Elizabeth Swan

SESTA/FOSTA and The Digital Economy Act 2017

By Elizabeth Swan on

Having awoken bleary eyed after a late session last night I checked Twitter this morning. The amount of panic on my timeline is frightening. There is the urge to run around like a headless chicken. Just why are sex workers being treated so shamefully by our respective governments? But first things first. Looking at a feed that contains panic does not help to educate us to what may happen next and how we can protect ourselves. Personally I just want to get on with my day...I have a session later and then I am off for a shift at the theatre. But this is important. So here is what has passed so far and what it means for us.

In the US SESTA/FOSTA passed. Here is a link to what that is...


and how it affects us...


So no more advertising on Craigs List or Back Page in the US and also we need to be careful what we post on Twitter as they are an American social media platform. Other restrictions are likely to follow including impacts on cloud hosting.

AdultWork are going to make a fortune out of this. Personally I don’t like AW but it does allow us to screen our clients by way of feedback from other providers. So I will be going back onto it because if my website gets taken down it will allow my clients to find me.

But this doesn’t just affect our livelihoods.

As well as advertising this also affects any internet platform that shares information about bad clients. So Ugly Mugs (which lets us know about dangerous clients) would be illegal if it was in America. Let’s just take a moment to think about that. Lives will be lost because of this law. Shame on the celebrities who have endorsed this.

In Britain we also have something nasty heading our way. The Digital Economy Act 2017 will be implemented this year. This means that to gain access to any adult website you will need to use a credit card to gain access. This will lead to our websites being taken down unless we become membership sites or have some other means of age verification. This law is beyond daft and it will make a lot of hackers incredibly wealthy. If they can hack Ashley Madison, TalkTalk and the NHS I am sure they won’t have any trouble hacking the likes of me. Personally I think the government have made this mess and they should sort it out. Stopping it preferably; but if it does go ahead there must be other ways of proving age rather than using a credit card. A government gateway pin for example.

It is a scary time at the moment for sex workers but by supporting each other in whatever way we can we can make a difference. Go on protests, advertise other women if their content or accounts get blocked and write to your MP.

Now must dash. I need to get ready for a slave.

Elizabeth Swan

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