What is unclear is how many of the ads were sex traffickers looking to sell enslaved women and children and how many were consensual sex workers looking for a safe place to sell their services and vet potential clients. They had an opportunity to give a friend a client's number and tell the friend when and where they would be working. He has mixed feelings about the site's seizure, saying that on one hand the site "had become the virtual equivalent of an open air sex market" and on the other, Backpage gave police a place to start looking for people being trafficked. The Communications Decency Act doesn't shield a platform from criminal or civil liability for its own bad actions, only from the bad actions of others on its site, explained Elliot Harmon from Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit digital-rights group.
Local activist and former sex worker Juliana Piccillo says Backpage's closure is an apocalypse for sex workers. Harmon said if you develop a filter to block ads for people being trafficked, it's quite likely the same filter would censor a sex trafficking victim telling his or her story. For the very first time, the oldest profession in the world has transparency, record keeping and safeguards. The new laws will allow states and individuals to sue sites they believe are enabling sex trafficking. The indictment even quotes Lacey, and categorizes his statement as bragging, saying "Eliminating adult advertising will in no way eliminate or even reduce the incident of prostitution in this country FOSTA says anyone who "owns, manages, or operates an interactive computer service The legislation amends the Communications Decency Act, which states that host sites aren't responsible for what users put on the platform. A good example is Google's PerspectiveAPI, a filter designed to look for patterns and measure "toxicity" in online discussions. Through online advertising, sex workers have a safer way to vet clients than if they only have the option to work on the street. By Danyelle Khmara Will sex workers be forced into more dangerous situations with the closure of backpage. The indictment against seven of the site's executives, including the website's founders, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, includes charges of facilitating prostitution and money laundering. They moved the classified section online in In a study led by Baylor University economics professor Scott Cunningham, researchers attributed a 17 percent drop in female homicides in U. District Court of Arizona makes the case that the defendants knew there were "prostitution ads" on their site. The website was shut down, and those who ran it were arrested. But the legislation largely conflates trafficking with all sex work and could cover almost any sex-related forum. The Act is meant to protect First Amendment rights, keeping publications from censoring due to fear of legal retribution. The access that law enforcement will have to the new medium is as yet to be determined. It was no secret to anyone that adult advertising was on the site. Tucson Police Department's own human trafficking task force had sex and labor trafficking investigations from February to March , with relatively few trafficking arrests, according to police records. But the site allowed sex workers not only a safe way to vet clients but more independence, so they wouldn't have to work for a pimp or agency. But, as the Backpage bust demonstates, the prosecution already had enough evidence to go after them, despite the Communications Decency Act, because platforms were already held accountable for directly contributing to illegal activity. He has mixed feelings about the site's seizure, saying that on one hand the site "had become the virtual equivalent of an open air sex market" and on the other, Backpage gave police a place to start looking for people being trafficked. Rather than get into a stranger's car, sex workers could ask potential clients for references. Until recently Craigslist had a personal ad section, but they shut down their erotic service section in due to increasing pressure from law enforcement and politicians. While the investigations led to arrests, for reasons that include prohibited possession of a firearm, narcotics charges and felony warrants, only 22 of the arrests were for trafficking or trafficking-related charges such as pimping.
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