FOR MORE INFO ON THE IMPACT OF FOSTA PLEASE GO TO THE NEW SITE FOSTAUPDATES.COM
Hey everyone I thought I’d try to clarify what’s going on in the industry these days since things seem to be spinning almost out of control.
On March 21, 2018 Congress passed the FOSTA/SESTA bill. First of all what do the acronyms mean? FOSTA is Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act and SESTA is the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act. On the surface this bill would be fantastic. No one in their right mind, whether you’re in the industry or partake in what we provide, thinks that sex trafficking is okay. If you do, you need to call me.
Now for some of you who don’t understand and may be thinking, ‘But Doc, doesn’t that go on in the BDSM world?’ I remind you that what we do is CONSENTUAL. Sex trafficking is NOT. I urge you to further educate yourselves on what sex trafficking is if this is your opinion.
But I digress, so you would think that a bill like this would be a god-send. Not so. I’m not going to get in to picking the bill and acts apart. That’s for a political analyst to do and to be totally honest you’d be asleep by the next paragraph. Instead I’m going give you the gist of it. What you need to know about what’s going on right now so you can help stop this by adding your voice, educating others and getting them to help and even more importantly how to adjust your business to deal with the fall out of this bill being passed.
First of all know this, I wasn’t paying attention to this either. I had heard the rumblings but I was, like you, of the opinion that it didn’t effect me, yet it does. Another thing, this bill HAS NOT been signed in to law by Cheeto yet so the fight is not over. Before you even continue reading this I ask that you go to this link and sign this petition to send a message to lawmakers, who PARTAKE IN OUR SERVICES (and we know you do), that this shit doesn’t fly.
Ok so why does the bill suck? In essense what this bill does, is make the website/platform owners legally responsible for anything being discussed on the platform such as, obviously, prostitution and trading sex.
So what do you care about that? I mean seriously for most of us in the niche of BDSM we don’t have sex with our customers so who cares?
Here’s why this is so important. This is a very quiet and sneaky attack by the Right/Conservatives on the first ammendment, your right to free speech. By telling website owners that they are responsible for what is said and what business they can conduct it undermines your right to say what you want when you want.
Now I know right now that most of you, especially if you’re young, will be glazing over and drooling like Homer Simpson right now, with the phrase, “I don’t give a fuck…” repeating over and over in your head. I get it but let me tell you why this is a very dangerous issue that we MUST ALL BE FIGHTING; sex workers, sex advocates and participants alike….that’s right if you have sex you should sign that petition because what I’m about to show you is only the start.
Many adult platforms where some of you work and socialize are shutting down fast and furious right now. Why? Because they don’t want the responsibility. So some of them are completely bailing leaving you and your content in the dust.
I am in the process of trying to get the main platforms such as Niteflirt, Clips4Sale, iWantClips etc to give me definitive answers as to what their reaction to this bill will be.
Amazon has made the decision to supress Erotica in their search results. Why? Because they really want to be known for selling tangible items and Whole Foods and they don’t want Mickey’s Magical Night of Debauchery to clog up their results. For those of you thinking, ‘I don’t give a rats I don’t read that garbage,’ I get it but you’re looking at it too small. If they are willing to remove this from you, what’s next or what else are you not seeing?
ISP’s (Internet Service Providers)
You may find your website not there anymore one day. I’ve already heard of some ISP’s dumping websites that have anything even remotely to do with the sex industry in any form. This again is screwing with your right to say what you want folks. Why? ISP’s don’t want the responsibility just like everyone else. It’s easier to clean house than fight this.
Another MAJOR issue with ISP’s is the recent repeal of Net Neutrality. Now they can control what you see. Your ISP can now decide they don’t want you to see Niteflirt or Clips4Sale. And THIS I’ve actually had happen. I had to get an internet guru friend of mine to see if Niteflirt had gone off the air. Nope. I called my ISP and reamed them a new asshole telling them this is my JOB!! They unblocked it but this is going to happen more and more now.
Walmart decided to cave to pressure from anti-porn groups and will be removing Cosmopolitan magazine from the check out shelves. Not the mag rack but the check out. Now I had some ladies say to me, “who gives a shit, like who reads magazines anyway?” Again, you’re looking at the small picture. Pull back. You are being told what you can and cannot look at and buy.
Craigslist has decided to pull their personals section. Now this isn’t the first time they’ve done this but it might be the last. Even I’m not heartbroken about this. A lot of very negative shit goes on on Craigslist and Backpage and other classified sites that include rape and murder at the very least. Don’t believe me, do a simple Google search on Craigslist killer. Sex trafficking is rampant on these platforms and I don’t have a problem with them shutting this down with one very important exception. You are still being told what you can and cannot look at and read.
Reddit has been deleting sex sub-reddits. Again if you don’t use it, you don’t care BUT it’s still an attack on what you can and cannot talk about and read.
