Friday, August 24, 2018
FOSTA has marginalized sex workers by denying them any right to get help online in escaping from predators; was this what the "right" wanted?
Victoria Law has an important article today in Truthout about the effect FOSTA is having on sex workers, with the title “Anti-trafficking laws are hurting, not helping, but sex workers are fighting back”, here.
That’s because any reasonable interpretation of FOSTA seems to imply that a website’s accepting an ads or announcements related to sex work breaks the law. Woddhull’s litigation (still open) certainly makes that point. The article starts with an account of how it was no longer lawful for a women’s group in Sacramento to advertise a safe house for abused sex workers, because doing so would amount to promoting prostitution (by some invocations of logic).
The law is seen by many as more a way to “crack down” on prostitution (not just trafficking) by driving sex workers to the margins and forcing them to depend on the underworld, just as with the case of criminalizing marijuana (or, in the past, gay sex with sodomy laws). The law is doing very little to stop the actual hiring or people for sex work against their will. The news stories even report underground fundraisers.
In some cities, there is an issue as to whether condoms can be used as evidence of prostitution.
A law which purported at first to curtail the obvious subterfuge of Backpage (which was shut down anyway before the law was signed) has had ramifications of shutting down lawful Internet hookups.
Woodhull’s latest supplemental brief is here.
The video above is from Subverse, which has some large videos from Tim Pool.