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Nordic hotel chain bans porn due to ‘trafficking’

Nordic Choice Hotels, the largest hotel chain in the region, has announced the removal of pornography from its television channels.

Nordic hotel chain bans porn due to 'trafficking'

“We believe it is a natural part of our social responsibility to not support an industry that contributes to trafficking or other forms of trafficking,” said Torgeir Silseth, Nordic Choice Hotels CEO, in a statement.

The decision will take immediate effect and apply to the chain’s 168 properties across the Nordic region.

The decision is the result of a partnership with Unicef that began in 2008 and the recent adoption of new ethical guidelines including a zero tolerance policy against prostitution.

In 2012 some 2,500 of the firm’s employees chose as a prioritized area Unicef’s “Free to Grow” project, which works to protect child victims of trafficking and sexual abuse.

“Through ‘Free to grow’, and our new ethical guidelines, we as a company seek to contribute to the important work Unicef is doing to combat this problem,” said Hedda Skaug, HR & CR Manager at Nordic Choice Hotels in a statement.

According to Skaug, some 1.2 million children are trafficked annually with 70 percent suffering sexual exploitation and many sold into both prostitution and the porn industry.

While the move garnered support from many, the firm was forced to use its Swedish Twitter feed to defend allegations of populism on Tuesday.

“It is a shame if this is seen as populism, but that doesn’t hinder us from acting based on our our convictions,” the firm wrote.

Some Twitter users pointed out that if porn is to be successfully excluded from a hotel’s premises then an internet ban would have to effected.

“We obviously don’t have the power to close the internet and neither is that the solution,” Nordic Choice Hotels responded.

Nordic Choice Hotels is far from the first chain to drop pornography from its television channels, with Best Western for example adopting a similar stance five years ago.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson

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HACKING

Suspected hackers show porn on Swedish station billboard

Commuters in a southeast Swedish city were briefly roused from their wintry routines by a public display of pornography at a bus stop outside the central rail station, officials said on Friday.

Suspected hackers show porn on Swedish station billboard
The screens at Kalmar station began suddenly showing porn images. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
For about 15 minutes on Thursday afternoon, during maintenance of an interactive display in the city of Kalmar, the usual adverts and videos were replaced by explicit images from a pornography website.
   
“We got information from a bus driver that someone had put pornographic imagery on one of our displays,” Karl-Johan Bodell, traffic director at Kalmar's regional public transport company KLT, told AFP.
   
The screen at Kalmar's central station in Sweden's southeast was quickly switched off — and will remain off until the cause is uncovered.
   
Local media reported that hackers were to blame and Bodell conceded that hacking was “the first thing that comes to mind”, but stressed that the cause had not yet been confirmed. 
   
KLT said the company supplying the display was conducting an investigation into what had caused the switch and how they might prevent future incidents.
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