Free Speech Coalition commends Woodhull Freedom Foundation, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Human Rights Watch and others in a broad coalition that filed for a formal injunction against FOSTA (also known as SESTA-FOSTA) in federal court this week.
Free Speech Coalition is committed to fighting against this horrendous law and has been working with those partners to determine how we can best support the case — whether that be by filing an amicus brief or becoming a formal plaintiff representing our members.
As many of you are already aware, FOSTA is the most significant act of internet censorship we have seen in over twenty years, and has already caused numerous adult and non-adult sites to shut down or censor users. FOSTA has also led to increased danger for sex workers, as the broad shutdown of online advertising venues now prevents them from screening violent clients, and in many cases forces them to do much more dangerous street work.
FOSTA creates new federal criminal and civil liability for anyone who operates a site, or hosts third-party content, that could be used to “promote or facilitate” prostitution. Since the passage of FOSTA in March, sites like Craigslist and Reddit have shut down dating channels, therapy channels and sex work advocacy forums. Numerous adult sites have been compelled to block third-party content, shutdown forums or banned conversations about sex work.
Given the broad scope of the law and vague terms, the risk to adult performers, and adult sites is very real. Free Speech Coalition fought against FOSTA (and its companion bill, SESTA) since they were introduced, and will continue to fight and raise awareness as this case progresses.
We ask that any adult site or member that has made changes, shut down or otherwise suffered because of FOSTA concerns contact us. We can keep your information confidential, but it is crucial that we are able to communicate to the court the depth to which this has affected the free and open internet.