Hotel chains owned by Hilton, Intercontinental and Best Western are among a number of leading global chains accused of profiting from sex trafficking. In a landmark case, that is bound to have wider ramifications for sex workers in gerneral, lawyers
claim an industry-wide failure to prevent sex trafficking, It has been alleged that women and children were held captive, abused and sold for sex in their guest rooms across the US.
A total of 13 women have accused a dozen hotel groups of wilfully
ignoring warning signs that sexual exploitation was taking place on their premises. The case has been filed in a federal court in Columbus, Ohio. It marks the first time the hotel industry has faced legal action as a group.
The lawsuit claims that an
estimated 80% of all human trafficking arrests occur in or around hotels.
Surely campaigners around the world will pick up on the idea of attacking hotels as a means of attacking the entire consensual adult sex work trade. And even if the hotels only
start demanding full ID, it is going to have a drastic effect on trade.
In a letter to Attorney General William Barr, four Republican members of Congress are demanding that the Justice Department enforce existing obscenity laws to censor pornography.
The letter was signed by Jim Banks of Indiana, Mark Meadows of North
Carolina, Vicky Hartzler of Missouri and Brian Babin of Texas. The representatives remind the AG of a promise made by President Trump to go after the adult industry with obscenity laws already on the books. The letter reads:
Attorney General Barr:
We write to you today out of concern for the rule of law as well as the welfare of our people.
The Internet and other evolving technologies are fueling the explosion of obscene
pornography by making it more accessible and visceral. This explosion in pornography coincides with an increase in violence towards women and an increase in the volume of human trafficking as well us child pornography. Victims are not limited to those
directly exploited, however, and include society writ large. This phenomenon is especially harmful to youth, who are being exposed to obscene pornography at exponentially younger ages.
Fortunately, U.S. obscenity laws exist that,
if enforced, can ameliorate this problem, as you well know from your previous term as U.S. Attorney General when you effectively shut down the pornography industry and dramatically decreased child pornography in America.
U.S. laws prohibit distribution of obscene pornography on the Internet. on cable/satellite TV. in hotels/motels, by retail or wholesale establishments, and by common carrier. Yet the enforcement of obscenity laws was stopped by the Obama Administration
when Attorney General Eric Holder disbanded the Obscenity Prosecution Task Force in the Criminal Division.
In August 2016, then-candidate Donald J. Trump signed the first-ever anti-pornography pledge. This asserted that, if
elected, President Trump would enforce federal obscenity laws to stop the explosion of obscene pornography. This pledge has so far been ignored in the Trump Administration with the result that the harms of illegal pornography have continued unabated,
affecting children and adults so acutely to the point that 15 state legislatures have declared that pornography is causing a public health crisis. It is imperative that you follow through on this important campaign promise diode by Mr. Trump.
Given the pervasiveness of obscenity it's our recommendation that you declare the prosecution of obscene pornography a criminal justice priority and urge your U.S. Attorneys to bring prosecutions against the major producers and
distributors of such material.
We urge you to take this simple yet important step toward protecting the lives of those affected by these long ignored crimes. We look forward to your response regarding this request and other action
the Department of Justice is prepared to take in light of these abuses.
Jim Banks of Indiana Mark Meadows of North Carolina Vicky Hartzler of Missouri Brian Babin of Texas.
Pornhub has reported that PayPal would no longer support payments to Pornhub performers saying that it was devastated by the decision, which cuts off the primary way it pays over a hundred thousand performers.
PayPal told Gizmodo that its acceptable
use policy forbids certain sexually oriented materials or services.
Pornhub tells The Verge that the decision affects performers who are part of Pornhub's Model Program, which lets individuals upload their own videos and earn advertising revenue
from those videos. The company is pointing performers toward its other payment options including check, direct deposit, the Paxum e-wallet, and the Verge cryptocurrency
Saying that US banks also frequently refuse to allow sex related workers to
open accounts, so some of the basic alternatives may in fact be problematic.
BangBros explained in a statement on the now defunct pornWikileaks.com website:
In the current world we live in, as we all know, once it's on the internet, it's forever. For too long, this site has unfortunately been a resource
for hate, lies, and sensitive information. Many of us have had our real names online for the world to see. Over 15,000 performers real names were listed here. Some had phone numbers, addresses, even family members names posted as well. That type of
information wasn't voluntarily submitted. It was stolen from anyone that had it posted.
