Jonathon van Maren

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The porn industry wants your kids. Here’s what you can do to stop them

Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon

January 9, 2018 (LifeSiteNews.com) – One of the most serious threats to families, marriages, and children is the porn industry. Court documents tell us that a huge percentage of divorces are as a result of the compulsive porn use of one of the spouses. Ugly statistics tell us that the average age of first exposure to porn is now age 9. And, new research is explaining how pornography is actually warping our minds, changing our attractions, and mainstreaming sexual violence. 

I spend a lot of time researching this problem and speaking about it in high schools and to parents, and so occasionally it is important for me to realize that there are many anti-porn warriors out there who are doing magnificent work and making real progress. In that regard, 2017 was a very encouraging year.

Louisiana, Arkansas, and Tennessee all declared pornography a public health crisis, following on the heels of South Dakota and Utah. The state of Virginia declared that pornography was “harmful.” Georgia is examining the issue in committee, and will hopefully follow suit. Florida is also considering a resolution to declare porn a public health crisis.

As public awareness regarding the harms of pornography grows, organizations like the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) are reporting positive changes, as well. In March of 2017, Twitter actually changed the way the platform functioned so that users typing in hashtags or keywords to search for pornography would find no results. This change is extremely important—Twitter (along with Instagram) was one of the most notorious distributors of pornography among the social media platforms. NCOSE hopes that this is simply one step in the right direction.

Another company that has bowed under pressure is Verizon, which has now created an “opt-in system” for those subscribing to FiOS IPTV services so that pornography flicks and porn channels will not simply be automatically sent into the homes of new customers. Verizon still sells pornography, but after NCOSE met with Verizon’s CEO and launched several massive campaigns, the company, like Twitter, has begun to take steps to reduce the availability of pornography. 

The most significant victory NCOSE attained in 2017—at least in my view—was their successful campaign to have EBSCO Information Services, which “offers online library resources to public and private schools (K-12), colleges and universities, public libraries, and more," begin to remove sexually graphic content from elementary schools.​ After months of discussion with NCOSE, EBSCO is taking steps to remove access to porn, and NCOSE believes that many of these solutions will be effective.

There is another anti-porn development on the horizon for 2018 that I am very excited about. Dan Armstrong of Covenant Eyes, one of North America’s leading Internet accountability and filtering systems, hopes to launch their newest development: Image-recognition and artificial intelligence capable of identifying pornography. The difficulty companies like Covenant Eyes face is that as fast as they develop software and filters to block porn, porn companies are finding ways to reach kids anyway.

One of the porn industry’s dirty little secrets is that they actually target kids, tagging hardcore porn videos with phrases like “Dora the Explorer” to lure kids in. But with this new software, protections can be ramped up even further.

But the number one most encouraging thing for me would be if parents could start taking the porn threat more seriously. Over 70% of parents haven’t placed Internet controls or filters on their computers or technological devices—and their kids will—I repeat, will—find porn, view porn, and perhaps even become addicted to porn.

The good news is that there are many sophisticated organizations dedicated solely to helping you prevent that, and these organizations are incredibly effective. If every parent who has a problem with their child seeing porn in 2018 decided to step up and do what it takes to prevent their child from seeing porn, we could see revolutionary changes.

Make it your New Year’s resolution, and we’ll have even better news in the fight against porn when 2019 begins.

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Jonathon van Maren

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Jonathon Van Maren is a public speaker, writer, and pro-life activist. His commentary has been translated into more than eight languages and published widely online as well as print newspapers such as the Jewish Independent, the National Post, the Hamilton Spectator and others. He has received an award for combating anti-Semitism in print from the Jewish organization B’nai Brith. His commentary has been featured on CTV Primetime, Global News, EWTN, and the CBC as well as dozens of radio stations and news outlets in Canada and the United States.

He speaks on a wide variety of cultural topics across North America at universities, high schools, churches, and other functions. Some of these topics include abortion, pornography, the Sexual Revolution, and euthanasia. Jonathon holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in history from Simon Fraser University, and is the communications director for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Jonathon’s first book, The Culture War, was released in 2016.

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