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Author Topic: SESTA/FOSTA Criminalizes Ads For Sex Workers  (Read 2054 times)
Anthony Asanti
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« on: March 28, 2018, 04:45:23 PM »

Beloved,

This is huge! Last week the US Senat pass the passed a "...bill, euphemistically known as the FOSTA (Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act)" or SESTA (Stop Enabling Sex Trafficking Act). It was passed by the House of Representatives in late February.

It's been largely portrayed in the media and the Congress under the auspices of an "anti-sex trafficking" measure. But while doing nothing to really fight sex trafficking, it manages to muck up all sorts of other serious things. FOSTA/SESTA will "subject websites to criminal and civil liability when third parties (users) misuse online personals unlawfully".

A number of sites that supports female sex workers primarily have shut down entirely or its ads and forums.

However male companions are also affected. Placing ads, having a website, sending emails and even PMs/DMs could subject us to legal repercussions. Perhaps even CdM could face some problems. We do not yet how far it will reach.

The bill is not law yet. It will go into effect early 2019 if it isn't challenged in court or successfully challenged (presumably on constitutional grounds) and # 45 signs it into law.

Many sex worker advocates and organizations are making recommendations on what one can do to protect her/himself.

I've included a number of links so that we can educate ourselves and take the proper precautions.

Here are few articles about the bill:

https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-new-law-that-killed-craigslists-personals-could-end-the-web-as-weve-known-it

https://www.thecut.com/2018/03/sesta-anti-sex-trafficking-bill-fosta.html

https://slate.com/technology/2018/03/the-antisex-trafficking-bill-sesta-fosta-will-hurt-the-internet.html


Here are a few links of tweets using the hashtags #SurvivorsAgainstFOSTA & #LetUsSurvive respectively:

https://twitter.com/search?q=%23SurvivorsAgainstFOSTA&src=typd

https://twitter.com/hashtag/LetUsSurvive?src=hash

/drink
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« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2018, 06:30:57 PM »

This will not only affect Sex Workers but anyone on the internet.  This is pushing clients & providers into the shadows again.

I'm concerned I will lose contact with everyone here.  :(
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« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2018, 06:57:31 PM »

This is scary stuff. Every day there is some new authoritarian intrusion on our freedom. We can only hope it is found to be unconstitutional. I imagine 45 will sign it once Congress passes it, despite the fact that he patronizes sex workers himself.
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Slovestravel
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« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2018, 05:59:16 PM »

This is scary stuff. Every day there is some new authoritarian intrusion on our freedom. We can only hope it is found to be unconstitutional. I imagine 45 will sign it once Congress passes it, despite the fact that he patronizes sex workers himself.

Such hypocricy from #45, but I suppose that isn't surprising.

Scary times for sex workers.  This pushes them underground and makes them less safe.
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Anthony Asanti
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« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2018, 01:13:27 PM »

This will not only affect Sex Workers but anyone on the internet.  This is pushing clients & providers into the shadows again.

I'm concerned I will lose contact with everyone here.  :(
I wholeheartedly agree.

I'm concerned I will lose contact with everyone here.  :(
Likewise!
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Anthony Asanti
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Anthony Asanti
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« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2018, 01:33:06 PM »

@Slovestravel
Such hypocricy from #45, but I suppose that isn't surprising.

Scary times for sex workers.  This pushes them underground and makes them less safe.
The complete fallout has yet to be seen but that's where things are headed IMHO.

Fortunately or unfortunately straight male companions are slightly more insulated from FOSTA/SESTA than female sex workers since there have always been less marketing venues for us and our wonderful patrons (like you) rarely if ever, attempt to physically harm us.

But for most female sex workers, it is very scary.

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Anthony Asanti
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Anthony Asanti
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« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2018, 01:46:11 PM »

@Quinn
This is scary stuff. Every day there is some new authoritarian intrusion on our freedom. We can only hope it is found to be unconstitutional. I imagine 45 will sign it once Congress passes it, despite the fact that he patronizes sex workers himself.
Interesting enough # 45 has not signed the bill yet. Perhaps it hasn't been officially presented to him or perhaps his staff wants the issues resolved with a sex worker - Stormy Daniels.  8)
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Anthony Asanti
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« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2018, 12:07:22 PM »

Update - # 45 Just signed it into law a few hours ago.



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« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2018, 08:32:46 PM »

I'm really glad you took time to post these articles. Really informative. Also, really frustrating. It's pretty wild that the day has come that craigslist took down the personals page, end of an era. Doesn't this just fall into censorship at some point?

Also, is there any real effort to undo this new law?
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« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2018, 09:55:48 PM »

I suppose it could be challenged on first amendment grounds, similar laws have been challenged that way. The courts could rule that the government has an overriding interest here - although that argument failed a decade or so ago in a case heard in Philadelphia, I think.

So far I don't know of any challenges to it. Among other things someone would need to have standing.
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« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2018, 11:48:45 AM »

There has now been a story about it on the liberal newsletter the Daily Kos. Someone there mentioned the ACLU. We can hope.

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2018/4/11/1756211/-He-signed-Trump-s-1-000-percent-behind-bill-that-imperils-victims-of-sex-trafficking
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Anthony Asanti
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« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2018, 04:29:48 PM »

I suppose it could be challenged on first amendment grounds, similar laws have been challenged that way.
I think it could be challenged on several legal theories; one is that it is retroactive. From what I remember of Constitutional Law laws can't be retroactive which means that people can't be punished for behavior they engaged in before it became unlawful.

Another being that it's overly broad. Courts have routinely struck down these types of laws. This law can punish anyone for an ad, website, forum or social media site, etc. that allows any content about sex work to appear on it even if the content was created by someone else. For example, Twitter, Facebook, web host or even CdM's creator can be held liable for content created by sex workers (in our case male companions). And of course, we and other sex workers can also be held liable for our respective ads, websites and other online content.

The courts could rule that the government has an overriding interest here - although that argument failed a decade or so ago in a case heard in Philadelphia, I think.
If this law is challenged on a right to free speech legal theory I believe the courts will apply a much stricter scrutiny test than the state's or municipality's overriding interest.

I suppose it could be challenged on first amendment grounds, similar laws have been challenged that way.
I've not heard of any legal challenges either.
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Anthony Asanti
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Anthony Asanti
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« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2018, 03:45:42 PM »

This is scary stuff. Every day there is some new authoritarian intrusion on our freedom. We can only hope it is found to be unconstitutional. I imagine 45 will sign it once Congress passes it, despite the fact that he patronizes sex workers himself.
@Quinn

It's a good, balanced and informative article. I like that it mentioned that this law and previous "efforts" have only hurt adults engaging in consensual sex work and does little to fight sex trafficking. Thanks for sharing it.

 /clap

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« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2018, 08:49:50 AM »

This is scary stuff. Every day there is some new authoritarian intrusion on our freedom. We can only hope it is found to be unconstitutional. I imagine 45 will sign it once Congress passes it, despite the fact that he patronizes sex workers himself.
It is unconstitutional. Then, who has the money to go after it for an injunction to take it up the legal chain. Male clients absolutely refused to come out of the shadows to go against this bill before signing.

I might be a name on websites and posting boards, but my public voice is active and in support for full female autonomy including consensual sex work.
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« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2018, 08:59:47 AM »

It is unconstitutional. Then, who has the money to go after it for an injunction to take it up the legal chain. Male clients absolutely refused to come out of the shadows to go against this bill before signing.

I might be a name on websites and posting boards, but my public voice is active and in support for full female autonomy including consensual sex work.

Here is where the harm is immediate - thebea.st/2vjcYlf
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