Child Pornography

Covid. Lock-downs. Layoffs. Depression. Riots. Lawlessness. Fraud. How can you summarize 2020 without being negative?

First, the really, really bad news. As locked-down people have been spending more time online, what websites are they using? Three of the top 10 in the world are pornography.

One of these sites enables users to upload videos, like YouTube. And that they do—at a rate of 6.8 million new videos each year. The company says it tries to screen out illegal videos. Still, of all the sick content it streams to users at thousands of gigabytes per minute, a sizable amount depicts non-consensual violence.

And that includes loads of explicit videos of children.

“After a 15-year-old girl went missing in Florida, her mother found her on Pornhub in 58 sex videos,” the New York Times reported on December 6.

“Sexual assaults on a 14-year-old California girl were posted there and were reported to the authorities not by the company but by a classmate who saw the videos. In each case, offenders were arrested for the assaults, but Pornhub escaped responsibility for sharing the videos and profiting from them.”

The Times author, Nicholas Kristof, wrote about the company’s understaffed screening department. “The job in itself is soul-destroying,” said one moderator. He pointed out, “Because it’s impossible to be sure whether a youth in a video is 14 or 18, neither Pornhub nor anyone else has a clear idea of how much content is illegal.”

And notice this: “Unlike YouTube, Pornhub allows these videos to be downloaded directly from its website. So even if a rape video is removed at the request of the authorities, it may already be too late. The video lives on as it is shared with others or uploaded again and again.” 

One woman told the author that “she was adopted in the United States from China and then trafficked by her adoptive family and forced to appear in videos beginning when she was 9. Some videos of her being abused ended up on Pornhub and regularly reappear there,” she claimed.

Nine years old!

Kristof wrote that high school girls and junior high girls are getting pressured to send sexual videos to their boyfriends, then discover that they’ve been uploaded to this website and shared everywhere. Some of these exploited girls turn to drug addiction and become suicidal. Yet the company still amasses its fortune from nearly 3 billion ad impressions a day, serving 3.5 billion visits a month.

One of these girls told Kristof, “They’re making money off the worst moment in my life, off my body.”

Pornhub is enormously influential. Kristof cited a recent study by a digital marketing company finding it to be “the technology company with the third greatest-impact on society in the 21st century, after Facebook and Google but ahead of Microsoft, Apple and Amazon.”

People want to explain away this evil. This porn company basically wants to just evade prosecution or censure from credit card companies. Users want to say, It’s not that bad, or, It’s none of your business. People who call themselves progressive say this site’s content is actually liberating.

But the truth staring us in the face is that this is sin! This is a sickening look at the appalling and deadly effects of sin.

Here is a refreshing, pure, true explanation, from Jesus Christ:  But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28). Pornography of any kind is sin. Whatever people may believe, this is the truth. Pornography breaks the Ten Commandments, the law of God.

“If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell,” Jesus exhorted in verse 29.

The wages of sin is death! And before you die from it, you experience a slew of curses and evils. The ruin Pornhub is causing in people’s lives is an agonizing example.

Yet the problem goes far beyond one website. Children are being abused, videoed and viewed not just on countless other pornography sites, but even on sites like Facebook, Twitter and Reddit. This article adds that “Google supports the business models of companies that thrive on child molestation.”

The “National Center for Missing and Exploited Children” gave Kristof the statistics on “the number of images, videos and other content related to child sexual exploitation reported to it each year. In 2015, it received reports of 6.5 million videos or other files; in 2017, 20.6 million; and in 2019, 69.2 million.” In just five years, the number grew more than 10 times—from 6.5 million to 69.2 million! The demand for deranged child sexual content is exploding!

That is because it is addictive—and people are becoming enslaved by it.

Those who defend pornography, who say shutting it down would limit our “freedom,” disagree with Christ. He said, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” (John 8:34) That’s the truth. “They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” (2 Peter 2:19) Viewers of pornography are spiritually enslaved.

But beyond that: “They are also funding the literal enslavement of women and children by human traffickers!”

