Meta, HBO make PTC's ‘Naughty List’ for exposing kids to explicit content

Meta | iStock/Kira-Yan

Parents seeking to better monitor the content their children and teens are streaming might want to think twice before allowing them on Meta or to stream HBO.   

Meta and HBO have been called out for "targeting children with harmful content" after both platforms were named on the Parents Television and Media Council's “Naughty List.” 

PTC evaluates the best and worst family content and publishes the results in its annual “Naughty & Nice List.”

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“In a screen saturated world, children, teens, and their parents have a lot to navigate. Meta and HBO aren’t making this any easier for families by targeting youth with explicit sexual and other harmful content,” said Melissa Henson, vice president of the Parents Television and Media Council, in a statement. 

“Our ‘Naughty & Nice List’ seeks to highlight some of the companies that prioritize children and families, and those who prioritize profit over child safety.” 

PTC states that its mission is to “protect children and families from graphic sex, violence and profanity in the media, because of their proven, long-term harmful effects."

“We are grateful to highlight AppleTV+ and Bentkey for offering more family entertainment,” Henson added. “These companies serve as models that the entertainment business can emulate.”

Bentkey is a project of Daily Wire that offers 150 episodes of 17 shows, including four Bentkey originals. The platform aims to give parents an alternative to streaming services like Disney+. 

Warning parents against HBO, the watchdog said the entertainment channel “has led the charge towards marketing explicit, adult content to children and teens, introducing the sexually explicit 'The Idol' to viewers this past summer.” 

“PTC research has found that HBO’s streaming platform Max has mediocre parental controls, enabling children to access to the aforementioned programs and more of the most explicit streaming content on the market,” PTC adds. 

PTC also critiqued HBO for its addition of "Naked Attraction" featuring uncensored fully naked contestants, and extending teen-targeted "Euphoria" for “another season of drugs and depravity.” 

“Given that a UCLA survey of teens and young adults found that they ‘think sex and romance are too prominent in TV shows and movies,’ HBO should greatly reduce and/or [eliminate] sexual content in programs targeted to teens,” the report finds.  

Also, on the “Naughty List” was Meta, which is the parent company of Facebook and Instagram. 

“[Meta] continues to be revealed by media outlets, whistleblowers, and lawsuits as fueling child sexual exploitation, providing a platform for pedophiles, and enabling sexually explicit and other harmful content that targets teens, especially teen girls,” PTC continued. “Meta was sued by the District of Columbia and 41 states claiming its products are addictive and potentially harmful to children and their mental health. If the growing evidence isn’t a wakeup call for greater accountability for Meta, we don’t know what is.” 

While Meta and HBO received “Naughty” ratings, AppleTV+ and Bentkey received high ratings from the nonprofit. 

“In the PTC’s 2023 study of streaming platforms, AppleTV+ was found to offer the largest number of TV-G rated original programming. Surveys indicate families want to watch TV together, and AppleTV+ is giving families more options than most streaming platforms, which heavily produce and distribute TV-MA-rated programming,” PTC added. 

“Bentkey joins others like UP, Great American Family, INSP, Dove, Pure Flix, and Angel Studios in producing and distributing enjoyable family-friendly fare, clearly fulfilling audience demand.”

Nicole Alcindor is a reporter for The Christian Post. 

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