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It protects web platforms from being sued in civil court or criminally charged by state prosecutors for third-party (i.e., user-posted) content.

(It doesn't apply for federal crimes.) Section 230 says that unless they create the content in whole or part, these platforms shall not be treated as the speaker of such content, and good-faith efforts at content moderation (like banning ads that explicitly mention illegal acts or auto-filtering out content that contains prohibited words) do not change this.

This failure to distinguish between ads for prostitution and any discussion of prostitution is part of what has sex workers (and free-speech advocates) so worried.

Sex worker blogs could be shut down, and they could find their social-media accounts suspended simply for being honest about their work.

"Craigslist isn't the only one making changes since FOSTA's passage.

On Friday, the adult-ad forum City Vibes disappeared.

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Many sex-trafficking survivors and victims groups vocally opposed FOSTA, saying it fails to address the things they really need (like housing and job assistance) and will make saving future victims harder.It's probably too late, or at least would be if legislators get their way. "You're heading in the wrong direction if you [pass a bill] that would raise the burden of proof in cases against sex traffickers," said Oregon Sen. Wyden—who co-authored Section 230—was the only Democrat to vote against the bill, and Kentucky Sen. An amendment to FOSTA proposed by Wyden would have clarified that websites can try to filter out illegal content without increasing their liability, but it was overwhelmingly defeated.FOSTA "shall apply regardless of whether the conduct alleged occurred… Wyden stressed that FOSTA is not a matter of substituting some free-speech rights for a better ability to stop sex trafficking.Under FOSTA, this won't apply when paid sex is concerned.That's why sites are scrambling right now to prohibit any content that could get them held liable. Department of Justice has urged against passing FOSTA, calling it unconstitutional and saying that it would make prosecuting sex traffickers harder.I brokered my best ongoing "casual encounter" through the Craigslist personals.I know others who met long-term partners and even spouses that way.But while doing nothing to realistically fight sex trafficking, it manages to muck up all sorts of other serious things.FOSTA will "subject websites to criminal and civil liability when third parties (users) misuse online personals unlawfully," Craigslist explains in the brief notice that now appears in place of potential partners if you try to go to a personals listing .The bill, euphemistically known as the "Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act," or FOSTA, was passed by the House of Representatives in late February.It's been largely portrayed by the media and those in Congress as an "anti-sex trafficking" measure.


  1. The New Law That Killed Craigslist's Personals Could End the Web As. But FOSTA will change that, opening up Craigslist and every other.

  2. Craigslist Gets up Close with Personals. March 26, 2018. Who says nothing good comes out of Washington? Just last week, Congress took a giant step toward.

  3. Inspired by the personal ads found at the back of On Our Backs, a queer. they look like, but none of their Insta posts show up in the app itself.

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