The recent Fosta law in the US forces internet companies to censor anything to do with legal, adult and consensual sex work. It holds them liable for abetting sex traffickers even when they can't possibly distinguish the trafficking from the legal sex
work. The only solution is therefore to ban the use of their platforms for any personal hook ups. So indeed adult sex work websites have been duly cleansed from the US internet.
But now a woman is claiming that Facebook facilitated trafficking when of
course its nigh on impossible for Facebook to detect such use of their networking systems. But of course that's no excuse under the FOSTA.
According to a new lawsuit by an unnamed woman in Houston, Texas, Facebook's morally bankrupt corporate
culture for permitting a sex trafficker to force her into prostitution after beating and raping her. She claims Facebook should be held responsible when a user on the social media platform sexually exploits another Facebook user. The lawsuit says that
Facebook should have warned the woman, who was 15 years old at the time she was victimized, that its platform could be used by sex traffickers to recruit and groom victims, including children.
The lawsuit also names Backpage.com, which according
to a Reuters report , hosted pictures of the woman taken by the man who victimized her after he uploaded them to the site.
The classified advertising site Backpage has already been shut down by federal prosecutors in April of this year.
A campaign group of anti-sex works MPs comprising of feminists and religious moralists have just published a biased campaign document claiming all the usual bogies about trafficking, organised crime and so on.
The group misleadingly calls itself
the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Prostitution and the Global Sex Trade, as if it was an official committee of parliament. It is not, it is just a self appointed campaign group with no attempt to include MPs independent of the campaign
nor to represent the wider views of Parliament.
Of course sex workers are definitely not party to the report., and in fact have been protesting against the report to highlight its lack of independence and representation of sex worker input.
A roughly 200-strong collection of sex workers and activists came out to Parliament Square on Wednesday to make their case, with banners such as "Decriminalise sex work, for safety's sake."
The report titled Behind Closed Doors
targets technology based tools used by modern sex workers, such as pop-up brothels using Airbnb, and internet platforms like Vivastreet and Adultwork, claimed to be the most significant enablers of sex-work and sex trafficking.
MP Sarah Champion iused the report to call for internet censorship along the lines of the US FOSTA internet censorship. By making internet platforms liable to penalties for content posted by their users, they end up censoring and blocking large swathes
of related content just in case something prohibited gets through. In America the law makers specifically prohibit material that aids sex trafficking, but because there is no obvious way of checking whether an advert is for a legal sex worker or for a
trafficked sex worker, then the companies have to take down the legal stuff too. In fact the effects are so wide spread that even dating services have been taken down just in case traffickers are lurking somewhere amongst the dating couples.
the campaigners don't stop there, comments to the media suggests a push for the UK to adopt The Nordic Model, a legal framework in which the selling of sexual services is legal but the purchase of those services is criminalised. The model has been
largely panned by sex workers, activists and researchers as ineffective and unsafe.
Furthermore in light of the publicity for the report, Jeremy Corbyn was asked by Sky's Sophy Ridge about the subject and he came out in favour of the #Nordic model
model of criminalising men buying sex.
So, as usual from the 'progressive' left are enjoying a good sneer at men, and will happily see them imprisoned and fined just for wanting to get laid.
Comment: Disappointed by
8th July 2018. Thanks to Alan
I'm disappointed to hear Jeremy Corbyn apparently backing the Nordic Model. In the past, he has favoured decriminalisation, to loud squeals from the pointless and reliably mouthy Jess Phillips. John McDonnell, by contrast, has always been on the side of
I am baffled by the behaviour of nominally Labour politicians who prattle about sex work while ignoring sex workers. I can't imagine Champion or Phillips spouting about railways without talking to the RMT and ASLEF or
about higher education without consultation with the UCU. I think the organizations representing sex workers should hammer this point home at every opportunity.
A self-appointed group of MPs, that got together for the sole purpose of lobbying for the criminalisation of sex workers' clients, conduct Inquiry and recommend the criminalisation of clients! No surprise there then.
Cari Mitchell, spokeswoman for the
English Collective of Prostitutes, commented:
Criminalisation, whether of sex workers or clients, drives prostitution further underground, increasing stigma, discrimination and the risk of violence.
In Ireland, reported incidences of violent crime against sex workers have risen by almost 50%. In France, a two-year evaluation of the law found 42% of sex workers are more exposed to violence and 38% have found it increasingly hard to
demand use of condom. In Norway, despite claims that sex workers have been decriminalised, forced evictions, prosecutions and increased stigma are prevalent with migrant workers particularly targeted. One sex worker explained:
Before we did not go far with the customer: we would go to a car park nearby. But now the customer wants to go somewhere isolated because they are afraid. I don't like it. There is more risk that something bad happens.
As for Sweden, the poster child for laws criminalising clients: 63% of sex workers said the law has created more prejudice; plus, there is no convincing empirical evidence that the law has resulted in a decline in sex work in Sweden,
which was the law's principal ambition.
The other "revelation" from the APPG is that there has been an increase in prostitution. Ms Mitchell commented:
Blaming the internet for a prostitution
"boom" puts the APPG in the same camp as Ian Duncan Smith, who notably attributed the increase in people going to food banks on growing " awareness " of food banks.
If the APPG is truly interested in
reducing prostitution why isn't their headline recommendation the abolition of benefit sanctions, directly linked with the rise in prostitution, especially on the street? It seems the APPG is more taken with the sensationalised, sexed-up story of pop-up
brothels. Sex workers feel exploited and not by prostitution.
