Society & Culture:Personal Journals
31: Let Us Survive with Liara Roux
On April 11, Trump signed into law two new bills that sex workers say will literally kill them.
The bills - Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) and Stop Enabling Sex Trafficking Act (SESTA) makes websites liable for the content they publish. This means that many online services - that host adult content are now taking down user websites and user accounts to avoid legal action.
Many online activists - primarily consensual sex workers - have criticised the bill for attacking freedom of speech, saying it does nothing to help sex trafficking victims. Instead, it's erasing their safe spaces where they can advertise their services, share safety resources, and freely express themselves.
And although it might be as late as January 2019 before arrests can be made, these bills have already sent shockwaves across the internet.
One of the websites key to the FOSTA debate was Backpage, an online classifieds site where users frequently – but not primarily – advertised for sexual services. Federal authorities seized Backpage on Monday, two days before Trump even signed the bills, demonstrating that the FBI never really needed FOSTA’s backing to indict the site to begin with.
Now almost two months after the introduction of these new laws, many more websites have shutdown, and sex workers and their supporters have begun to mobilise.
In this episode, we speak to Liara Roux, a sex worker, independent adult media producer and director, a political organizer focused on freedom of expression for adult workers online, and an advocate for decriminalization and protection of consensual adult activity including queer and sex worker rights and safety worldwide.
In this episode, we talk about:
Want to show your support? Visit survivorsagainstsesta.org
Follow Liara Roux on Twitter for more updates as they unfold.
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