Internet Safety Month Brings Together ASACP & Adult Industry To Launch RTA Label
ASACP, Industry Leaders Hold Press Conference to Introduce RTA Label
By Tom Hymes
Saturday, Jun 23, 2007
LOS ANGELES — Leading members of the adult entertainment industry joined Executive Director Joan Irvine of ASACP at a press conference held Friday afternoon at the Erotica LA consumer tradeshow to announce the launch of the Restricted to Adults (RTA) labeling system, which includes a simple piece of programming code designed by the Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection for use by websites with age inappropriate content.
Once inserted into the source code of a website, RTA “meta data” is recognized by some of the most commonly used filtering products and services – and soon, according to Irvine, by Microsoft’s Vista browser – to help parents prevent their children from accessing and viewing age inappropriate content. Together with a visible banner placed on web pages to identify the site as RTA-enabled, the system is free, easy to install and universally recognizable.
During the 20-minute press conference, held at the Los Angeles Convention Center and attended by adult and mainstream media, members of the industry and interested observers, Irvine was flanked by several notable members of the industry, including XBIZ President Alec Helmy, AVN CEO Paul Fishbein, LFP Video’s Theresa Flynt, Free Speech Coalition Executive Director Diane Duke, industry attorney Gregory Piccionelli and adult actress Stormy Daniels.
“For the first time, an unprecedented coalition [comprised] of the adult entertainment industry, free speech advocates and parental software filtering companies have come together to protect children,” Irvine said. “RTA is our initiative to make sure that websites that are intended for adults only are labeled as such. It is website labeling that better enables parental filtering and underscores the adult industry’s interest in child protection.”
For the filters to work, however, parents must first use the filtering options available to them, and Irvine cited a recent Kaiser Family Foundation report claiming that only 41 percent of Internet-enabled households with children aged 9 and above actually use parental filtering.
“That’s why we’ve asked you here today,” Irvine said. “We have to get the message out to parents to use parental filtering systems.”
To illustrate the industry’s already substantial role in creating consumer and parental awareness, Irvine said that RTA-labeled websites Adult Friend Finder and PornoTube alone get 20 million unique visitors a month.
“Each one of their pages is labeled with an RTA label,” Irvine said. “What this means is that millions of people are being exposed to the RTA message. But what is most exciting is that children that might have had access to these sites are now blocked out.”
In answer to a reporter’s question regarding recent Congressional threats – and actual pending legislation – that would impose a labeling requirement on adult websites, Irvine said that members of the Senate Commerce Committee had already been notified of the existence of the RTA label and its increasing use by members of the industry, though Irvine stressed that RTA is available to anyone who feels the content on their website is potentially inappropriate for viewing by children.
“Today’s press conference was the culmination of an 18-month process,” Irvine told XBIZ afterwards. “What started as ASACP’s vision for an adult industry standard for self-regulation is now a vital component of websites that get millions of hits daily. This press conference helped increase awareness of the label in order to facilitate industry adoption of RTA and also to serve as an important reminder for parents to utilize parental filtering systems like ParentalControlBar.com."
Other commonly available filtering systems that recognize RTA include NetNanny, Cyber Sentinel, iShield and KidsNet, among several others.
A list of ASACP sponsors is available on the ASACP website, ASACP.org . The RTA code, banners and more information are available at RTALabel.org.