BangBros had enough. We have purchased this site with the intention of shutting it down and removing all information associated with it.
There's no catch. No hidden thing to getting your personal stuff off of it. We simply didn't want it out there for the world to see anymore. Yes, it's that easy. While shutting this site down doesn't purge the internet of all possible ties to real names
and what not, it does make it one less place to harbor and find these things easily. A forum that had 300,000 posts on it, most of them negative and hate-filled, has now disappeared.
If you had anything ever posted on here, it
will be removed and deleted forever from here. As well as BangBros nows owns the domain. Nothing will ever be up here besides this page that you see now. So you don't have to worry about it coming back either.
This industry has
weathered a lot and at the end of the day we rely on each other more than we think. Sure, we all have competitors-BangBros has plenty in itself. But making enemies doesn't make us a stronger company. Treating others well and innovating does. So our
innovation this week, while not groundbreaking, hopes to make the internet a little bit better for all of us involved.
The Texas State Legislature has passed a bill criminalizing the electronic transmission of unrequested erotic material, including images of any person engaging in sexual conduct or with the person's intimate parts exposed or covered genitals of a male
person that are in a discernibly turgid state.
The bill, H.B. 2789 , was unanimously passed 31-0 by state senators from both parties. It is to take effect, after the governor signs it, on September 1, 2019.
The unprecedented legislation, called
An act relating to the creation of the criminal offense of unlawful electronic transmission of sexually explicit visual material creates an offence:
if a person knowingly transmits by electronic means visual
(1) depicts: (a) any person engaging in sexual conduct or with the person's intimate parts exposed; or (b) covered genitals of a male person that are in a discernibly turgid state; and
not sent at the request of or with the express consent of the recipient.
The bill classifies the offense as a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500.
To challenge online censorship of art featuring naked bodies or body parts, photographer Spencer Tunick, in collaboration with the National Coalition Against Censorship, will stage a nude art action in New York on June 2. The event will bring together
100 undressed participants at an as-yet-undisclosed location, and Tunick will photograph the scene and create an installation using donated images of male nipples.
Artists Andres Serrano, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, and Tunick have given photos of their
own nipples to the cause, as has Bravo TV personality Andy Cohen, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, and actor/photographer Adam Goldberg.
In addition, the National Coalition Against Censorship has launched a #WeTheNipple campaign through
which Instagram and Facebook users can share their experiences with censorship and advocate for changes to the social media platforms' guidelines related to nudity.
Lawyers for Facebook and Instagram have appeared in a Texas courtrooms attempting to dismiss two civil cases that accuse the social media sites of not protecting victims of sex trafficking.
The Facebook case involves a Houston woman who in October
said the company's morally bankrupt corporate culture left her prey to a predatory pimp who drew her into sex trafficking as a child. The Instagram case involves a 14-year-old girl from Spring who said she was recruited, groomed and sold in 2018 by a man
she met on the social media site.
Of course Facebook is only embroiled in this case because it supported Congress to pass an anti-trafficking amendment in April 2018. Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act and Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act,
collectively known as SESTA-FOSTA, this attempts to make it easier to prosecute owners and operators of websites that facilitate sex trafficking. This act removed the legal protection for websites that previously meant they couldn't be held responsible
for the actions of its members.
After the Houston suit was filed, a Facebook spokesperson said human trafficking is not permitted on the site and staffers report all instances they're informed about to the National Center for Missing and Exploited
Children. Of course that simply isn't enough any more, and now they have to proactively stop their website from being used for criminal activity.
The impossibility of preventing such misuse has led to many websites pulling out of anything that may
be related to people hooking up for sex, lest they are held responsible for something they couldn't possibly prevent.
But perhaps Facebook has enough money to pay for lawyers who can argue their way out of such hassles.
The Adult Performers Actors Guild is standing up for sex workers who are tired of being banned from Instagram with no explanation.
In related news, adult performers are campaigning against being arbitrarily banned from their accounts by Facebook and Instagram. It seems likely that the social media companies are summarily ejecting users detected to have any connection with people
getting together for sex.
As explained above, the social media companies are responsible for anything related to sex trafficking happening on their website. They practically aren't able to discern sex trafficking from consensual sex so the only
protection available for internet companies is to ban anyone that might have a connection to sex.