About 2.8 million U.S. children run away from home each year. Within 48 hours, one third of them are picked up by traffickers and pimps. 100,000 to 300,000 U.S. children are enslaved in sex trafficking every year. The average age of entry to prostitution in the U.S. is 12 to 14 years.

Think of a 13-year-old in your life. Now imagine that child on the street making money through sex.

An estimated 30 percent of all data transferred across the Web is pornography. And an estimated 20 percent of all Internet porn involves trafficked children.

As you read this, children are being enslaved, trafficked and forced into sexual acts so that slave owners and pornographers can make money, and someone with a credit card somewhere can watch.

What is the solution? Kristof’s article advocated that credit card companies stop accepting payments to Pornhub. Axios later reported, “Nick Kristof gets results. Credit card giants Visa and MasterCard said they’re reviewing their relationship with Pornhub.” The next day, the company announced what Kristof called “huge changes”: It says it will now allow uploads only from verified users, no longer permit downloads, and improve moderation.

This is a thin reed of progress in a broad, toxic swamp of sin.

Tweaks like this do nothing to address the foundational crisis. People are destroying themselves and destroying others because of their addiction to sin. This is one company among untold hundreds or thousands, serving up poisonous content to millions upon millions of people, corrupting minds of men and women and children, destroying marriages and families and lives. And the best hope the world offers is a possibility that porn customers will be inconvenienced.

This world has no solutions. Such exploitation of people, of children, has stained all human history. It has merely been propagated and intensified by technology; participating is now exceedingly easy. But never have efforts to stamp out such evil had lasting success. They are too feeble, and human nature is too tough, too tenacious, too pernicious and evil.

The International Labor Organization estimates that 45.8 million people in 167 countries are currently enslaved—more than triple the total number of Africans who were shipped to the Americas during the entire 360-year history of the New World slave trade. It estimates annual profits from forced labor to be $150 billion. That’s bigger than Google.

The nightmares afflicting the lives of the handful of young people who appeared in this New York Times story are haunting and terrorizing millions of lives in various forms.

And people are “too addicted to sin” to even care. There is someone, however, who has seen it all, who cares, and who possesses the power to stop it!

“The Lord is a God who avenges. O God who avenges, shine forth. Rise up, Judge of the earth; pay back to the proud what they deserve.” (Psalm 94:1-2). Seeing unchecked evil in this world motivates such a plea for divine judgment and justice.

“How long, Lord, will the wicked, how long will the wicked be jubilant? They pour out arrogant words; all the evildoers are full of boasting. They crush your people, Lord; they oppress your inheritance. They slay the widow and the foreigner; they murder the fatherless. They say, The Lord does not see; the God of Jacob takes no notice.” (verses 3-7).

All around us, wicked men are exploiting helpless people. They think God doesn’t see. But He sees it all! And He is about to rise and act!

“Take notice, you senseless ones among the people; you fools, when will you become wise? Does he who fashioned the ear not hear? Does he who formed the eye not see? Does he who disciplines nations not punish? Does he who teaches mankind lack knowledge? The Lord knows all human plans; he knows that they are futile.” (verses 8-11) “He will repay them for their sins and destroy them for their wickedness; the Lord our God will destroy them.” (verse 23)

This is not wishful thinking. It is advance news of a new world about to supplant the doomed world we inhabit—and it is sure. When Jesus Christ walked the Earth, He witnessed appalling human suffering, and did what He could to alleviate it. He was moved with compassion, seeing the people as sheep lacking a shepherd. (Matthew 9:36)

Christ’s gospel message was the news that God will establish a literal government to destroy and replace our corrupt human governments and establish a new society. At that time, “May he defend the afflicted among the people and save the children of the needy; may he crush the oppressor.” (Psalm 72:4).

Christ continually directed His disciples to seek that coming kingdom, to press toward it, to set their heart on preparing for it. He instructed, “This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:9-10)

To this day, Christ’s disciples keep these words on our lips. When we see immorality, enslavement, unmentionable evil, when we know that minds and bodies of helpless children are even now being abused, we pray: “Thy Kingdom come.”

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