Ending Child Sexual Exploitation Online

Shareholder advocacy |

Praxis and concerned investors press Verizon for change

Praxis Mutual Funds® has joined with other concerned investors to talk with Verizon about Child Sexual Exploitation Online (CSEO) over the past few years.

Unfortunately, CSEO has spread across digital airwaves via easily accessible modern communication mediums. Telecommunications companies are ramping up their ability to detect, reduce, and ultimately eliminate CSEO. As a leading telecom company, Verizon provides wireless and online communication applications for millions of customers and is committed to doing its part to protect children.

Recent shareholder communication with Verizon focused on:

  • Partnerships with law enforcement, nonprofit organizations, and industry peers to eradicate CSEO.
  • Government legislation, existing and proposed, pertaining to child exploitation.
  • The company’s influence on how its products and services are impacting children.
  • Protective measures that can be taken on Verizon’s various product lines.
  • Concrete metrics Verizon can report to shareholders and stakeholders on CSEO.

Verizon has expanded its efforts to combat CSEO in recent years, including creation of a Digital Head of Safety role, expanded email scanning, and improved resources for parents such as the Parenting in a Digital World portal. These new actions are a supplement to other practices meant to curb CSEO such as deploying trained investigators to find child predators, empowering users to report abusive content, and using state-of-the-art picture and video technology to find CSEO material on Verizon platforms.

The Praxis Value Index Fund and Praxis Impact Bond Fund both have investments with Verizon positioning us to talk to the company about their policies and practices. Engagement from Praxis and other investors played an important role in Verizon’s decision. Praxis – which engages in socially responsible investing – and the other shareholders included in this dialogue applaud Verizon’s commitment to stopping CSEO and will continue meeting with the company.

Chris Meyer

Author

Chris Meyer
Manager of Stewardship Investing Research and Advocacy

Shareholder Advocacy in Action

At Praxis, our investments generate a competitive financial return and deliver a clear and direct benefit to people and our planet. We believe it is our responsibility to encourage companies toward responsible business behavior.

 

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Disclosure

As of Sept. 30, 2020, the Praxis Value Index Fund has invested 2.29% of its assets in Verizon; and the Praxis Impact Bond Fund has invested 0.27% of its assets in Verizon. Fund holdings are subject to change and should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell any security. To obtain holdings as of the most previous quarter, visit praxismutualfunds.com.