Throughout history, sex workers have often been treated as dirty and as if the work they do is undignified or forced upon them. Though human trafficking is a large problemsex workers who consent to being in the industry often feel the brunt of anti-trafficking laws when lawmakers decide what's best for those in the sex industryrather than consulting with the people who make their livelihood through it. SESTA amends section of the Communications Decency Act, now holding websites liable for any material posted related to sex trafficking. In a vote ofthe Senate applauded itself for what it saw as a bipartisan step towards taking action towards reducing the amount of sex trafficking occurring on the internet.
Proposed by Senator Rob Portman, the act was formed as a response to reports that adults and children were being trafficked on the website Back.
It had support from lawmakers on both sides and was even supported by celebrities like Amy Schumer and Seth Meyers in a video. But now that the act has passed in the Senate, it is being called out for allegedly reducing internet freedom, with the Electronic Frontier Foundation tweeting"Today is a dark day for the Internet.
That's why, from my earliest days as a prosecutor, I've led the fight against Back and other sex trafficking platforms. And I am proud to support the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act, which will make it possible for victims and state prosecutors to hold online sex traffickers able," said Sen. Kamala Harris D-CA in a statement. But it is simply a false choice to suggest that we either protect victims or we protect free speech," she continued. Sex worker not pictured.
With websites facing criminal charges if there is any sex trafficking movement on their platform, it becomes safer for websites to remove risky sections altogether rather than face potential violations. Craigslist released a statement following their decision: "US Congress just passed HR'FOSTA,' seeking to subject websites to criminal and civil liability when third parties users misuse online personals unlawfully.
Any tool or service can be misused.
We can't take such risk without jeopardizing all our other services, so we are regretfully taking craigslist personals offline. Hopefully, we can bring them back someday. To the millions of spouses, partners, and couples who met through Craigslist, we wish you every happiness! Odette, an in-person, professional dominatrix working in the sex industry for seven years, explained, "I cannot even describe the fear and insecurity that are present in our message boards.
People are very, very scared. We are consensual workers, just like anyone else. In sex work, many marginalized people have found a financially viable way to make money, and I feel that this legislation reflects a desire to control and subdue these specific demographics.
In fact, Odette said she believes that this legislation will have the opposite effect of its intention, forcing sex traffickers further underground, while limiting sex workers' ability to collaborate with authorities and help those in danger. We are the closest to it and the best equipped to identify a trafficked person.
I have called and reported to the center for exploited children multiple times, as have all of my compatriots and advertisers," she says. We can't pass along information about bad clients or unsafe situations, and we can't protect or even develop our community without a space to do so. As part of an effort to keep themselves and fellow workers safe, members of the sex industry have set up forms to keep track of anyone who has sought out their services but came off as a potentially dangerous individual.
Odette refers to them as "bad date sites" and, following the passage of SESTA, many have already been taken down. Odette explained that the loss of these databases could be dangerous for sex workers since they often rely on them to stay informed. To lose these databases means that we cannot provide mutual aid and safety to one another," she said.
When this data is lost, we are not able to keep each other safe. The thing that sex workers do best is keep each other safe in a system outside of regulated commerce. In light of this law, many sex workers are calling on those around them to be allies and help keep their friends who work in sex work safe. Don't be mean and degrade.
Remember that we are trying to make a living too. She has worked as a bratdom, sugar baby, and escort for one year, aspiring to one day be a porn star.
We need support and solidarity free from antiquated sex-negative morality. We need more people to talk and yell and care. This is affecting our free speech now, but it will extend to your free speech next. Care about us, defend us. The attacks will always target the most vulnerable first, stop repression and censorship NOW. We will survive. Sex work is one of the oldest professions. We're here to stay," she said. World globe An icon of the world globe, indicating different international options.
Get the Insider App. A leading-edge research firm focused on digital transformation. Sarah Fielding. It passed with bipartisan support. Sex workers believe its passage may put them in danger.
Sites that workers could use to protect each other have been shut down. Stay up to date with what you want to know.
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