What is SESTA? It is the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act
What is FOSTA? It is the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act
Although these sound great (Stopping sex trafficking is great!) like many laws they don't actually have the intended consequences. Basically it was the normal politician "but the children!" cry.
Actual outcomes - Sex Work is being conflated with Sex Trafficking and many sites are being bullied into going offline, internet providers no longer are protected by section 203 safe harbor, and they are enabling or pushing overly-prudish regulations.
- Craigslist personals, gone
- Backpage, taken down
- Tumblr porn ban
- Reddit, some sub reddits impacted
- HotMilitaryGirls.com Shuts Down as Operator Seeks Legal Analysis
- Google T&C have also been impacted
- More sex workers are being arrested
- More sex workers are dying - they are loosing their methods to screen people and work online safely - they now must take more risks and possibly go back to working the streets.
Who pushed these laws? Who benefits?
Groups polaris project are pushing these agendas, as well as benefiting from it. They are selling/promoting their training and services to help "spot sex traffickers."
Resources & people to follow
- https://twitter.com/Maggie_McNeill who blogs here: https://maggiemcneill.wordpress.com/
- Special Report: Money and Lies in Anti-Human Trafficking NGOs
- A New Bill Aims to Fight Sex Trafficking. But Critics Say It Goes Too Far
- How FOSTA-SESTA Legislation Is Wreaking Havoc On The Lives Of Sex Workers
- Trump signs ‘FOSTA’ bill targeting online sex trafficking, enables states and victims to pursue websites
- Trump Just Signed SESTA/FOSTA, a Law Sex Workers Say Will Literally Kill Them
- ‘This Bill Is Killing Us’: 9 Sex Workers On Their Lives In The Wake Of FOSTA
- Has the sex-trafficking law eliminated 90 percent of sex-trafficking ads?
- Beyond ICE In Oakland: How SESTA Threatens To Chill Any Online Discussion About Immigration
- FOSTA Would Be a Disaster for Online Communities
- Sexual freedom is at risk from these damning new bills passed by Congress
- “The major purpose of [FOSTA] is to...punish anyone who...engages in sex work.” - Steven Thrasher
- A new law intended to curb sex trafficking threatens the future of the internet as we know it
- Government’s Hands-Off Censorship
- "But what if a private platform suppresses speech because it’s afraid the government might otherwise step in? Sure, another “what if” argument, often dismissed here as the “space alien” possibility. Except this space alien has already landed and announced that dinner will be ready soon."
- Congress’s New Sex Trafficking Bill Won’t Solve Anything
- "…The language of FOSTA is both vague and extremely expansive. It prohibits website owners from “promoting or facilitating prostitution”. That can obviously be subjected to wide interpretation, and the penalty for violating the new law is up to 10 years in prison. Hence, multiple websites are erring on the side of self-censorship…Amending Section 230 is a terrible precedent and a slippery slope towards government regulation of the Internet and censorship…several privacy and personal freedom organizations, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, have criticized the expansive nature of the bill, worried that it could ultimately affect web content unrelated to prostitution… "
- FOSTA-SESTA's real aim is to silence sex workers online
- "The US’ latest attempt to silence sex workers…has begun to chill free speech across the internet. A number of websites have had to either shut down or actively distance themselves from the notion that they support sex work. And the problem is only going to get worse as time goes on…It’s not just…adults-only websites and platforms that are now having to crack down on discussions of sex. Microsoft and Google have moved to alter their terms of service…and…not even private discussions are safe "
- Why Decriminalization of Sex Work Matters: An Introduction to FOSTA-SESTA & How You Can Help Fight It
- "..the anti-trafficking lobby has a lot of money. They have co-opted the narrative around #sexworkers, turned it into #sextrafficking, and built an entire industry around it"
- How FOSTA Could Give Hollywood the Filters It's Long Wanted
- Transgender Suicide Is More Than a Mental Health Issue
- "In the week after SESTA/FOSTA passed, Trans Lifeline’s call volume went up 97 percent. It’s not possible to be an ally to trans people without being an ally to sex workers. "
- How Sex Ads Became a Battleground for the Future of the Internet