Last week, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) named Etsy on their 2022 Dirty Dozen List, a list of mainstream companies that are major facilitators of sexual exploitation in the United States.
Etsy is an online marketplace known for its unique, creative merchandise, especially items that are handmade or vintage. However, it is also facilitating the sale of explicit materials. Items that are pornographic and depict sexual abuse are available to anyone for purchase. There is also a wide selection of misogynistic apparel and sex dolls – including ones resembling minors.
Despite repeated reports, Etsy has not taken action to remove abusive content. Many customers complain about unwanted exposure to pornography and sexual content through an algorithm's recommendation, yet Etsy’s mechanism for removing such content from search results is highly ineffective and often causes more of this content to surface. Etsy has an ethical obligation to stop profiting from and normalizing child sex abuse and exploitation.
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