If well-meaning MPs want to save women from sex work then take action against zero-hour contracts, low wages and exploitative bosses in the jobs that are the
alternatives to prostitution. Support sex workers like we hope you support other workers fighting to improve pay and conditions.
As for the proposal to clamp down on online advertising, evidence from the US shows that such laws (SESTA and FOSTA)
make it harder for the police to identify violence.
Why did this Inquiry even need to happen? The prestigious cross-party Home Affairs Committee did a comprehensive Inquiry and recommended that sex workers on the street and working together in
premises be decriminalised.
Decriminalisation isn't perfect -- we are all going to have to put our shoulder to the wheel if we want to win a fairer and more humane society, but it removes a grave injustice suffered daily by sex workers. Thousands
of cis and trans women a year are arrested, given prostitute cautions, are victims of criminal charges or civil orders and are suffering other grievous abuse and being denied protection. Decriminalisation as introduced in New Zealand has improved sex
workers' working conditions and made it easier for those who want to get out, to do so. Over 90% of sex workers said they had additional employment, legal, health and safety rights (including 64.8% who said they found it easier to refuse clients -- a key
marker of exploitation).
Finally, on trafficking. Until there is a public apology for the fabricated statistics that claimed that 80% of sex workers are victims of trafficking, why should anyone believe this APPG's figures? Research from the
Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women found that criminalising sex workers' clients does not reduce sex work or trafficking. Instead, it infringes on sex workers' rights and obstructs anti-trafficking efforts.
Offsite Comment: Wrong to suggest criminalising the buying of sex
What baffles me is the way this shower of politicians, many of whom self-define as feminists, want to deny
agency to women, as do many feminist journalists e.g. Bennett, Ellen, Moore, Bindel (who’s so rabid a rad fem that when I first encountered her I thought the piece was a satirical parody). Zoe Williams in the Graun, to her credit, did collaborate
with Pandora Blake, but in the main they seem quite oblivious to reason. Confront them with, say, Max M’s lady friend who continued to work as a pro submissive, and occasional dome, after getting her Ph.D. and the silly buggers just ignore the evidence.
Many large banks currently refuse accounts for adult industry businesses. The new legislation will allow the Treasury Department to place additional pressure in banks to refuse loans and accounts for adult businesses.
A US government effort to fight online sex trafficking has cleansed many sites of personal ads and consensual eroticism, in a shift advocates say amounts to dangerous censorship. By Erin McCormick in San Francisco
Google and Facebook accused of supposedly profiting from pop-up brothels and sex clubs sweeping Britain
Ministers are reportedly considering new laws to make internet giants liable when sex workers use their sites to organise business.
National Crime Agency (NCA) are supporting the propaganda and claim Google and Facebook are making profits from sex trafficking, according to the Times.
Pop up sex clubs have been discovered in Cornwall, Cambridge, Swindon and holiday cottages in
the Peak District. Will Kerr, the NCA's 'head of vulnerabilities', claimed:
People are using the internet and social media sites to enable sexual exploitation and trafficking. It is clear that the internet platforms which host and make a profit
out of this type of material need to do more to identify and stop these forms of exploitation.
Government figures want internet giants like Facebook to be held accountable, eying new US laws that are set to overturn more than 20 years of blanket
immunity for sites for content posted by users. It will make firms liable if they knowingly assist, support or facilitate content that leads to trafficking.
Downing Street and Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said they are looking
at whether and how to replicate the action in the UK.
Catherine Bennett spewing about the Nordic model - again!
19th February 2018
Have a look - if you can tolerate it - at Catherine Bennett's latest outpouring of whorephobic, misandric bile in the Observer. The silly moo completely denies agency to sex workers.
It's as if Max Mosley's friend with the
Ph.D. continuing as professional submissive - presumably as a rational choice because it yields more dosh for shorter hours than organic chemistry - passes over her head.
What is a purportedly liberal newspaper doing employing
this squalid authoritarian?
Lovedoll UK, a major retailer of life-like sex dolls, has launched a try before you buy service in a warehouse on an industrial park in Gateshead, Tyneside.
Customers can try out realistic sex dolls worth up to £2,000 at the company's warehouse, in
sessions costing £100-an-hour.
Lovedoll UK owner Graham admitted that the try before you buy service is a precursor to a sex doll brothel akin to the Lumidolls venue in Barcelona, Spain.
We're offering the service to bring in more customers
and convince those customers who are on the fence [about buying a sex doll], he said.
Lovedoll UK has already faced resistance from call girls working in Gateshead, in Tyne and Wear. Graham said sex workers are afraid his company will steal their
jobs. He said:
I have spoken to escort services before about bringing sex dolls into brothels -- but they are scared. I don't know why they are, it may just require more of a vision than they have.
Graham allows clients to take his sex dolls into a room containing a double bed, lube and condoms for testing and inspection. Customers using the service must provide their contact details and pay in advance.
Update: Inevitably the miserable local council claims you can't play with a doll without a licence
A business selling adult sex dolls is being investigated over rmiserable concerns it could be operating without council permission.
Gateshead Council said it was investigating whether a sex establishment licence is required.
Such a licence
covers premises selling sex videos, or venues where explicit films are shown to members of the public, and those where sexual entertainment such as pole dancing and strip shows take place. Shops selling sex toys have not generally been required to get
licences, though occasionally councils have tried to claim that licences were required.
Gateshead Council said:
We are currently trying to establish the facts so that all of the relevant services and agencies
can be involved and an informed decision can be made about what action, if any, the council can take.