Media release: Lesbians condemn Honey Birdette's new 'Pride' campaign
Lesbians have slammed sex shop Honey Birdette for fetishising and objectifying lesbians in its latest ad campaign. The ‘Fluid’ campaign, set to coincide with the forthcoming Sydney Mardi Gras Festival, depicts an orgy of naked men and women with bodies painted in Pride colours, groping each other.Read more
Safer Internet Day: Instagram must act now to stop predators
On Safer Internet Day, Collective Shout: for a world free of sexploitation, calls on Instagram to take urgent action to stop rampant sex trafficking, child sexual abuse grooming and the fetishisation of underage girls on its social media platform. Safer Internet Day is a worldwide event marked in 150 countries that began in 2004, to raise awareness about online safety and creating a better internet.
Collective Shout has carried out an investigation into the behaviour of predators on Instagram. We collected hundreds of samples of sexual, predatory comments on the posts of underage girls - some as young as 7. These included comments by adult men about girls bodies, body parts, sex-abuse acts they would like to carry out on the girls and requests for nude images. We also found that sexualised images of children posted on Instagram, shared under the guise of child modelling, were then shared to paedophile forums where men discuss their sexual fantasies for children.
Some Instagram accounts featuring sexualised imagery of children offer paid subscriptions to ‘exclusive content’, with one allowing men to purchase bikini shots of a 13- year-old girl washing a dog.
Instagram claims to be using proactive technology to ensure the platform is safe for children. However Collective Shout campaigner Lyn Swanson Kennedy said when she reported the content she discovered, Instagram countered that ‘no community guidelines’ had been breached. Some predatory comments had been left more than a year with no action from Instagram.
"What we’ve found shows that sexualisation and harassment of underage girls on Instagram is rampant,” Swanson Kennedy said. By giving adult males unfettered access to children and facilitating the transmission of sexual comments Instagram is complicit in normalising the idea that girls are available for sexual gratification. This puts girls at risk.
"If these mega social media companies are going to allow minors on their platform, they must provide adequate measures to keep children safe from sexual predators”.
Collective Shout is partnering with the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (USA) and Defend Dignity (Canada) in a campaign calling on Instagram to change its policies. In December Collective Shout wrote to Instagram’s Global Head of Policy Karina Newton with evidence from our investigation.
Collective Shout representatives will take part in a meeting with platform heads this month.
11 February 2020
Lyn Swanson Kennedy [lyn at collectiveshout.org]
Melinda Liszewski [melinda.l at collectiveshout.org]
KFC serves up buckets of sexism
Collective Shout has condemned a new Kentucky Fried Chicken TV ad for reinforcing gender stereotypes and for its sexist grooming of boys.
The 15-second ad promoting the global fast food fried chicken chain opens with a young woman checking her appearance in the reflection of a parked car window, leaning forward as she adjusts her low-cut top. The window rolls down to reveal a very unhappy looking mother and two young boys, who are staring open-mouthed having received an eyeful of the woman's cleavage.Read more
Media Release: Collective Shout releases annual blacklist of corporate offenders
Collective Shout releases annual blacklist of corporate offenders to boycott this XMAS
Collective Shout has released its annual Christmas ‘Crossed Off’ blacklist. The list – first launched in 2010 - is a collation of companies which have objectified women or sexualised girls for profit.
The 2019 line up includes:
Shopping centres: Westfield, Lendlease, Vicinity, Stockland and more
These major shopping centres continue to host Honey Birdette’s porn-themed advertising, facilitating the display of sexist and sexually objectifying content to an all-age audience. Children's activities - including pics with Santa - are often held near the sex store. Click here to see the full list of shopping centres.
Online marketplace Amazon has a long history of stocking sexually exploitative products and this year the global giant hasn’t been any better. We first called them out in 2010 when they were selling “The Paedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure: A child-lover’s code of conduct”. Since then we have exposed Amazon selling pro-rape and pro-paedophilia merchandise, child sex dolls, and this year, rape and incest-themed books.
While many associate Playboy simply with its branded items or magazine, Playboy Enterprises own various adult TV channels and websites, broadcasting brutal, hardcore pornography. Retailers that stock Playboy-branded products are helping Playboy to produce and distribute content that objectifies and degrades women. By stocking Playboy branded products Chemist Warehouse is profiting from the mainstreaming, normalising and embedding of a major brand of the sex industry into mainstream culture.