Again this one is no real new news. Microsoft is cracking down on it’s already in place TOS. I have had folks saying, ‘but Doc this is nothing new, it says this in their TOS now,” ah true but, they have taken it one step further by monitoring. Skype, Xbox and Office will be monitored for offensive language. That means no more Skype sexting with your hubby overseas. And if you are flagged all of your accounts across all of Microsoft’s platforms are shut down. That means if you use Microsoft’s Office cloud services they are checking what you’re writing. If you’re writing erotica in the cloud you are being watched and your work could disappear.
Google has begun wiping Google Drive of any adult content. If you share photos that way, have scripts, clips or whatever on the drive you will go in there one day and it won’t be there. I’ve already heard horror stories of content gone forever.
You should already know that Facebook hates the adult industry but they are now going supress your pages further. Instagram, owned by Facebook also hates adult links and content. Both Twitter and Facebook are on financial life support. Twitter is now shadow banning adult accounts. Shadow banning is when you see your account but no one or limited numbers of your followers see you at all. You also don’t show up in search results.
We are being pushed out of most social media platforms. Luckily Mastodon is a new-ish social media networking site that I personally think will be the next big thing. I heard this when they came out in 2016 but never gave it much thought. Fast forward to 72 hours ago when some fine folks decided to create Switter. If that social networking site can get 6k followers in 48 hours why can’t we get a lousy 100k signatures on this petition?
[Mastodon is like a big party with a bunch of little groups (known as instances) within the party. Switter is one of those little groups that was created 72 hours ago in response to there being no safe place for sex workers to not only market themselves but to also have a space that isn’t censored. In 48 hours they reached over 6k followers. This is the next big thing. Yes I’m on there too (@DrSue@Switter.at). If you join note that there are some rules at the moment that require you to use the hashtag nsfw to block your explicit content, no this isn’t censorship, the way Mastodon is set up children in other instances can see your content. If we don’t follow these rules until a digital work around is in place, we will be banned again. Please use the tag!]
All of these companies going rogue should be alarming to you. It should be ringing hell-a-bells because it is setting a precident. Others WILL follow.
If you do most of your work via cloud computing. BACK UP YOUR ART NOW ON TO AN EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE. I HATE cloud computing. When cloud computing came out I was like, hell naw! I want my software in my hand and on my harddrive. I want my creations on a thumb drive that I physically have in my possession. I don’t even use Apple iCloud…nuthin! It’s foolish. Ask any celebrity who’s been hacked and exposed. External hard drives are cheap, buy one.
So if you’ve read to this point and think, ah fuck it, that’s up to you. But I would say to you this, if the big corps are willing to bend to the right this hard what else is going to be taken away from you? Who’s next to fold to right wing pressure and money?
What this bill does is begin to chip away your right to free speech. This is Cheeto’s way of still pushing his ‘fake news’ agenda and attack on the press. If they get this chip they’ll make another one and another one until you wake up one morning and all your rights have been screwed with or taken away.
But I don’t live in the States so what do I care?
I’ve heard from some ladies who say that since they don’t live in the States they don’t care. Ok I get that sentiment, I live in Canada what do I care? Well I may not be able to sign that petition but I can scream to get every American I know to do it. Thinking this doesn’t effect you is insanely foolish here’s why:
Where do you think most of your traffic is coming from? Where are your platforms hosted? Many are in the US. But the single most important reason you ladies also need to be having a cow is, THIS IS GOING TO HAPPEN TO YOU IN YOUR COUNTRY! If you think for one minute that what goes on in the US in politics has no bearing on you, you’re so wrong and need to take a few night courses.
The right is in power in many countries. Trump has emboldened the far right and his tactics are being repeated everywhere. Many countries are now killing their reporters and news people. I have seen several countries leader’s now using the term, ‘fake news.’ This is very disturbing. The right to a FREE PRESS is what keeps these boys in check. By throwing out the words ‘fake news’ every two minutes it causes the populous to doubt ANY news source even those who are trying to get you the truth. This is what happens in dictatorships. It’s happened before, crack open a history book and it’s happening again. You need to be worried about everything that’s happening whether you’re in the adult industry or not or whether you live in the United States or not.
I’m asking you dear reader to sign the petition. If you can’t then get someone you know who can to do it. I’m telling you that WE AS AN INDUSTRY have POWER! We are a HUGE industry that makes a TON OF MONEY and if we yell, we’ll be heard. Stop telling yourself someone else will handle it. If we lie down now, even more will be taken from us. Will the petition stop Cheeto? Probably not, but if we don’t start yelling they’ll just keep trampling.
Do you think that these courageous and very pissed Parkland students thought, ‘oh well we’re just kids, no one will listen to us,’ NO! These amazing young people have the spirit we need to adopt. Will they change the gun laws out of the gate? Probably not. But it doesn’t mean you don’t keep trying because eventually people will see what you’re trying to say just like the March For Our Lives.
I know you think the two aren’t related, but aren’t they?
Think about it, sign the petition, spread the word and pay for your porn.
This was sent to me by Joanna Armstrong on Twitter and it’s defintely someting to think about:
List of Changes/Closings Due to FOSTA/SESTA