AOC Supports Full Repeal Of FOSTA

from the good-for-her dept

Late last year, a bill was introduced to study the impact of FOSTA. This is important, as all of the evidence to date suggests that it has failed by every possible measure. There is no indication that it has helped to decrease sex trafficking -- in fact the indications are that it has enabled more sex trafficking. Indeed, law enforcement has directly admitted that the law has actually made it more difficult to track down traffickers. And, of course, there's tremendous evidence that it has had a real human cost in putting (non-trafficked) sex workers at significant risk.

As more in Congress realize this, it's been good to see some calling for a careful study into the impact. And now Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been the first (as far as I can tell) to come right out and say the law should be totally repealed, specifically calling out the harm that it has done to sex workers. It's great to see politicians realizing that all the lame rhetoric that was pushed out in favor of the law was bullshit.

Of course, because AOC is such a polarizing figure in these insanely partisan times, the usual crew of AOC haters have immediately started spewing absolute idiocy online claiming -- falsely -- that she supports sex trafficking. It was this kind of bogus rhetoric that helped get this damaging law passed in the first place. But, since Republicans love to try to mock everything AOC says, we get silly statements like this from Rep. Pete Olson saying that she wants to "re-open the floodgates of human trafficking" and pointing to "64 human traffickers busted" in Fort Bend (in his district). While it is true that local officials arrested 64 people in a sting operation, and told the press it was for trafficking, few details have been provided. In most similar announcements, later research often found that the operations had little to do with trafficking, and were just standard sex work. Either way, if FOSTA was supposed to stop such "trafficking," it seems like Olson is flat out admitting that it didn't work here.

And, of course, Senator Josh Hawley -- who you may recall, has decided that he alone should make all UI decisions for the internet -- has ridiculously claimed that this is AOC "supporting big tech and sex trafficking" when it's literally neither of those things. The idea that partisan idiots are jumping on this just because of who is suggesting it is perhaps not surprising, but still disappointing.

Even if you disagree with AOC on other things, it's a good thing that she recognizes what a failure FOSTA has been and how it's put lives in jeopardy. Repealing FOSTA is the right move and kudos to AOC for being the first Congressional Rep to come out and advocate for it.

Filed Under: alexandria ocasio-cortez, aoc, fosta, intermediary liability, josh hawley, pete olson, repeal, section 230, sex trafficking


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Feb 2020 @ 4:15pm

    I don't think FOSTA is constitutional but I also don't think it has any affect on human trafficking issue either because of a lack of enforcement capability.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 10 Feb 2020 @ 5:00pm

      Re:

      Read previous articles on TD, it actually has had an impact, the problem is that the data so far seems to indicate that it's made things worse. By driving traffic away from sites that were actively helping law enforcement FOSTA has made it more difficult to catch those engaging in sex trafficking, and for those who were involved in the voluntary sex trade it's been a huge problem for them as well.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Feb 2020 @ 3:55am

        Re: Re:

        It's the same kind of bullshit politics which accomplishes the opposite of what it purports to as the attacks on CDA 230, a law which was literally crafted for the purpose of dealing with the fact that when platform holders and service providers were liable for the content users shared through them, they had an incentive, which they acted on, to protect and hide the activity of paedophiles using them, rather than implicate themselves by sharing this information with the police.

        It's unfortunately all too easy to get something through by framing it in an emotional appeal about protecting the vulnerable, which actively harms those it purports to protect.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 11 Feb 2020 @ 6:07am

      Re:

      "...I also don't think it has any affect on human trafficking issue either because of a lack of enforcement capability."

      Actually it does a lot to help human trafficking. It hits any site trying to help sex workers and traffic victims just as if they were the ones selling children to brothels.

      FOSTA more or less puts barriers in place for those trying to help. This was a known side effect, and to the people who pushed for this bill, completely irrelevant because in the end they don't really give a rat's ass what happens to the "sinful blasphemous whores".

      It's a law primarily intended to keep "filth" out of the eye of the public in general, pushed primarily by religious puritans. It was never intended to actually help anyone, even if that motive was tacked on to the rhetoric to make it sound a little less like religiously motivated moral panic legislation.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Feb 2020 @ 4:40pm

    Looks like she finally does something right for a change

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 10 Feb 2020 @ 5:11pm

    The 'I know you are but what am I?' offense I see

    The kicker of course is that those supporting the bill and/or opposing an investigation into it are actually holding positions much more sex-trafficking friendly than AOC.

    When even the gorram police are saying the bill has made it harder to find sex traffickers and their victims defending the bill is not defending the victims of sex trafficking it's defending sex traffickers by making it easier for them to avoid being caught and continue victimizing people in the process.

