The Association for American Families has utilized their website to gather over 767,000 online signatures in support of banning the popular app Pokémon Go.
The Association for American Families is a non-profit organization founded in 1979 by conservative activist Henry Caldwell. The Association for American Families was initially founded in Lexington, Kentucky, however the organization’s headquarters has since been relocated to the small town of Bentonville, Arkansas. The organization currently maintains over 225,000 paid subscribers throughout the United States and employs approximately 320 full-time staff members.
The non- profit organization is widely viewed as a conservative ‘watch-dog’ group that regularly promotes fundamentalist Christian values and advocates for a strong sense of traditional family values, morals, and overall decency. The organization regularly takes issue with the American media for supplying and promoting content that the organization believes to be indecent, obscene, or immoral – including content that addresses the topic of homosexuality. The organization has received heavy criticism over the years for their vocal opposition to gay marriage and has often been labeled as a ‘hate group’.
According to Richard Elswood, the organization’s Director of Public Relations and primary spokesperson, The Association for American Families decided to petition for the outright ban of the popular Pokémon Go app because they believe the app is “a highly dangerous and unwanted distraction to the children and young adults of America”.
In an interview with MSNBC reporter Andrew Carrington, the organization’s Director of Public Relations made the following statement, “It’s our job to not only preserve the strong moral values that this great country was built upon, but to also keep its citizens safe and draw attention to areas of danger and distraction as they arise. In the past week this application (Pokémon Go) has caused several automobile accidents, resulted in the stabbing of a multiple children, and led 3 young women to a dead body – these young women do not deserve to spend the rest of their lives harboring the gruesome image that they unexpectedly stumbled upon. We (The Association for American Families) understand that these tragic incidents are only a small preview into the window of pain and suffering that this seemingly innocent game will bring if allowed to remain active”. The spokesperson explained to Carrington that parents should encourage their children to put down the phones and tablets and engage in a “more wholesome” form of entertainment.
As of Saturday morning, The Association for American Families website – www.associationforamericanfamilies.com has received over 767,000 signatures in support of shutting down the Pokémon Go app. As of the writing of this article the organization’s website is down due to the heavy amount of traffic its receiving, however sources have indicated that the organization is working diligently to correct the issue. Though many have supported and signed the online petition, many others are urging those that oppose the ban to email the organization to express their displeasure with the petition.
Many state officials have spoken out against the Pokémon Go app and have expressed concern for the safety of their citizens as the app has been known to cause distraction among users, however at this time, it’s unknown which representatives if any have played a part in The Association for American Families stance on the app.