collective Shout in the media

It’s been a big month for us here at Collective Shout! Our message has attracted a lot of mainstream media attention. From the harms of porn and porn-themed ads, the exploitation of girls on Instagram, and the campaign to raise the age for social media access, our voice is being heard.



Our campaigner Lyn Swanson Kennedy was featured on an episode of ABC’s Four Corners, Kidfluencers. She exposed how social media platforms like Instagram, as well as corporations and even parents were complicit in promoting and profiting from the sexual exploitation of girls on Instagram.

I know for a fact that there are many parents who know exactly what's going on and they willfully turn a blind eye justifying the means by the ends whether it's fame or profit.

I am horrified that as a society, as a community, we have failed these girls and I suspect they will in many cases be wondering where are the adults? Where were the adults that were supposed to protect me and why didn't they?

Watch the full episode here. 

Read more from Lyn in these articles on ABC:

Inside the world of 'kidfluencers' where children make thousands from social media — at a cost 

The fan site authorities say is 'profiting from the exploitation and sexualisation of children'

Movement Director Melinda Tankard Reist was also interviewed on ABC’s World Today on the harms to children from being kidfluencers. 


Listen to her on 2GB radio.

Honey Birdette

Our campaign against Playboy-owned sex store Honey Birdette’s sexist and pornified ads was featured in Yahoo News, with MTR and Campaigns Manager Caitlin Roper quoted:

Since 2010, Ad Standards has investigated over 160 complaints about Honey Birdette promotions, according to Collective Shout, a group that rallies "against the objectification of women and the sexualisation of girls in media, advertising and popular culture".

Collective Shout, has been campaigning against the "objectified" images for years and is in full support of a widespread ban, movement director Melinda Tankard Reist told Yahoo News Australia. She said the "blatantly sexualised depictions of women" are "doing real harm" saying it condones the mistreatment of women.

Nothing has changed, claims Collective Shout Campaigns Manager Caitlin Roper.

"We have decades of research documenting how sexualised and objectifying representations of women contribute to men’s violence against women," she said in a statement last month, following another violation.

"We are in the midst of a national epidemic of violence against women, yet Honey Birdette delivers up one ad after another portraying women as things existing for men’s sexual use. Ad industry self-regulation has facilitated this. We need a complete overhaul of the system."

Risks to kids from social media

MTR was interviewed by a number of news media outlets, including Channel 7, news.com.au, Daily Telegraph and Sky News.

MTR_Sky_News.jpegPhoto credit: @msediewyatt on X

Melinda Tankard Reist from Collective Shout, working to stop the sexualisation and exploitation of girls and women, said children are being fed unrealistic beauty ideals, porn and graphic violence.

She said X - formerly known as Twitter - is the go to platform for young boys looking for porn.

“Children are seeing torture, beheadings, extremely degrading depictions of women and a level of violence that children are not meant to see. They are being desensitised,” Ms Tankard-Reist said.

“When it comes to boys they’re being radicalised online, fed misogyny, from the likes of Andrew Tate, and they’re sharing dangerous content with each other. They’re learning callous, brutal ideas about masculinity.”

“We know that from just 10 to 15 minutes of scrolling through Instagram it increases body dissatisfaction among girls,” Ms Tankard-Reist said.

“They see these idealised beauty standards they can’t meet; it’s by design because influencers make money from the angst of young girls. If they felt good about themselves they would not feel compelled to buy all the crap to make them feel better.”

Read more: Why Australian parents and experts are pushing to raise the age for social media access to 16 

Collective Shout movement director Melinda Tankard Reist, who has been campaigning the Australian government to implement age verification for years to stop children being exposed to pornography, said while the technology was still evolving, the $6.5m trial should be commenced without delay.


She said while it was uncertain what proof of identity may still be needed for the age verification of younger children in Australia, results of the trial could later be applied to social media access and how big tech companies can enforce access restrictions.

“Let’s just start with at least making adults demonstrate they are over 18 to access porn, and at some stage, that could be applied to social media,” she said.

“The issue is too urgent.

“Every day of delay means millions more children are exposed.

“Big tech companies have caused untold harm.”

Read more: Age assurance technology could help enforce raising the age of social media access from 13 to 16 

Sexual harassment

Caitlin Roper was quoted in a piece on Healthy Debate on the harms of street harassment to adolescent girls:

Caitlin Roper, a writer, activist and the Campaigns Manager at Collective Shout, says that health-care providers should understand that the public harassment of teenage girls by adult men is a “form of abuse … on a spectrum of male violence against women,” and that the mainstream pornography industry’s hypersexualization of teenage girls is a contributing factor. (The most commonly searched term in pornography is “teen.”)

“Research has found exposure to sexually objectifying content leads to an increased acceptance of sexual harassment,” Roper says, as well as an increased likelihood to perpetuate it.

If you have a media request you can contact us here. 

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  • Caitlin Roper
    published this page in News 2024-05-30 11:34:29 +1000

You can defend their right to childhood

A world free of sexploitation is possible!

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