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Porn industry needs more regulation

There is an industry out there that can always make itself known to consumers. One can have access to its products at home, at work or even at school. Most of the time, its products are received online.

What is this industry?

It is the Adult Entertainment Industry, and its main product is pornography.

Whether a consumer chooses to view porn is a personal choice; others come across it accidentally. In order to control this issue, Stuart Lawley, chairman and president of the ICM Registry, came up with an idea to add a “.xxx” suffix to Web site addresses so pornographic sites could easily be recognized. This idea, however, was rejected by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. Hopefully, the corporation will reconsider for the safety of consumers.

The newly added suffix promotes safety of not only the consumer, but also the adult entertainment companies, and most importantly, the safety of children. Often, people happen upon pornographic sites accidentally through e-mails, search engines or even Internet pop-ups.

According to Family Safe Media, which collected information from places like Google, PBS and MSNBC, about 90 percent of children from the ages of 8 to 16 have been exposed to pornography. Most of this exposure occurs when researching for homework. The new suffix allows for an easier way to block Web sites that contain adult content, thus keeping it out of children’s reach.

While one would expect that would blow the adult entertainment industry’s $2.5 billion revenue from the Internet, the idea also supports and respects adult entertainment as an industry. In order to acquire a “.xxx” suffix, entertainment providers would have to meet requirements such as securing customer privacy, making sure they do not promote child pornography and avoiding using spam. Most Web sites not of an X-rated nature also supply strict privacy policies, so there is not much of a change.

According to the ICM Registry, in return for following the rules, “The best business practices incorporated into the .xxx registration agreement will bring a greater degree of confidence and certainty not (the consumer’s) experience.” ICM Registry also said this will then provide a certain consumer-industry trust that will bring a steadier revenue and less complaints about the irresponsibility of the industry.

It seems as though everyone wins in this situation. The unwilling consumers win by being able to block that suffix so they do not have to view it. The adult entertainment industry will be a more responsible industry that will gain a bit of esteem because of the respect they show to the consumers of their content. Children can have the opportunity to never be exposed to the adult entertainment industry either by their computers or by the exploitation of their bodies.

The adult entertainment industry pulls in more revenue than professional basketball, football and baseball combined. For those who would rather use their computers to check ESPN for sports news and scores instead of watching people score of a different kind, the “.xxx” suffix would be very useful.

Hayley Freeman is a freshman English major from Fort Worth. Her column appears Wednesdays.

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