This will create more victims than it helps.” There’s also plenty of research indicating that online avenues help officials do their work more effectively.
A 2018 State Department report found that over a seven-year period, the number of identified victims of sex trafficking worldwide increased from fewer than 42,000 in 2011 to over 100,000 in 2017. law enforcement agencies initiated a combined total of 1,795 trafficking investigations.
The presiding judge explicitly cited Section 230 in his decision to dismiss.
This protocol was later expounded upon in a 2014 follow-up that examined issues of consent and asserted that “consent is always irrelevant to determining whether the crime of human trafficking has occurred.” However, sex workers have argued vociferously that regardless of legal precedent, this conflation makes both consensual and nonconsensual sex workers less safe.
Melissa Mariposa, who responded to the bill by creating an offshore-hosted, sex worker-friendly ISP, described the risks to the Daily Dot: “If sex workers lose their storefront and safety tools, two things are going to happen,” Mariposa explained. Number two, prostitution is going to be pushed right back on the street and in hotel bars by women who will no longer want to see internet clientele and would rather take the risks freelancing.
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.
And one Nevada sex worker recently blamed the bill’s passage for a new local referendum that is attempting to shut down legal adult brothels.