When approached for comment, Google pointed to a statement from its trade organisation, the Internet Association, which said it was committed to ending trafficking online. If you have inside knowledge of a topic in the news, contact the ABC. ABC teams share the story behind the story and insights into the making of digital, TV and radio content.
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Philanthropist 'disgusted' with how the public treats homeless. Gloomy octopuses 'happy, healthy' in warming Tasmanian waters. Connect with ABC News. Got a news tip? They can use "bad dates lists" hosted online — and updated by fellow sex workers — to weed out potentially dangerous clients.
And they can also use social media to connect with fellow sex workers and sex work organizations, sharing resources to keep each other safe. Research shows sex workers are safer when they're able to screen their clients online before meeting with them. A study from researchers at Baylor University and West Virginia University estimated that Craigslist's "erotic services" section "reduced female homicide rates by as much as By being vague about what it means to "promote and facilitate prostitution," SESTA-FOSTA will potentially outlaw the channels that sex workers use to keep themselves safe from violence — pretty ironic for an anti-trafficking bill.
The law, called Section , allows websites to host user-generated posts without being liable for the content of those posts. It's what lets sites like Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and any news site with a comments section to operate and create spaces for people to speak freely. By holding websites accountable for certain types of user-generated speech, Congress is encouraging platforms to implement censorship tools that will almost certainly end up shutting down some protected speech as collateral damage.
The digital civil liberties organization the Electronic Frontier Foundation explains how this censorship will work:. It's easy to see the impact that this ramp-up in liability will have on online speech: What forms that erasure takes will vary from platform to platform. For some, it will mean increasingly restrictive terms of service — banning sexual content, for example, or advertisements for legal escort services. For others, it will mean over-reliance on automated filters to delete borderline posts.
No matter what methods platforms use to mitigate their risk, one thing is certain: The Internet will become a less inclusive place, something that hurts all of us. That said, many Craigslist users seem to have moved their personals listings to the "Activity Partners" section of the websites, so it may take a little finagling for Craigslist to eradicate sexually explicit ads. Mar 23 , 1: On Friday, Craigslist responded by completely shutting down its personals section, replacing it with the following note: Anderson is Digg's managing editor.
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