Stop Sex Trafficking Online – Support SESTA Act
Tell Congress to pass the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act to tackle the illegal sex trade and stop tech companies from profiting of it. Urge them to close the loophole that allows companies to advertise trafficked women and children LEGALLY.
How is this happening? Our coalition, World Without Exploitation, explains the problem:
The $99 billion global sex trade is being increasingly powered by the internet, where traffickers and pimps operate with anonymity and impunity. According to Thorn, an agency that studies technology’s role in sex trafficking, 63% of the child sex trafficking survivors the agency surveyed were at one point sold online. Websites like Backpage post more than 100,000 escort ads every day. They reap these profits because of, and not despite, federal law.
When victims of sexual exploitation, including minors and their parents, filed civil lawsuits against Backpage, company executives successfully argued that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act — a provision originally intended to protect free speech and legal commerce — provided them with broad immunity from prosecution for the ads running on their website. That same argument has been employed by Backpage to avoid state criminal accountability for human trafficking.
This is particularly troubling because Backpage has proven to be an active, and not just passive, participant in sexual exploitation. After a two-year inquiry, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations issued a January 2017 report that makes clear that Backpage knew that children were being trafficked through its website. (Read more.)
These facts speak for themselves.
Please call your Congressional leaders and explain why SESTA must be passed.
Here’s a sample script:
“Hi, my name is _____ and I’m from _____. I’m calling on Representative/Senator _____ to pass the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act to prevent the advertisement of trafficked survivors online. By allowing pimps to promote the illegal sex trade of women and children and enabling tech companies to collect profits from it, the US government is essentially turning its back on an extremely vulnerable population. Please support SESTA and protect trafficking survivors, not pimps and advertisers. Thank you.”