Out Of The Frying Pan And Into The Fire

The United States saw the passage of  Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA and Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA), a bill that held websites criminally responsible for facilitating all forms of illegal sex trafficking, and which shuttered a host of platforms used by pimps and prostitutes alike to advertise their sexual services. Since that time, the law has had a huge impact on sex traffickers profit margins, not to mention the “social acceptance” of their shady business.

While the government spent money supporting anti-trafficking organizations, historic supporters of the illicit sex trade like Tony Ortega and his Backpage bosses don’t see much hope that the government will be any friendlier to their illegal sex-for-cash schemes.

And clearly Ortega’s Backpage former bosses – currently under house arrest awaiting their respective trials – have good reason to be concerned. 

Ever since Tony Ortega seemed to have lost his ability to pontificate on the subject of “the rights of sex traffickers to victimize the vulnerable for profits”, other shameless mouthpieces have taken his place. Indeed, as one highly placed sex trafficking advocate bemoaned about life under the incoming administration, “I see things getting worse for sex workers, actually.

This assessment comes in part due in part to the sponsorship of the 1994 crime bill, which took a strong stance against the exact sort of sexual exploitation Tony Ortega once championed from the safe remove of his office at The Village Voice.

Readers of this blog will recall that a Senator pursued the shutdown of Backpage and doggedly pushed for the prosecution of the site’s owners.

The Senator also helped develop the SESTA/FOSTA laws, specifically as a means of targeting Backpage. None of which is good news for the pro Backpage, pro-sex-trafficking crowd. 

If Tony Ortega and those like him were unhappy with the tremendous progress made so far in combatting those who would push their agenda of selling underage children for profit, they are really going to hate what’s coming next.

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