This reality is clearly impacting those effected. A group of adult performers is starting to organize against Facebook and Instagram for removing
their accounts without explanation. Around 200 performers and models have included their usernames in a letter to Facebook asking the network to address this issue.
Alana Evans, president of the Adult Performers Actors Guild (APAG), a union that
advocates for adult industry professionals' rights, told Vice. There are performers who are being deleted, because they put up a picture of their freshly painted toenails
In an April 22 letter to Facebook, the Adult Performers Actors
Guild's legal counsel James Felton wrote:
Over the course of the last several months, almost 200 adult performers have had their Instagrams accounts terminated without explanation. In fact, every day, additional
performers reach out to us with their termination stories. In the large majority of instances, her was no nudity shown in the pictures. However, it appears that the accounts were terminated merely because of their status as an adult performer.
Effort to learn the reasons behind the termination have been futile. Performers are asked to send pictures of their names to try to verify that the accounts are actually theirs and not put up by frauds. Emails are sent and there is no
The state of Utah is set to make sex outside of marriage legal.
In a bill cleaning up Utah's criminal code, lawmakers repealed the misdemeanor crime of fornication. The House passed Senate Bill 43 on a 41-32 vote. It previously passed the Utah State
Senate and now goes to Governor Gary Herbert for his signature or veto.
The legislature previously passed a bill removing adultery and sodomy among consenting adults as crimes in Utah. Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield, said court rulings have found the
laws are unenforceable and it was time to remove them from the books.
Arizona has joined several other states in the nonsense claim that pornography is to be considered a public health crisis
Arizona state Representative Michelle Udall introduced a resolution declaring pornography is a crisis leading to a broad
spectrum of individual and public health impacts. The resolution claims pornography perpetuates a sexually toxic environment that damages all areas of our society.
The resolution passed a committee vote along party lines and now moves to the
Arizona House, where Republicans hold a slim majority.
Utah was the first state in the nation to declare pornography a public health crisis in 2016, but measures have been passed in 11 other states since.
A new bill introduced late last month in the New York State legislature marks the latest attempt to impose a user tax on porn, or for that matter any sexually oriented media. Teh proposed bill will slap an extra $2 on to every porn download.
charge would also apply to offline sexually oriented media, adding the two-buck fee to each magazine or DVD classified as sexually oriented. In fact, the language of New York Assembly Bill AO3417 is so broad that it apparently would apply not only to
porn, but even to R-rated movies and TV programs airing on pay cable networks such as HBO or Showtime.
That's because the law as written by Assistant Assembly Speaker Felix W. Ortiz defines sexually oriented as any media that features nude
pictures or nude performances. And nude does not even mean completely nude under the bill's wording, breasts or buttocks are enough.
The language of the bill is also unclear on whether the $2 surcharge would apply to free porn downloads, such as
on Pornhub and similar tube sites.
An attempt to block pornography and other
obscene material on all personal devices in
South Dakota, then charge users a $20 access fee, was voted down Friday by state lawmakers.
House Bill 1154, written by out-of-state authors, raised serious concerns with lobbyists representing South Dakota retailers and telecommunication
companies, who opposed the measure in a meeting of the House Judiciary Committee Friday morning.
Anti-porn crusaders are celebrating Donald Trump's nomination of William Barr to be the next Attorney General of the United States, fondly recalling Barr's first term as the country's top law enforcement officer from 1991 to 1993, when Barr led a
campaign of anti-porn prosecutions and was praised by President George H.W. Bush for the superb job he did cracking down on obscenity.
Senate confirmation hearings for Barr are now in progress.
Donna Rice Hughes, president of the anti-porn
group Enough is Enough, applauded Barr's nomination, saying in a press release that Trump had pledged to appoint an attorney general to aggressively enforce federal obscenity, child pornography, sexual predation, and sex trafficking laws.
An Arizona legislator has proposed a one off $20 fee to access porn sites, with funds going to Donald Trump's border wall.
According to a report by The Arizona Republic, state rep Gail Griffin has introduced a new bill that would force internet users
to cough up $20 just for the ability to access adult sites online. The money would go into a newly created account called the John McCain Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation Fund, with the proceeds to be used for one of 10 things, and the top item
on the list of 10 is: Build a border wall between Mexico and this state or fund border security .
A similar tax has been proposed in several other states but has not yet come to fruition. Lawmakers have not made it clear how the tax will
actually be implemented but perhaps it would be along the line of ISPs blocking porn sites until the tax is paid.