    If the politicians slagging AOC for wanting the bill rightly scrapped actually cared about preventing or reducing sex trafficking they'd be right there with her, supporting it's removal or at the very least an investigation into whether it's actually done what it's defending claimed it was for, but as was the case for those that presented the bill and defended it when the bill was being presented odds are good they don't actually give a damn about sex trafficking, and are only in it for the cheap(in both senses of the word) PR.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 11 Feb 2020 @ 6:12am

      Re: The 'I know you are but what am I?' offense I see

      "If the politicians slagging AOC for wanting the bill rightly scrapped actually cared about preventing or reducing sex trafficking..."

      You're assuming the politicians pushing FOSTA didn't accomplish what they set out to do. They did. FOSTA does exactly what they want. It ensures sinners and blasphemers don't get to have a voice in the online environment.

      At the end of the day the effect we all consider "collateral" damage is, in fact, the actual result the legislators were aiming for.

      THAT is why they are now up in arms slagging AOC. The tainted are not to be helped, just condemned and forgotten.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Annonymouse, 11 Feb 2020 @ 8:52am

        Re: Re: The 'I know you are but what am I?' offense I see

        Makes me wonder how much these purveyors of purity are involved in the industry outside of just facilitators but as beneficiaries and clients.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 12 Feb 2020 @ 5:14am

          Re: Re: Re: The 'I know you are but what am I?' offense I see

          "Makes me wonder how much these purveyors of purity are involved in the industry outside of just facilitators but as beneficiaries and clients."

          All too often the true believers vent their desires with heavy repression leading to sadism and hate. Plenty of "good christian homes" where the patriarch beats the "sin" out of the spouse and children on a regular basis, "for their own good".

          Puritanism, doomsday cults and a faith bordering on death worship go hand in hand.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 11 Feb 2020 @ 8:36pm

        Re: Re: The 'I know you are but what am I?' offense I see

        You're assuming the politicians pushing FOSTA didn't accomplish what they set out to do. They did. FOSTA does exactly what they want. It ensures sinners and blasphemers don't get to have a voice in the online environment.

        Oh not at all, I never bought the 'we're doing this for the poor victims' garbage they presented and hid behind, my point was that their actions and the excuses they used to defend the bill are in pretty direct conflict and they deserve to be called out on that.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 12 Feb 2020 @ 5:17am

          Re: Re: Re: The 'I know you are but what am I?' offense I see

          "...my point was that their actions and the excuses they used to defend the bill are in pretty direct conflict and they deserve to be called out on that."

          And when they DO get called out on their bullshit their defensive rhetoric will be "So, you're in favor of sex trafficking and diddling little children?".

          It's not enough to call them on their bullshit anymore than it pays to try to debate a troll over single issues. You need to thoroughly destroy their public credibility to the point where they'll never hold office ever again.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Bruce C., 10 Feb 2020 @ 5:27pm

    the problem is...

    ...that the real priority for many Republicans is to punish sex of any kind outside of the biblically-sanctioned marital kind. But they haven't been able to circumvent the freedom of religion in the constitution (yet), so they make everything related to sex more difficult or even more dangerous as a proxy for the out and out religious ban that they'd prefer. Laws restricting contraception, abortion, sex ed in the schools, porn and more are all fair game. What was surprising about FOSTA was how many nominal liberals jumped on board.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Samuel Abram (profile), 10 Feb 2020 @ 6:36pm

      Re: the problem is...

      What was surprising about FOSTA was how many nominal liberals jumped on board.

      I don't find it surprising considering that Amy Schumer (Comedian and Relative of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer) and Seth Meyers were in favor of FOSTA.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Bruce C., 11 Feb 2020 @ 6:43am

        Re: Re: the problem is...

        Well, true, there is a certain amount of pandering to the sex-negative wing of the feminist movement.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 11 Feb 2020 @ 7:37am

          Re: Re: Re: the problem is...

          "sex-negative wing of the feminist movement"
          What is this? More stereotyping, pigeon holing or is it straight up mud slinging? Did someone turn you down for prom?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Uriel-238 (profile), 11 Feb 2020 @ 12:33pm

            The sex-negative wing of the feminist movement

            The feminist movement is (as per most ubiquitous identity labels) huge, and features segments of its population with views that are entirely antithetical to what we'd expect to be axiomatic to feminism. There are conservative, pro-patriarchy, anti-reproductive-rights wings of feminism. since it is at this point less a movement and more an identity. This is why it's not enough to say I am a feminist but what it means to the individual to be feminist. (I want to abolish social genders and yield reproductive rights to the individual.)

