This controversial law has created much uncertainty in the online adult entertainment world.
Here are the Frequently Asked Questions and explanations to help you better understand the law and who it affects.
- What does FOSTA stand for?
Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act
- What does SESTA stand for?
Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act
- When did FOSTA-SESTA become law?
President Donald Trump signed this into law on April 11, 2018
- What is Section 230 of the Communication Decency Act?
Section 230 provides immunity to owners of websites and platforms for the actions of their users. It is not logical to expect Amazon for example to be responsible for the free speech of their users.
The Common Decency Act (CDA) makes online services like ISP’s and platforms, immune from civil liability for the actions of their users.
- Who does FOSTA-SESTA affect?
This law affects online listings and classifieds sites who potentially enable sex traffickers.
The most notable case to date was brought against Backpage.com which was accused of facilitating child sex trafficking.
If you visit the site now you will see this FBI notification:
Backpage in its prime was estimated to earn in excess of $100 million yearly from advertisers.
- What is sex trafficking?
According to the law sex trafficking is human tracking for the purpose of sexual exploitation. This relates to the trafficking of children and minors, as well as prostitution. According to the International Labour Organization, more the 4 million are affected by sex trafficking globally, and it is the fastest growing criminal activity in the world.
- How does FOSTA-SESTA affect sex workers?
If sex workers are no longer allowed to advertise and screen clients online, they will turn to the streets. This creates an unsafe work environment for the oldest profession on earth, and one that will not go away anytime soon.
Forward-thinking countries like Germany, New Zealand and Holland have regulated this industry and subsequently face near-zero related problems. Unlike the United States for example.
It is worth noting that this bill does not differentiate between sex trafficking, child trafficking and consensual sex agreements. The latter being the area of concern and much debate.
- Was there a Petition to Repeal FOSTA?
The petition to repeal FOSTA did not pass as it only received 49,796 of the required 100,000 signatures that are required to get an official response from the White House.
- Can Sex Workers be prosecuted by FOSTA-SESTA?
To the best of our knowledge the law only affects and targets the websites or platforms providing advertising space for sex workers, not the sex workers themselves.
- Who benefits from FOSTA-SESTA?
The biggest groups who stand to gain from this bill are the Silicon Valley and Hollywood studios.
By censoring the Wild West of the internet channels are created for adult media to only go through these big companies, creating billions in additional revenue.
Remember the bill does not only affect escort sites, it also affects pornography sites. This blanket bill thus aims to curb many freedoms and could create monopolies for the monopolies.
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