The Fight Against FOSTA Continues

Jan 13, 2023

The fight against FOSTA continues, and it’s important that we stay informed and engaged in this ongoing battle. FOSTA, or the Fight Online S*x Trafficking Act, was passed in 2018 under the guise of protecting victims of trafficking, but in reality, it has had disastrous consequences for consensual sex workers.

The Woodhull Freedom Foundation, a sex worker advocacy group, has been leading the fight against FOSTA. Recently, they went to the Court of Appeals to challenge the constitutionality of the law. This is a crucial step in the legal process, as the Court of Appeals is the final stop before the case could potentially go to the Supreme Court.

FOSTA has been widely criticized for its negative impact on the sex worker community. While the law was ostensibly designed to target online trafficking, it has instead led to the censorship of consensual sex work online. Websites that were once used by sex workers to find clients and screen them for safety have been shut down or made inaccessible, forcing sex workers to take riskier routes to find work. This has put sex workers in danger, as they are forced to work in less safe conditions and with less control over who they work with.

Additionally, FOSTA has had a chilling effect on freedom of speech online. The law’s broad language means that it can be applied to a wide range of online activity related to sex work, including discussions about sex work or even the posting of personal ads. This has led to a climate of fear and self-censorship, as people are unsure of what is allowed and what could put them at risk of legal repercussions.

But there is hope. In the recent Court of Appeals hearing, at least two judges expressed concerns about the constitutionality of aspects of FOSTA. This is a positive sign that there may be a chance for the law to be overturned or significantly revised in the future.

It’s important that we all stay informed and engaged in the fight against FOSTA. Sex worker rights are human rights, and the continued criminalization and stigmatization of sex work harms everyone, not just sex workers. We must work together to fight for the decriminalization and destigmatization of sex work, and to protect the rights and safety of all people involved in the industry.

There are many ways to get involved in this fight. One of the most important is to stay informed and educated about the issues at hand. Follow organizations like the Woodhull Freedom Foundation and the National Center for Transgender Equality, which are working tirelessly to fight against FOSTA and other harmful legislation. Share information with your friends and family, like this great article Politico wrote that you can read here, and help to spread awareness about the impact that these laws have on vulnerable populations.