Is the online sex trafficking era about to meet the ‘delete’ key?
Across the web, online administrators are hitting “delete” on sex ads.
Several websites built solely around prostitution and sex trafficking, such as Cityvibe, have begun going dark, and mainstream websites like Craigslist and Reddit are removing their “Hookers” and “Personals” sections which acted as thin veneers for sex trafficking and prostitution advertisements.
This week, Congress passed a bill soon headed to the president’s desk to be signed into law that will change the landscape of the internet forever. H.R. 1865, known as FOSTA-SESTA, amends the 1996 Communications Decency Act Section 230—which courts previously interpreted as granting broad immunity to websites that facilitate third party sex trafficking and prostitution ads.
This legislation was sparked by the powerful momentum of the documentary I Am Jane Doe, which spotlights the stories of sex trafficking survivors fighting for justice against these multi-million dollar websites, and it was championed by survivors, Rep. Ann Wagner, Sen. Rob Portman, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, Shared Hope International, World Without Exploitation, 50 United States Attorneys General, and many more.