WARNING: This blog contains copious amounts of adult GAY material. If that's offensive to you, please leave now. All pix have been gleaned from the internets so, if you see a picture of yourself that you don't wish to have posted here, please leave a comment on the post and I will remove it with my apologies.

Daily Pretty...

Daily Pretty...

Tuesday, December 11, 2018




Today marks the 7th year since Jerry and I first met face to face.


Many thanks to commenter Alan for informing me of this:

A new law intended to curb sex trafficking threatens the future of the internet as we know it

The controversial bill package FOSTA-SESTA has already impacted sites like Reddit, Craigslist, and Google — and that’s just the start.
By Aja Romano@ajaromano Updated Apr 18, 2018, 5:40pm EDT

Wondering why Craigslist recently killed its (in)famous Personals section? You can thank Congress — and you can start bracing for more deletions and censorship to come.

This week, President Trump signed into law a set of controversial bills intended to make it easier to cut down on illegal sex trafficking online. Both bills — the House bill known as FOSTA, the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act, and the Senate bill, SESTA, the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act — have been hailed by advocates as a victory for sex trafficking victims.

But the bills also poke a huge hole in a famous and longstanding “safe harbor” rule of the internet: Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act. Usually shorthanded as “Section 230” and generally seen as one of the most important pieces of internet legislation ever created, it holds that “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.” In other words, Section 230 has allowed the internet to thrive on user-generated content without holding platforms and ISPs responsible for whatever those users might create.

But FOSTA-SESTA creates an exception to Section 230 that means website publishers would be responsible if third parties are found to be posting ads for prostitution — including consensual sex work — on their platforms. The goal of this is supposed to be that policing online prostitution rings gets easier. What FOSTA-SESTA has actually done, however, is create confusion and immediate repercussions among a range of internet sites as they grapple with the ruling’s sweeping language.

In the immediate aftermath of SESTA’s passage on March 21, 2018, numerous websites took action to censor or ban parts of their platforms in response — not because those parts of the sites actually were promoting ads for prostitutes, but because policing them against the outside possibility that they might was just too hard.

All of this bodes poorly for the internet as a whole. After all, as many opponents of the bill have pointed out, the law doesn’t appear to do anything concrete to target illegal sex trafficking directly, and instead threatens to “increase violence against the most marginalized.” But it does make it a lot easier to censor free speech on small websites — as evidenced by the immediate ramifications the law has had across the internet.

What FOSTA-SESTA is intended to do: curb online sex work

FOSTA and SESTA began their respective lives as two different bills created in an effort to curb sex trafficking on online personals sites — in particular, Backpage.com.

Backpage has long been known for its advertisements for sex workers (though these were formally removed from the site last year). It’s also seen numerous controversies related to illegal sex work; authorities have arrested individuals using it to pay for sex, and Backpage has aided law enforcement in investigations into ads on its site. In the past, authorities have taken down similar websites through targeted raids.

But previous attempts by authorities to hold Backpage responsible for illegal content on its website have failed due to Section 230’s dictum that websites aren’t liable for content posted by their users. This trend culminated in the December 2016 dismissal of a lawsuit designed to target Backpage for ads on its websites. The presiding judge explicitly cited Section 230 in his decision to dismiss.

Immediately following this dismissal, however, the tide rapidly seemed to turn against Backpage. In January 2017, a Senate investigation ultimately found Backpage to be complicit in obscuring ads for child trafficking. A month later, a documentary of survivors called I Am Jane Doe focused on Backpage, arguing that the safe harbor provision protecting Backpage from liability for ads on its sites should be done away with.

Congress listened. FOSTA and SESTA were created last year in response to the backlash, with the bill’s creator specifically naming Backpage in an attempt to ensure that future lawsuits like the one dismissed in 2016 could move forward.

What FOSTA-SESTA actually does: rip a giant hole in the governing foundation of the internet

For two decades, the internet has functioned in accordance with Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act. Because of Section 230, courts have a clear foundation for adjudicating free speech on the internet. And, crucially, because of Section 230, website owners and server hosts aren’t constantly mired in endless lawsuits because someone said something inflammatory on one of their sites.

Without this clause exempting websites from liability for the actions of their users, most websites simply couldn’t afford to exist. They would have to perpetually ward off potential legal action based on the unpredictable behavior of their users, by devoting endless resources to moderating everything their users did, by simply banning user activities altogether, or by throwing millions of dollars at litigation costs. The vast majority of the internet as we know it — all but a handful of websites run by tech companies with massive resources, which arguably couldn’t have reached that status without Section 230’s protections — would be unable to function under this kind of pressure.

Enter FOSTA-SESTA, which create enforceable loopholes in websites if they appear to be allowing prostitution advertisements. That sounds specific, but it’s not.

FOSTA, a bill originally passed in February by the House, was initially set up to focus solely on sites like Backpage — that is, sites that seemed designed just to give a space to sex workers. But by the time it had made it to the House floor, the bill had gained broader, sterner provisions borrowed from the Senate version of the bill, SESTA — provisions that included all websites. This then ballooned into the bill combo that wound up headed to President Trump’s desk for signing. The EFF has called it “a bad bill that turned into a worse bill and then was rushed through votes in both houses of Congress.”

Instead of directly targeting websites known to facilitate sex trafficking, the FOSTA-SESTA hybrid essentially sets up a template for “broad-based censorship” across the web. This means websites will have to decide whether to overpolice their platforms for potential prostitution advertisements or to underpolice them so they can maintain a know-nothing stance, which would likely be a very tricky claim to prove in court.

To read the entire, rather long article, go HERE.