Could Trump’s Anti-Sex Trafficking Law Imperil the Adult Industry?

by | April 25, 2018

Earlier this month Donald Trump signed into law the controversial anti-sex trafficking law (FOSTA) that has already forced Craigslist to shut down its famous personals section for fear of not being able to meet the strict demands of the act. There are also fears that the entire adult industry could be affected, as it might make it very difficult for studios to recruit new models. This and other implications of the new law are discussed by The Young Turks below.

Another interesting article that details the possible disturbing and wide-ranging implications of the act

https://www.vox.com/culture/2018/4/13/17172762/fosta-sesta-backpage-230-internet-freedom

Wondering why Craigslist recently killed its (in)famous Personals section? You can thank Congress — and you can start bracing for more deletions and censorship to come.

This week, President Trump signed into law a set of controversial bills intended to make it easier to cut down on illegal sex trafficking online. Both bills — the House bill known as FOSTA, the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act, and the Senate bill, SESTA, the Stop Enabling Sex-Trafficking Act — have been hailed by advocates as a victory for sex trafficking victims.

But the bills also poke a huge hole in a famous and longstanding “safe harbor” rule of the internet: Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act. Usually shorthanded as “Section 230” and generally seen as one of the most important pieces of internet legislation ever created, it holds that “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.” In other words, Section 230 has allowed the internet to thrive on user-generated content without holding platforms and ISPs responsible for whatever those users might create.

But FOSTA-SESTA creates an exception to Section 230 that means website publishers would be responsible if third parties are found to be posting ads for prostitution — including consensual sex work — on their platforms. The goal of this is supposed to be that policing online prostitution rings gets easier. What FOSTA-SESTA has actually done, however, is create confusion and immediate repercussions among a range of internet sites as they grapple with the ruling’s sweeping language.

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