            And since we have feminists who run contrary to (most definitions of) feminism, it follows we can have subsets of feminists who have opinions that are riders and connected, e.g. anti-sex feminists, or vegan feminists or sun-worshiping feminists as well.

            Yes, this screws over people who like to label themselves and others. But people are not monolithic, even small congregations of them.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Thad (profile), 11 Feb 2020 @ 8:26am

          Re: Re: Re: the problem is...

          I wouldn't describe Amy Schumer as sex-negative.

          I think it's more a product of ignorance, a lack of tech-savvy, and susceptibility to "think of the children!" manipulation. I think a lot of people fell for the simplistic "Backpage and Google are facilitating sex trafficking; that's wrong and we should stop it" messaging and never went any deeper.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 12 Feb 2020 @ 5:25am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: the problem is...

            Hanlon's Razor and Greys Law strike again.

            I keep having the thought that since a well-intended idiot is often far more harmful than a genuine crook what we should really criminalize is stupidity and willful ignorance.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Thad (profile), 12 Feb 2020 @ 8:22am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: the problem is...

              what we should really criminalize is stupidity and willful ignorance.

              Please. Our prisons are overcrowded as it is.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 12 Feb 2020 @ 5:23am

          Re: Re: Re: the problem is...

          "Well, true, there is a certain amount of pandering to the sex-negative wing of the feminist movement."

          That has very little to do with feminism which in the main tends to focus heavily on sexual liberalization of women. A feminist knows damn well that part of FOSTA's intended effects is to enshrine the woman's role as a victim for perpetuity.

          No shortage of puritans of both genders willing to claim the label of feminist to confuse the issue further.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      David (profile), 11 Feb 2020 @ 5:56am

      Re: the problem is...

      No. The problem is that both parties just throw money at the problem rather than actually try to fix it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    John Gimble, 10 Feb 2020 @ 6:00pm

    Good news the Judiciary subcommittee meets tomorrow on CASE ACT

    Get ready subcommittee chairman Tom Tillis a Republican from North Carolina meets tomorrow on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and THE CASE ACT will be discussed. Tech dirt just to let you know we know about your illegal campaign and we will make sure all phone calls and emails will not get through when we pass the CASE ACT in March. Watch Tom Tillis and Chris Coons of Deleware a Democrat laugh about the big fines anyone putting up a meme will pay and you are right IT WILL BE BIG AND YOU WILL NO LONGER VIOLATE WHAT WE DETERMINE IS COPYRIGHT.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Samuel Abram (profile), 10 Feb 2020 @ 6:38pm

      Re: Good news the Judiciary subcommittee meets tomorrow on CASE

      I was going to flag this as trolling, but then I re-read this comment, and I think I see the attempt at humor. Well played!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Feb 2020 @ 7:08pm

        Re: Re: Good news the Judiciary subcommittee meets tomorrow on C

        Humor or not, there is something to be said about the writing style... Something not particularly pleasant.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 Feb 2020 @ 7:55pm

          Re: Re: Re: Good news the Judiciary subcommittee meets tomorrow

          I checked the Judiciary committee website and does not seem to be anything on Digital Millennium Copyright Act and THE CASE ACT or anything that says they will be discussed, the only thing going on this week that may be related is the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet is having a hearing on: Protecting Federal Judiciary Employees from Sexual Harassment, Discrimination, and Other Workplace Misconduct but no suggestion that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and THE CASE ACT are apart of it.

          https://judiciary.house.gov/news/documentquery.aspx?DocumentTypeID=1955

          If am missing anything tell me.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Feb 2020 @ 6:58pm

      Re: Good news the Judiciary subcommittee meets tomorrow on CASE

      Dear John,

      Your comment is so far out of range that it is practically on the edge of the horizon. Please move into a sensible range of the general topic. Alternatively, provide some binoculars.

      Now with headache, A random person.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Feb 2020 @ 7:00pm

      Re: Good news the Judiciary subcommittee meets tomorrow on CASE

      10/10 would get jhon smithed again

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Feb 2020 @ 7:24pm

    Well, I mean, as far as Republicans are concerned, if a Democrat supports something it MUST be bad, right? (and vice versa) That they get to spew their bile at AOC for this issue is just bonus for them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    bobob, 11 Feb 2020 @ 5:40am

    We need an entire congress and senate filled with AOCs.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    David (profile), 11 Feb 2020 @ 5:57am

    Look! The blind squirrel found a nut.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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