Trump Signs SESTA/FOSTA Today, Ends Best Pedo-Busting Tool
SESTA/FOSTA isn't a victory - it’s a major step backwards. Now, trafficked children and sex workers are in more danger than ever. Prior to SESTA/FOSTA people used neutral sites like backpage to recover lost family members sold into trafficking. Police used them to pose as johns and catch predators. Now this major resource for fighting pedophilia is gone and the children are cast into the shadows where they are more likely to never be found.
On top of that, now platforms are at a much higher risk for the actions of their users. This is a major step in internet censorship. Since they will not want to risk the liability of user actions, Google and others will be setting up bots to auto-ban any content that appears to be soliciting sex, whether or not they are correct. They don't have a great track record. For example, their platform to fight online hate speech called "Perspective API" completely fails to infer context in people's posts. It flags statements like "I am a gay woman" or "I am a black man" as toxic because it can't tell if the user is making fun of someone. It even flagged "I am a jew" as more toxic than "I don't like Jews".
That means it will have no chance in hell in telling the difference between someone giving testimonial of their time as a child sex slave and someone actually selling kids. It literally silences victims. This is a gigantic loss.
If you don't believe me, just search "FOSTA" on twitter and see what sex workers think about it.
The backpage founders were neutral webmasters, not pimps. The repeal of section 230 with SESTA/FOSTA is a major loss. Their site rescued more children from trafficking than anything else out there. It was a major resource that is now gone because instead of going after the actual pedophiles, politicians are going after neutral parties for political points. This helps no-one. Section 230 ALREADY provided teeth for law enforcement to go after people who facilitated child sex trafficking.
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