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The Silencing of Sex Workers
Here at Nevada Brothels, we like to focus on the fun side of the brothel industry, but we feel we need to get this out there as something very harmful going on.
The truth is that Sex Workers are being silenced online and it’s not just hurting their business, it’s putting them at risk. Their voices and online public squares are being taken away from them, and it’s from the last people you’d think. Many times it’s in the name of protecting them against human trafficking. Other times it’s an overreach when trying to shut down horrendous crimes against minors. But all of the time it’s in the name of in the name of “it’s what’s right for everyone”, which is why it’s so hard to explain that it’s actually not. How do you argue against laws that “made to protect people from being trafficked against their will”?!
One thing is for sure: things will have to get a lot worse for people to understand the unintended consequences that these laws and rules have.
We totally and unequivocally support shutting down anything that is harmful to minors, or non-consenting adults. Though the heavy handedness by Silicon Valley has hindered sex workers communication with prospects, clients, and other sex workers necessary for their livelihood. Sex workers rely on these lines of communication to vet prospects, and speak to friends in the industry before setting up a meeting with someone they don’t know.
This past October, Facebook added a section on “Sexual Solicitation” to their Community Standards.
“We draw the line, however, when content facilitates, encourages or coordinates sexual encounters between adults. We also restrict sexually explicit language that may lead to solicitation…”
Read that gain. “Between adults”. Facebook no longer allows adults looking for hook up to speak about it on their platform.
Last week Tumblr announced they would no longer host “sexual content”. Not even a nipple can be seen on Tumblr.
“Today, we’re taking another step by no longer allowing adult content, including explicit sexual content and nudity (with some exceptions).”
We’ve seen this in the legal Nevada brothel industry, right on our website. Our embedded YouTube videos from the Lyon County Freedom debates where we summarized the event and gave people the option to see the video, showed once working videos as broken. Their YouTube channel was shut down. We now have to link to their LiveStream account (Vimeo).
Our own homepage has a tour of the World Famous Historic Chicken Ranch. We checked 3 weeks ago, and the embed was also broken because their video channel was shut down. We now embed their videos from their Bitchute channel, which is a free speech video alternative.
There was no nudity on any of these videos, and the conversations were respectful and informative. But because the conversations were about “sex”, they were shut down.
The people against bullying, are now the biggest bullies all in the name of their virtue signalling. They’re no different than the “might equals right” bullies some of us grew up with in high school. Except their social media platform they work for is everyone’s playground. Free speech no longer exists there because they say so.
It started with removing anyone associated with “hate speech” (defined by them) which allowed them to de-platform anyone who dared disagreed with their ideology. Now it’s sexual content, which once again, who defines it? What’s next? Will a pretty woman in a bikini be considered “sexually suggestive”? How about a woman dancing in a low cut dress? There goes Instagram. Don’t think so? Check Facebook’s rule again:
“…when content facilitates, encourages or coordinates sexual encounters between adults.”
The overreach will put sex workers at risk by pushing them further underground and into harms way.
It all seems to have started with the SESTO/FOSTA bill (The Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act of 2017 (SESTA) and its House equivalent, the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA or H.R.1865)) which was intended to protect sex workers from being trafficked, however it’s only pushed sex workers who choose to do whatever they want with their bodies and minds into riskier situations.
This legislation holds websites responsible for the content of its users. So in an effort to stop sex trafficking, classified websites like Craigslist and Backpage could be held liable for that type of content posted by its millions of users. That’s like suing Ford because someone was driving their car under the influence.
This legislation, endorsed by both parties, has had a detrimental effect on the escort industry. The EFF’s statement on it.
“It’s shameful that a small group of lobbyists with an agenda of censorship have presented themselves to lawmakers as the unanimous experts in sex trafficking. It’s embarrassing that it’s worked so well.”
Celebrities loved the legislation because it gave them a way to show the world that even from their penthouses in Beverly Hills, they really cared.
However, sex workers and those not in the “caring” circles of Hollywood knew how it would hurt them.
I was a #sexworker organizer for years in NYC. #FOSTA would undermine almost every single thing I would tell people for how to stay alive. ALL screening, ALL peer references, ALL bad date lists I could send. #SurvivorsAgainstFOSTA
— Kate (@KateDAdamo) February 26, 2018
If you’re a sex worker and would like to add to this, we’d love to hear from you. Drop us a line.