To see the full list click here.
Campaigns Manager Melinda Liszewski said research demonstrated a connection between the way women and girls are portrayed in advertising and the impact on attitudes towards women and their treatment. A 2015 meta-analysis showed objectified portrayals of women led to a ‘diminished view of women’s competence, morality and humanity.’ [Media and Sexualization: State of Empirical Research, 1995-2015, Ward LM, The Journal of Sex Research (2016)]
"These companies are harming women and girls, demonstrating a lack of corporate social responsibility. We can't let them get away with it."
Media Contact: Melinda Liszewski @melliszewski
Friday 13 December, 2019
Why is Instagram letting men share sexual fantasies about 7 year old girls?
Why does Instagram allow men to tell underage girls they want to rape them? Global call for action to protect minors from predators.
Collective Shout has joined a global campaign calling on Instagram to take urgent action to protect young girls from the predatory behaviours of large numbers of men congregating on their pages. Campaigner Lyn Swanson Kennedy discovered hundreds of comments from men describing sexual acts they wanted to perform on the girls.
Collective Shout has joined forces with the National Centre on Sexual Exploitation (US) and Demand Dignity (Canada) stating that Instagram has become a predator’s paradise and calling on the global picture-posting platform to implement safety measures to protect underage girls.
Kennedy described her shock at coming across large numbers of predatory comments containing descriptions of sexual abuse fantasies even for girls as young as seven - and grooming-style behaviours on the Facebook-owned platform. A 9-year old girl was described as having a ‘fat little p*ssy’ by one man while another described in detail how he would assault her.
“Instagram is providing a platform for men to share their sexually explicit comments about young girls,” Kennedy said
"What we’ve found shows that sexualisation and harassment of underage girls on Instagram is rampant. By giving adults unfettered access to children and facilitating the transmission of sexual comments Instagram is complicit in putting underage girls at risk and normalising them as available for sexual gratification.
“This is a gross act of social irresponsibility and violates socially expected standards of corporate conduct.
“My colleagues and I are spending a lot of time reporting these comments. Too often Instagram says the sexually explicit comments don’t violate their “community guidelines”. Perhaps it’s time for their board to come up with some new guidelines to protect children?”
We are calling for Instagram to:
1) Change its settings so that strangers cannot direct message minors.
2) Fix its algorithm to proactively remove sexualising or sexually graphic comments on minor’s photos.
3) Update its reporting system so that if someone is reporting a sexual comment on a minor’s post it can be reported as such. The “harassment/bullying” selection does not capture the fact that these comments come from adults who are grooming/sexualising/harassing a child.
The campaign is being run under the hashtags #WakeUpInstagram and #InstaPimpsGirls. Screenshots and videos of evidence here: https://endsexualexploitation.org/instagram/.
Saturday 23 November 2019
Instagram a “predator’s paradise”: Collective Shout joins anti sexploitation groups in global campaign
Joint international campaign launched by Collective Shout, National Center on Sexual Exploitation (USA) and Defend Dignity (Canada)
Today three anti-sexual exploitation organisations from three countries— Collective Shout (Australia), the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (United States), and Defend Dignity (Canada)—launched a campaign to call out rampant sex trafficking, child sexual abuse grooming, and the fetishisation of underage girls on Instagram.
“Earlier this year, YouTube came under public scrutiny for facilitating pedophile comments and networking in the comment sections of videos featuring young children—but what we’re seeing on Instagram now is even worse.
"It’s time to #WakeUpInstagram and stop a predator’s paradise from flourishing. Instagram needs to prioritise the safety of minors, not the accessibility of minors to adults, on its platform,” said Haley Halverson, Vice President of Advocacy and Outreach, National Center on Sexual Exploitation.
Collective Shout campaigner Lyn Kennedy said that since July, the movement had collected hundreds of samples of sexual, predatory comments on underage girls’ Instagram posts.
"What we’ve found shows that sexualisation and harassment of underage girls on Instagram is rampant. By giving adults unfettered access to children and facilitating the transmission of sexual comments—including requests for sexual images—from men to girls, Instagram is complicit in putting underage girls at risk and normalising them as available for sexual gratification," Kennedy said.
