FOSTA Is Useless
A private screening of “I Am Jane Doe” initiated the awareness of The Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA), and it would later pass the Senate with 97 votes to two.
Instantly, a ripple effect was felt worldwide.
Sex workers scattered around clinging on to any leftover platforms as pimps easily recruited fresh faces from the sudden influx of streetwalkers; however, the actual trafficked victims became nearly invisible.
internet & Technology vs. censorship
FOSTA was implemented to eradicate online human trafficking; however, during its first few months of enactment, it’s mainly eradicated adult sex ads & trafficked victims themselves.
With technology, there are already numerous ways to fight trafficking, and they have been proven to work more efficiently than FOSTA’s senseless censorship.
So, if we already have the tools, then why create FOSTA?
Traffic Jam is a facial recognition software that helped save an underage victim by analyzing photos from their ads & social media. She was soon rescued from a malicious pimp who demanded a $1,500 daily quota from his victims:
Ultimately, Detective Patterson found that Julian had exploited 21 victims throughout numerous years. Victim interviews and other evidence helped too, but Traffic Jam was the key to rescuing Julian’s victims and ending his vicious cycle.
Traffic Jam Success Story
Science & technology have developed programs to decipher specific typing patterns and other signs of low-key sex trafficking online.
Spotlight is a web-based program used by law enforcement to analyze escort ads on the internet suspicious of advertising trafficked individuals. It uses both computer vision & text analytics to determine escort ads depicting victims.
ARTIFICIAL INSIGHTFUL Intelligence
Machines & software such as Spotlight have the power to recognize details not visible to the human eye. Digital Reasoning, company dedicated to creating machines that help initiate solutions for humans to learn, proved that AIs could filter important details of human communication without the help of lexicons. Soon after this discovery, AIs were further developed to decipher the importance of lengthy communication data.
This advancement of AIs would enable them to notice patterns deemed invisible to the human perspective.
Rebecca Portnoff, graduate student discovered two different types of algorithms upon researching numerous sex ads. She states the difference between consensual sex ads and algorithm.
ALGORITHM OF STYLE
Stylometry was the first algorithm. It is the study of people’s writing styles, and relates to advertisements written by a single individual.
Portnoff noted that just by analyzing the style of text, her and her team still could identify the difference. Every person has their own unique forte of writing, so if certain ads are written in the same style, it’s a high chance that these ads are connected.
Backpage bitcoin algorithm
Backpage ads & bitcoin transactions were the second algorithm linked by Portnoff’s research team. Multiple ads that were purchased by the same account could be identified via the second algorithm.
Let’s not forget that the so-called Village Voice Pimps also helped alleviate trafficking. Backpage in general, was a beneficial tool that helped law enforcement track & catch pimps and other suspected individuals of trafficking.
The Domino Effect
On April 6, 2018, the U.S. government had seized Backpage.
Hysteria ensued as The Erotic Review, a forum where clients can review escorts on a scale from 1 to 10; (TER was notorious for purposely lowering a provider’s rating if they didn’t provide certain acts that basically depicted a makeshift hardcore porn scene), banned visitors from the USA on same day.
Another review forum, ECCIE, would later go dark that weekend as well.
A domino effect would ensue as NightShift, My Provider Guide, CityVibe, BestGFE, Escort Design, etc. would close due to the fear of this new insidious bill.
Shutting Down the ‘adult’
FOSTA is not fighting online sex trafficking. Technology such as Traffic Jam, Spotlight, algorithms, etc. already fight sex trafficking!
Fight Online Sexy Trysting Adults (FOSTA’s new acronym by me)
FOSTA is essentially fighting sex workers across the spectrum. Why? There’s no literal definition of ‘sex trafficking’ in a country where sex work is illegal. Unfortunately, the two can be hard to differentiate despite one being consensual and the other— coerced.
BEATING ON A DEAD HORSE
Ultimately, it’s pretty damn difficult to ‘fight’ sex trafficking when consensual sex work is forbidden. Law enforcement will now be focused on workers as well instead of putting their
full focus on trafficked victims that urgently need help.
So, instead of adding a new variable (decriminalization) to actually produce different results, the government continues their non-stop hardcore full blown moves of 360 degrees!
Seriously though. No horse too dead to beat…