Read the full article by Samantha Cole at Motherboard.Vice.com
This week, the Senate is expected to vote on FOSTA-SESTA, a bill package that could put sex workers’ lives on the line. By making social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter liable for their users’ speech, the bill could force tech companies to push all talk of sex work off their platforms.
Although it is framed as sex trafficking prevention—with celebrities like Amy Schumer and Seth Meyers issuing PSAs about the dangers of online trafficking in support of the bill—experts including the ACLU and Center for Democracy and Technology say it would do little to help actual victims of trafficking and instead devastate consensual sex work communities online, where sex workers share valuable, sometimes life-saving information and resources.
“What we have is each other,” adult performer Lorelei Lee told me in an email. “So the ability to share information quickly and widely in our community is the main way that we stay safe.”
A spokesperson for sponsoring senator Rob Portman’s office told me that they’re hopeful the bill will go to a vote this week.
“Make no mistake, if these bills pass, sex workers will die.”