"If technology and social media companies are going to allow minors on their platform in any capacity, then they must provide adequate measures to keep children safe from sexual predators”.
Glendyne Gerrard, Director of Defend Dignity, said that in Canada, social media is one of the most common places for pimps and sex traffickers to lure and recruit victims for sexual exploitation, particularly children.
"Instagram’s picture-based platform makes it a haven for predators to groom and sexually exploit minors," Gerrard said.
"Instagram is complicit in these crimes if it does not improve its current policies to better protect children. In partnership with NCOSE and Collective Shout, Defend Dignity calls on Instagram to make it their top corporate priority to protect minors from the risks of being sexually exploited while using their social media platform.”
The three organisations are calling for Instagram to make three vital policy improvements:
1) Instagram must change its settings so that strangers cannot direct message minors.
2) Instagram must fix its algorithm to proactively remove sexualising or sexually graphic comments on minor’s photos.
3) Instagram must update its reporting system so that if someone is reporting a sexual comment on a minor’s post it can be reported as such. The “harassment/bullying” selection does not capture the fact that these comments come from adults who are grooming/sexualising/harassing a child.
Follow the global campaign on social media using #InstaPimpsGirls and #WakeUpInstagram.
Learn more and view screenshots and videos of evidence here: https://endsexualexploitation.org/instagram/.
Media Release: Collective Shout commends Bauer decision to shut down Picture and People titles
Media Release: BP removes sexist mags after Collective Shout pressure
Following calls for BP service stations to stop profiting from sexist magazines, sexualising teen girls and encouraging sexual harassment, the service station chain has announced these magazines will no longer be sold in 350 of its company owned stores.Read more
Media Release: Collective Shout declares victory as 7-Eleven withdraws sexual harassment magazines
Following a campaign calling on 7-Eleven to withdraw unrestricted pornographic magazines that sexualise teen girls and encourage harassment, Collective Shout can announce a victory.Read more
A Wicked Win! Collective Shout declares victory against Wicked Camper sexism after 10-year campaign
Following a decade campaigning against Wicked Camper vans for their sexist, degrading and abusive slogans - some even making jokes of rape, torture and murder - Collective Shout can announce victory.
After the long campaign against the vans for slogans such as “The difference between marmalade and jam is you can’t marmalade your cock down your girlfriend’s throat”, our perseverance has paid off, with state transport ministers signing an agreement to de-register vans carrying slogans like this.
A history of our activism against Wicked Campers, included petitions, persuading Lonely Planet to dump endorsement of the company, a successful collaboration with Wollombi Music Festival to ban entry of all Wicked vans and ongoing lobbying of MPs. (A more detailed history can be found here).
Queensland, Tasmania and the ACT enacted legislation to de-register Wicked Camper vans where Ad Standards had upheld complaints against them. NT went even further, with a decision to de-register vans unconditional on any Ad Standards determination. While these moves were welcome, Collective Shout pointed out that given the vans routinely crossed borders, uniform legislation was needed across the country.
Now, under the new plan agreed on at a national meeting of transport ministers, Wicked Campers with offensive slogans will be banned from registration in all states and territories. Each state has agreed to deregister vans that do not remove offensive slogans following a complaint, and to ensure that the van cannot be re-registered in another jurisdiction.
Movement Director Melinda Tankard Reist said the decade-long campaign was necessary due to a failed system of advertising self-regulation. “Ad Standards has no authority to enforce its rulings, and there are no penalties for non-compliance. Wicked Campers repeatedly and defiantly breached the advertising code of ethics with no consequences – more than 80 times since 2010” Ms Tankard Reist said.
The company was fuelling a culture in which violence against women thrived. Unaddressed, Wicked Campers’ messages served to undermine efforts to eradicating violence against women.
“At a time when governments are finally acknowledging the links between sexist attitudes and harmful behaviours, (see Women’s Health Victoria ‘Advertising (in)equality, 2018), funding anti-violence, respectful relationships and consent programs, it seemed remarkable that they could allow Wicked’s mobile misogyny to go unrestrained for so long,” Ms Tankard Reist said.
“We welcome this move. But it’s not the end. We need to see stronger regulation applied to other recalcitrant companies which refuse to abide by the Australian Association of National Advertisers Code of Ethics and which continue to put their vested interests above the wellbeing of the community.”