“Knowing that companies could remove the images and videos of my abuse as a child from their sites but choose not to makes me both sick and enraged. They wash their hands of it because it was posted by a user, not by them, however, it is their platform and they are benefiting from my exploitation. This cannot continue because they are causing real harm to survivors like myself who already feel so out of control over who views and shares the images of our abuse. The Earn It Act is absolutely necessary to protect survivors of sexual exploitation, to help prevent further exploitation, and to send a message that images of the sexual abuse of children are an unacceptable thing to be creating or posting online.”- Survivor of child sexual abuse material
The Canadian Centre for Child Protection’s (C3P) unwavering commitment to fighting for the rights of victims and survivors is strengthened by the reintroduction of the EARN IT Act to the U.S. Senate. As an agency that has been a direct witness to the brutal ways in which the rights and privacy of children are routinely violated online, and works directly with survivors whose child sexual abuse was recorded and distributed online, this is a crucial first step. Holding tech accountable for the decades of continued trauma and exploitation that has occurred on their platforms without consequence is a move that is essential and long overdue. More importantly, EARN IT will help to break the cycle of victimization for survivors, not just in the U.S., but around the world who have had their right to privacy and dignity violated for too long. It will also send an important statement that companies need to take responsibility for the misuse of their platforms to harm children and survivors.