Another Report Shows That FOSTA Increased (Not Decreased) Sex Trafficking; Where Is The Outrage?

from the next-time-listen-to-experts dept

Before FOSTA passed, a ton of experts warned it would lead to bad things, and now we’re seeing more and more stories about how FOSTA is actually increasing the sex trafficking problem, rather than decreasing it. Police have admitted that it’s now harder to catch traffickers without the information they used to get from Backpage, and pimps have apparently seized on the opportunity to make use of the disappearance of Backpage and other sites to more aggressively position themselves as the only option for sex workers.

The latest such report to make this clear is in the San Francisco Chronicle, where police note that FOSTA has emboldened pimps to take control of sex workers’ lives:

?Without being able to advertise online,? Long said, ?a huge number of sex workers were forced to go outside, and many have reported that former pimps came out of the woodwork offering to ?manage? their business again since they were now rendered unable to find and screen clients online.?


?The very bill that was supposed to stop trafficking has quite literally given formerly irrelevant traffickers new life,? Long said.

I’m truly curious how the various folks who stumped for FOSTA now feel about this. A bunch of Hollywood stars, including Amy Schumer, Seth Meyers, Josh Charles and Tony Shaloub, all stumped on behalf of FOSTA, making claims that were blatantly untrue. It would be nice if these celebrities could respond to all of the new evidence showing that — just as sex workers and experts predicted — FOSTA has made the situation much worse for sex workers, and put many of them in serious danger.

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Comments on “Another Report Shows That FOSTA Increased (Not Decreased) Sex Trafficking; Where Is The Outrage?”

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That One Guy (profile) says:

One of those times when being right is cold comfort

I’m truly curious how the various folks who stumped for FOSTA now feel about this.

Shame hopefully, regret if not a desire to make up for their colossal mistake, though I suspect as a self-preservation mechanism a good many of them will find some way to defend it, if only to themselves.

In public however, and I’d love to be proven wrong here even if I don’t expect I will be, the response will likely be entirely defensive if not dismissive, ranging from ‘How was I supposed to know it would do that?!’ to ‘Well if they’d just choose an honest, safe profession they wouldn’t have that problem now would they?’

Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: One of those times when being right is cold comfort

Sex work has been characterized as the ‘oldest profession’. I am not sure about that, money changer might be in competition. But it does bring up the question as to the state of the ‘pimp’. Where does that profession fall in the mix professional age?

Which then brings us to safe. There are two basic ways to be unsafe, one of which is venereal disease, and the other is pregnancy. Now we add the pimp into the question along with other forms of slavery and other forms of unsafe come into question. Do I need to detail how a pimp might make sex work unsafe?

If FOSTA actually wanted to protect sex workers, they would have made pimping illegal, and required, well I wanted to say registration but that would become public and that isn’t good, but they should have regular, maybe monthly, maybe more, health checkups. Maybe there are better ways to protect sex workers, but allowing pimps isn’t one of them.

Now I am sure that pimping is actually illegal in most if not all places in the US. But FOSTA did not go after them, they went after websites. Which brings us to the real reason for FOSTA, which has nothing to do with sex trafficking, pimps, or sex workers.

It has to do with control. They wanted the ability to shut down sites that they ‘claim’ have to do with something they don’t like. They can liken many things to being ‘related’ to sex trafficking, whether it is or it isn’t, but the site gets shut down.

The beatings will continue until someone with sufficient resources (or the wherewithal to get a gofundme in appropriate amounts) to carry a prosecution under this law to the SCOTUS (if needed), and then we will see how this new constitution of the court reacts with regard to the 1st Amendment. We will need other cases to determine this new ‘courts’ attitude toward the rest of the Constitution.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: One of those times when being right is cold comfort

"Sex work has been characterized as the ‘oldest profession’. I am not sure about that, money changer might be in competition."

Actually…Shaman, storyteller or priest would probably be the oldest profession.

"It has to do with control. They wanted the ability to shut down sites that they ‘claim’ have to do with something they don’t like. They can liken many things to being ‘related’ to sex trafficking, whether it is or it isn’t, but the site gets shut down."

Yes and no. There are certainly vested interests who wanted and needed a forerunner for shutting down free speech In The Name Of The Common Good (as defined by current speaker).

I’m guessing the reason this passed was because from the one side of the aisle it was a bill clamping down on something related to the word "sex", and from the other side there were too many celebrities taking the opportunity to publicly combat exploitation by…undermining one of the tools mainly used by the victims of such exploitation, as it turns out.

FOSTA was nurtured by an unholy union of malicious calvinists and well-intentioned morons. It won’t be overturned until it’s actually possible for a US politician to speak up without being accused of being in favor of prostitution.

The Wanderer (profile) says:

Re: Re: One of those times when being right is cold comfort

My understanding of the “oldest profession” reference has always been as being to the idea of women (or, more likely, originally their pre-human ancestors; whether the term “woman” can apply to something not human is a question I don’t try to address here) offering sex in exchange for the resources they need to survive and/or support their children – “take care of me and I’ll have sex with you”. I.e, that the quote was intended as a sardonic commentary on the implicit transactional nature of (some types of) marriage.

That particular type of transaction probably far predates even the invention of bartering of physical goods, much less the invention of money, much less the profession of money-changer.

It also predates the invention of language, much less the professions of shaman, priest, storyteller, et cetera.

Where the profession of “pimp” falls in that timeline I’m not sure; it almost certainly postdates the first “take care of me and I’ll have sex with you” transaction, but there are too many other variables for me to pin it down beyond that.

