Reader Steve Miles responds to How Congress' attempt to rescue sex workers threatens their safety instead:
By modifying Section 230 of the Communications Act, SESTA-FOSTA makes websites liable for the content that users post. This has chilling effects on free speech that go far beyond that needed to stop trafficking.
It has the potential to stop all kinds of adult discussion forums, as well as ads that inadvertantly turn out to be dangerous (such as dating sites that do not do criminal background check, personal ads in the New York Review of Books, singles cruises, sex therapists, and therapeutic spas.)
SESTA closes opportunities for law enforcement to run stings to capture child sexual predators, as it drives sex workers back toward dangerous pimps and obstructs their ability to identify and avoid dangerous clients.
No sane person wants to tolerate sex trafficking of minors or immigrants. Laws against those practices were already in place.
SESTA is a needlessly expansive restriction on moral pluralism and its adverse effects are what one would expect of a policy that is driven by knee-jerk moralism, rather than an honest look of how many and why minors get trapped in commerecial sex work.