Event Title

Away from the Screen and Back to the Streets:The Impact of FOSTA SESTA Legislation on the Lives of Sex Workers and Tensions within Online Activist Spaces

Presenter Information

Whitney Polich, Dickinson College

Location

Stern Center Great Room

Start Date

18-4-2019 5:00 PM

Description

In the modern world consumers can purchase any item or goods online - groceries, clothing, etc. Increasingly, people are going online to make purchases of not only goods, but also services, including sex. With the advent of online spaces for not only purchasing sex (or sex related services and goods), but also advertising and soliciting, more and more people are using the Internet for their sexual needs. But what if it became illegal for anyone to sell sex of any kind online? New legislation entitled, Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) and Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA) this could become a damaging and crippling reality. FOSTA/ SESTA was created with the intention of limiting sex traffickers ability to use online forums to solicit sex with minors and other sex trafficking victims. In essence, FOSTA/SESTA renders websites criminally liable for any advertisements or solicitations of sex related goods or services. The implementation and response to FOSTA/SESTA reveals several compelling elements of the contemporary perspective on sexual consumerism, victimhood and the stratification of the rights of sexual laborers who are pushed to the margins. As such, the primary intention of my research will be to explore online spaces of sexual solicitation, narrative around sex workers and victims of trafficking (namely the tension that arises in the way these two groups are regarded) and online activist responses in domains such as Twitter.

Presentation Type

Presentation

Comments

Advisor: Assistant Professor Katie Oliviero

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COinS
 
Apr 18th, 5:00 PM

Away from the Screen and Back to the Streets:The Impact of FOSTA SESTA Legislation on the Lives of Sex Workers and Tensions within Online Activist Spaces

Stern Center Great Room

In the modern world consumers can purchase any item or goods online - groceries, clothing, etc. Increasingly, people are going online to make purchases of not only goods, but also services, including sex. With the advent of online spaces for not only purchasing sex (or sex related services and goods), but also advertising and soliciting, more and more people are using the Internet for their sexual needs. But what if it became illegal for anyone to sell sex of any kind online? New legislation entitled, Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) and Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA) this could become a damaging and crippling reality. FOSTA/ SESTA was created with the intention of limiting sex traffickers ability to use online forums to solicit sex with minors and other sex trafficking victims. In essence, FOSTA/SESTA renders websites criminally liable for any advertisements or solicitations of sex related goods or services. The implementation and response to FOSTA/SESTA reveals several compelling elements of the contemporary perspective on sexual consumerism, victimhood and the stratification of the rights of sexual laborers who are pushed to the margins. As such, the primary intention of my research will be to explore online spaces of sexual solicitation, narrative around sex workers and victims of trafficking (namely the tension that arises in the way these two groups are regarded) and online activist responses in domains such as Twitter.