New bills, FOSTA and SESTA, claim to stop online sex trafficking. The problem is the bills would actually force more sex workers into unsafe situations by criminalizing safety techniques sex workers use, such as taking down our screening and blacklist sites (which we use to ensure violent or dangerous clients stay away from sex workers), removing our online safety information, prohibiting us from asking for referrals via email, removing community spaces for sex workers to vet clients, and killing advertising platforms that allow people to engage in safer, indoor work. FOSTA and SESTA just passed the House and the Senate and are awaiting Trump's signature. Please sign now to send a message to Trump that he veto these bills!
The lawmakers voting on these bills do not know how it would actually work. We are sex worker rights advocates and we know that this piece of legislation will harm more people than it will help.The legislation would
criminalize websites that knowingly host content related to sex work. It's meant to take down sex traffickers. On its face, that is great. But the actual impact would be harmful for adult consensual sex workers.
The legislation would shut down invaluable resources for sex workers that keep them safe. Sex workers use online platforms to screen clients and talk to other sex workers about who to avoid. We use these platforms to report anyone who may be unsafe or violent. These online communities are crucial to keeping sex workers safe. Without them, many will be forced onto the streets, a much more dangerous way to perform sex work.Already, sites are responding for fear of being prosecuted under the legislation: Craigslist shut down its personals section, and Microsoft released new Terms of Service banning certain language on Skype and Office.Sign our petition to tell the U.S. Senate and Trump not to pass FOSTA/SESTA. They must find a better way to shut down trafficking that doesn't make people less safe.
Sex work is the oldest profession and it is here to stay. This bill will not help catch human traffickers or punish child pornographers or pimps, it will just make the adult consensual sex work community much less safe. Please sign our petition to tell Trump not to pass this bill.