Yesterday the erroneously named “Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act”(FOSTA) passed the house and is on it’s way to the senate. Supported by celebrities and government officials alike the bill has gained popularity masquerading as an anti sex trafficking bill when in fact it is an anti sex work, anti free speech and pro internet censorship bill.
Sex Workers, trafficking victims, and even the Dept. of Justice are vehemently apposed to this bill. Not only will it punish tech companies for arbitrary things they can not possibly control it will also put Sex Workers in direct danger. Unfortunately, the misleading language of FOSTA conflates Sex Work (consensual) with Sex Trafficking (non-consensual). With vary vague guidelines about what exactly would constitute illegal advertising of prostitution services, and who determines when an individual or a website crosses that legal boundary, this bill is bound to have massive fall out. Sex Workers and advocates have began to express their anger all over the internet. This type of bill passing into law could effect everything from your racy direct/instant message exchanges, to the type of vacation photos you can post, to your favorite porn sites content. Another major issue FOSTA would create is the inability for Sex Workers and patrons to establish the identity of one another and set clear service boundaries which keep everyone safe. Currently Sex Workers are able to share information with one another and their online communities about sexual predators via “Bad Date” lists, that option will cease with the passing of this bill. FOSTA nor SESTA do anything in the way of preventing Sex Trafficking. Allowing these bills through will only make it more difficult to find and punish Traffickers as they will only go deeper underground with their operations. History and facts show a much higher degree of violence occurs when isolated groups of any kind are pushed out of sight. This disguised internet censorship bill has the potential to put us all in danger if we don’t act fast.
Want to know more? : https://stopsesta.org/#take-action
Want to do more? Contact your senators who voted yes and demand they vote no on this and other bills like it in the future: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2018/roll091.xml
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