Gary (profile) says:


I’m truly curious how the various folks who stumped for FOSTA now feel about this.

They feel wonderful, because they never wanted to tackle child-trafficking, they just wanted to punish sex-workers.

Statistics show that child-trafficking is still on the rise? Just an excuse for more draconian laws!

Their one and only goal was a moral crusade.

Liz Scot (profile) says:

Re: Because

I am a human sex-trafficking survivor. I was held captive in sexual enslavement with a covert sex-trafficking racket in suburban modern America as a high-end, high-profile escort. As an entrapped, trafficked sex-worker, I was permitted to keep less than 12% of the proceeds. I paid for and posted my own internet ads. Internet censorship holds no justice for survivors of this horrific crime. The criminals are still at large. Human sex-trafficking is an underground American humanitarian crisis, controlled by a variety of global syndicates. The criminals just walked away scot-free. I have no recourse whatsoever. The only justice I will ever have is to relate my story and expose the methods of sex-trafficking black marketeers. My objective is to illuminate and unmask this atrocity, and to disempower sex-trafficking racketeers as they disempowered me. After living a powerless life of isolation, oppression and torment for over six years. I overcame and survived extreme adversity, and am now becoming an advocate for women who are sexually exploited and abused, and for the human rights of all women.

My tragedy must serve a higher purpose. Law enforcement is not the solution to this problem, or this could never have happened in the first place. Sex-traffickers had power over me because prostitution is criminalized. Vulnerable, marginalized, consensual sex-workers and sex-trafficking victims must not be stigmatized and treated as expendable. They must be afforded basic, intrinsic human rights and safety. We must open our eyes, our hearts, and our minds.
My Story:

James Burkhardt (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Outrage that a situation was made worse does not preclude outrage about the situation originally. Failure to blog about the issues of the sex work trade prior to a law passing which made the situation worse does not preclude the ability to complain that a law would make the situation worse, nor that a law has made the situation worse.

And in fact, Mike has discussed relevant issues that plague the internet sex worker, if not directly noting the connection. Difficulties with payment processing and having a bank account when your income comes from even legal sex work like consensual sales of images and videos due to draconian policies and skittish bankers have been discussed numerous times.

ECA (profile) says:

we can all say..

‘Told ya so…”

There is no solution in this bill. Its just to throw everyone in jail..

A few posts ago, I posted some interesting facts about the person pushing this bill. And this isnt the only bill/law she has Backed or pushed.

This person backs Religious based, agencies that are FAKE Family planning agencies that do NOTHING, except to be supported by Donations and getting more money from the Fed..
In the End, they get more money then Planed parent hood. To Lie to people, and NOt give them options.

The one thing I wish to point out is the idea of HOW do you put bread on your table? How many jobs are out there?
i could/would point out that everything we did for Child labor and Early retirement and a few other things over MANY years, was mostly to get more JOBS in this country.

anyone understand what happened after BOTH, WWI and WWII?? Bring home 1 million people from a war and find them a job.. and if you dont understand, 1 million people at the TIME was about 1% of our population, OUT OF WORK.
Want to know the OLD tribal ways of solving OVER POPULATION?? you dont want to know.
OUR solution is to send people to WAR every 20 years..

David says:

Re: Re:

That’s just orthogonal. Something needed to be done about it, and something was done about it.

If you compare the abortion rates in countries like the Netherlands that stigmatize or criminalize neither sex nor abortion with those of the U.S., you’ll find that a whole lot more abortions happen in the U.S. That doesn’t mean that U.S. people have worse morals, it just means that they don’t work. That would be bad news for ethics but morals are not for creating a better world but a better self.

The ultimate metric is not whether FOSTA decreases sex trafficking but whether it increases voting results. And if you want to persuade people that it is important to vote for the politicians fighting sex trafficking, a higher ratio of sex trafficking is actually desirable.

Actually solving problems robs politicians of a useful agenda.

Matthew Cline (profile) says:

If I had no morals, or if I had unshakable faith that FOSTA actually works, I’d accuse everyone claiming that FOSTA backfired of either being sex traffickers or taking bribes from sex trafficers, convene a congressional investigation to call in those police chiefs to rake them over the coals for lying, comb through the police records showing increases in sex trafficking and pimping looking for anomalies so I can triumphantly declare them to be fake, and so on.

PaulT (profile) says:

“Where Is The Outrage?”

Exactly where it’s always been – in the headlines where politicians can grandstand, whether or not the result is effective.

This is apparently on the flip side now – even if every piece of evidence shows that the legislation has had the opposite effect, few politicians will do anything about it, because they’ll just be handing a “politician X opposes anti-sex trafficking laws” soundbite they can run out of context and get the ignorant to vote against them.

This seems to be one of the reasons why US politics has such a hard time getting grips on certain subjects – if one “side” doesn’t have qualms about openly lying about issues involving certain types of morality, the other “side” often won’t refute them lest they lose re-election, no matter how obvious the lie.

Meanwhile, the people victimised by the bad decisions keep suffering because re-election and funding are more important to the people who can do something about it.

M Dante (profile) says:

Thank you

Thank you for your coverage of FOSTA/SESTA. Yes over the last six months there is an increase in street based work and violence towards sex workers. The August murder of 23 year old Donna Castleberry Dalton at the hands of law enforcement inside an unmarked vehicle is a devastatingly clear message of the chaos this is generating across the nation. We thank you for your precise coverage. We hope you will take time to acknowledge this year’s December 17th memorial, it is the 15th year of the International Day To End Violence Against Sex Workers, and sadly there are quite a few North American industry murders and suicides in 2018. See: + Thank you!

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