SUPPORT HB 1646: Combatting sexually abusive materials of children
House Bill 1646 gives the Attorney General the ability to impose civil penalties of $1 million on large corporations which knowingly make available sexually abusive materials of children. To be subject to this penalty a corporation must have a stock market capitalization of at least $100 billion. The legislation clarifies that if multiple corporations are involved in making available the abusive content in a single instance, each may be subject to the fine. The bill also establishes the child sexually abusive material facilitation prevention fund. Money collected from the penalties will be deposited in this fund to assist in the investigation of corporations which have potentially made available sexually abusive content of children.
We live in an age where pornography is more accessible than ever, with countless porn websites and mainstream social media platforms containing porn spread across the internet. This new age of pornography has brought with it a multitude of consequences, one of the most depraved being the spread of child sexual abuse materials. In 2014, the number of reports of child sexual abuse imagery surpassed one million for the first time, but by 2018 the number of reports had risen all the way to 18 million, representing 45 million images and videos of child porn. This number has likely skyrocketed all the more since the COVID-19 pandemic, and the content that gets reported is sure to be far less than the true total.
Major social media corporations have been less than willing to truly confront child pornography on their sites. And even if they were, this would do nothing to solve the problem posed by the major porn sites, easily accessible on any device, being rife with child porn even if it is technically against their policies. Furthermore, countless sites on the dark web specifically promote, share, and encourage the production of child sexual abuse content. Indiana must not ignore this issue any longer as do so many companies and people in power. HB 1646 is critical to get justice for victims of online child abuse who reside in Indiana by directly targeting and penalizing the companies and websites that make this terrible crime possible.
Online child sexual abuse goes after the most vulnerable in our society to form an evil industry worth billions of dollars. Facilitating this crime needs to be treated severely by the law, and that is just what HB 1646 would do. Large social media giants have failed to keep deviancy off of their platforms. Porn websites, on and off the dark web, gladly allow or even promote child porn as they are devoid of all values and just want more traffic to their sites. Children in Indiana must be kept safe from online sexual abuse and those who are victims at the very least deserve the people responsible for their abuse to be held accountable. Indiana must take a stand to protect the innocence of children and fight back against the ever-increasing tide of sexual perversion haunting the internet.
IFI supports HB 1646.