In April this year, Collective Shout successfully defended our movement against legal threats from Sexpo Australia. The Federal Court in Brisbane dismissed an application brought against Collective Shout by Sexpo Limited, over a campaign by Collective Shout calling for the removal of porn ads from the sides of buses on which children travelled to school.
We are pleased to announce that our victory over Sexpo has been documented in Dignity, a journal on sexual exploitation and violence. You can read it here.
We are very pleased to report that we have successfully defended our movement against legal threats from Sexpo, with the Federal Court in Brisbane dismissing an application brought against Collective Shout by Sexpo Limited. Sexpo Limited was also ordered to pay Collective Shout’s costs.
It was in May 2017 that we were alerted to public buses servicing school routes in Perth that featured advertisements for Sexpo. The ads included the web address for one of their sponsors, a broadcaster of live streamed sex shows.
Ad Standards dismissed complaints and rejected our request for a review. Case Manager Nikki Paterson claimed that advertising live sex shows on the side of a bus was not a breach of the code. Our petition to prevent similar ads on Brisbane buses, due out the following month, attracted over 5000 signatures.
Sexpo’s lawyers threatened to sue Collective Shout for damages for “misleading and deceptive behaviour” under consumer law, citing social media posts by two staff members.
Sexpo claimed that Collective Shout was misleading because the bus ads promoting MyFreeCams.com did not share a url, and only included the words ‘My Free Cams’ with no .com to follow. They also denied that the image existed on a bus or any other physical medium. Take a look at a range of photographic evidence that proves otherwise:
In the weeks following the release of our petition, the ‘.com’ from the following billboard was blacked out:
Last month, The Honourable Justice Reeves dismissed Sexpo’s application against Collective Shout, concluding:
I do not consider Sexpo has established that it held a reasonable belief that it had suffered any harm to its commercial reputation as a consequence of Collective Shout’s alleged representations such that it may have a right to obtain relief in a claim against it. Sexpo’s application under r 7.23 must therefore be dismissed. I will order accordingly.
Justice Reeves also noted that Sexpo provided more than 500 pages of affidavit material in connection with their application, yet only three paragraphs were directly devoted to the existence of Sexpo’s belief about its right to obtain relief from Collective Shout, an argument ultimately rejected by the judge. Real the full judgment here.
The ruling against Sexpo is a significant victory- not just for Collective Shout and our supporters, but for all those who support the rights of children to live free from pornography. The sex industry in Australia has been permitted to target children with advertising for pornography and prostitution in public spaces for too long, and we are more committed than ever to stand up for the rights of children.
"It's the parents' responsibility": Porn industry blames parents for children's exposure to hard core porn
Three teenagers have a conversation about how online pornography has impacted on their lives in a new video from ABC. The seven-minute video explores the ways in which unrestricted access to pornography shapes young people’s sexuality, their intimate relationships and view of themselves and their bodies.
In a digital age with unrestricted access to hard core pornography, children are being exposed at unprecedented rates and from younger ages. Children are viewing increasingly violent and degrading pornography, typically before they’ve experienced real life sexual encounters. Pornography has become the primary means of sex education for young people, but what does it teach?
“[Porn] is creating an expectation”
Kiki, 19, told ABC she had experienced pressure from male sexual partners to replicate sex acts they had seen in pornography:
“My boyfriend at the time would just nag me and nag me and nag me at the time to do anal. I ended up having to turn around and stop and say, ‘No, I’m not going to do that’ before he retreated… it’s not kind of like ‘Hey, I’m curious about this.’ It’s like, ‘You should do this, I want you to do this.’ They push and push and push.”
Kiki’s sentiments have been expressed by many young women who have similarly described experiences of coercion and unwanted porn-inspired sex acts instigated by male partners. (Read more here).
Porn industry blames parents for children’s exposure to porn
Throughout the short video, various spokespeople for the pornography industry shrugged off responsibility for the harms to children who were exposed to hard core pornography, arguing it was up to parents to monitor their child’s internet access.
Ron Jeremy, one of the most famous male porn performers of all time, argued it was not the porn industry’s responsibility to depict healthy sexual relationships. Jeremy, who was a special guest at Sexpo, was last week barred from the industry’s own Adult Video News awards after multiple rape allegations. “Watch your goddamn kids,” he said.
But when the teens featured in the video were asked if they felt their parents could control everything they looked at on the internet, their response was a resounding no. “No, there’s no way you could. To a 13-year-old, parents say ‘No more internet’ so he takes his smartphone down to public wi-fi.”
It’s near impossible for parents to compete with the multi-billion-dollar global sex industry, one that aggressively markets and has successfully mainstreamed its product, and opposes any measures that may curtail its profits- such as age verification on pornographic websites.
Parents need to be educated, but at best, all we can really do is prepare our children for the inevitable.