FOSTA History & Timeline

 Courtesy of   WTFOSTA.

Courtesy of WTFOSTA.

February 27, 2018

(FOSTA) Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act passes in the Senate.

Make no mistake, if these bills pass, sex workers will die.
— Lorelei Lee, adult performer

March 21, 2018

congress+sex+workers+dead.jpeg

CityVibe shuts down, unknowingly.

This is only the beginning.

March 22, 2018

VerifyHim closes its discussion forums, and would soon eradicate reports that detail the reasons regarding an offender’s blacklist.

...a dark day for the Internet.
— Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) after the passage of FOSTA/SESTA

March 23, 2018

  • Craigslist closes its personals section due to the new legislation stating, “Any tool can be misused.” 
  • The Erotic Review simply wipes away USA escort advertisements, but reviews on USA escorts continue going strong.
  • BestGFE begins shutting most of its forum down.

March 25, 2018

Authors on Amazon accuse the marketplace of deranking their adult erotica due to FOSTA-SESTA.

March 28, 2018

Switter's first day.

Switter launches, and it would become the first social media platform where adult entertainers can no longer worry about censorship or account suspension simply because of their profession. Read More...

April 2018

Paypal reportedly disabled advertised accounts for commercial sex-related payment, Rubmaps, Erotic Monkey, and USA Sex Guide had extended maintenance periods over the weekend, suggesting upcoming changes due to the new law
— Lifesite News, Websites Shutting Down Across the Internet After Congress Passes New Law

April 6, 2018

Backpage seizure.

  • Backpage is seized by the US Government. Michael Lacey, co-founder of BP, has his home raided by authorities.
  • The Erotic Review bans access from US visitors due to the new legislation.
  • Absolute chaos erupts literally hours within Backpage’s shutdown. Some sex workers would later be reported as missing and even killed.
  • Switter quickly responds by creating a new Listings feature for escorts to advertise for free due to the end of Backpage.

Images courtesy of Tara Burns

April 7, 2018

  • ECCIE shuts down. The owner would later exclaim via Twitter that the forum is closed, and they are simply too old for this shit.
  • My Provider Guide and numerous other escort advertising venues go dark.

ECCIE's Tweet about ending the site. April 17, 2018

April 9, 2018

  • A federal judge in Arizona unseals a 93-count indictment against Backpage and its CEO and co-founders. Charges included money laundering and facilitation of prostitution via their website.
  • Crockor launches in Australia in response to Cracker (Backpage sister site)’s seizure, and the down under quickly gives it notoriety!

April 11, 2018

Trump signs F&S into law.

  • President Trump signs the controversial FOSTA-SESTA bill into law.The American digital escorting world would later encounter the biggest takedown targeting online sex workers ever. 
  • Seeking Arrangements CEO, Brandon Wade, delivers a message to site users regarding the new legislation and how it’ll affect the sugar dating website.

April 12, 2018

California based escort review site, NightShift, shuts down.

Images courtesy of Tara Burns

April 13, 2018

Brandy Odom - the first FOSTA related homicide against sex workers. Image courtesy of NY Daily News.

  • Backpage CEO, Carl Ferrer, pleads guilty in state courts in California and Texas and federal court in Arizona to charges of money laundering and conspiracy to facilitate prostitution. Ferrer also agrees to take down every Backpage website he could within five days, and to forfeit all domains related to Backpage within 14 days. The federal indictment seeks to seize 10 residences in California, Arizona, Texas and Illinois and 25 bank accounts, as well as 35 website domains. Read More...
  • Brandy Odom labeled the first FOSTA murder related victim.
    Read More...

April 15, 2018

Escort Design shuts down at random. Leaving numerous escorts without websites.

April 17, 2018

California’s SB 1204 is withdrawn from the state senate committee. If passed, it would’ve basically eliminated harm reduction and health services for sex workers in the state.

April 18, 2018

  • Rumors across social media of Seeking Arrangements being hit by a sting. A young woman was allegedly detained at a Hilton hotel where she planned to meet her sugar daddy to engage in erotic discrete activities.
  • Swiss based encrypted mail host, ProtonMail, voices their support to stop FOSTA/SESTA for sex workers, and how to keep communication private during the new law. Read More...

ProtonMail raising awareness about the dangers of SESTA/FOSTA.

Donald Trump signed SESTA-FOSTA into law, a policy ostensibly meant to prevent sexual trafficking. In reality, the law undermines free expression online and may even jeopardize the safety of sex workers.
— ProtonMail voicing their support for sex workers against FOSTA/SESTA
Safe havens continue to dwindle post-FOSTA as Cloudflare boots the Mastodon instance.
— Megan Farokhmanesh, The Verge

April 19, 2018

  • Cloudflare drops Switter. Read More...
  • Preferred 411 announces to stop accepting new applicants -- both escorts & clients. Read More...

Mid-April 2018

  • Reports of WordPress shutting down escort websites.
  • The Erotic Review begins to conceal information relating to USA based escorts, including their reviews, from public view on their website.
  • Numerous offshore escort directories such as City of Love, Open Adult Directory, etc. would remove their sections representing United States based escorts.
  • Some European directories such as Escort Ads would keep their advertising space open for United States escorts.
On Backpage, you could turn $10 into $1000.
— Jessi, Australian sex worker impacted by new American law.

April 23, 2018

Backpage seizure is felt at global effects when Australian escorts were reported from experiencing devastation from the Backpage demise.
Read More...

April 26, 2018

More about the secret language behind those emojis: Backpage Decoded

VICE reports about the secret emoji language that human traffickers conversed with via Backpage.

April 27, 2018

A petition is created to repeal FOSTA/SESTA, and it has to generate 100,000+ signatures

Late April 2018

  • Rumors of Eros being compromised after a British escort is denied entry into the US.
  • Switter grows to become the sixth largest instance, according to Mastodon Network Monitoring.

May 2018

 

ya good luck with that

May 4, 2018

Police continue to find other ways to fight human trafficking without Backpage. Read More...

May 7, 2018

Scam/shady websites would begin to appear. Primarily eccie.ch, some random hobbyist who planned to bank from ECCIE’s originality. Their forum later proved to be virus stricken.

Mid-May 2018

  • ECCIE announces a relaunch for early June.
  • PrivateDelights launches. The creators claim, “It would pick up where NightShift left off.”
  • Reports of Wix shutting down escort’s websites at random.

May 25, 2018

Europe implements The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as a regulation in EU law on data protection and the privacy for all in the European Union. The GDPR would affect escorts and their screening measures since websites are required to detail how they use data and such; however, it would also become more difficult to obtain data because of privacy.

The Repeal FOSTA/SESTA Petition is closed and cannot accept new signatures.

May 27, 2018

The petition to repeal FOSTA/SESTA is closed, and it does not garner the required 100,000+ signatures.

May 29, 2018

Instagram is accused of censoring hashtags relating to sex work.
Read More... 

Backpage Closure Hasn’t Made It Any Harder For Sex Traffickers
— Larry Celona and Gabrielle Fonrouge, New York Post

May 28, 2018

NY Post reports the Backpage closure is not making sex trafficking more difficult for traffickers. Read More...

June 2018

 

AdultSearch unveils new invasive verification requirements.

Early June 2012

Switter continues to gain popularity.

June 2, 2018

AdultSearch, an escort platform, announces their new & invasive verification method of pictures of credit cards and videos from advertisers exclaiming they’re not being trafficked.

 

June 11, 2018

Crockor launches a USA version of their classifieds dedicated to American sex workers

After the Closure of Backpage, Increasingly Vulnerable Sex Workers Are Demanding Their Rights
— Emily Witt, The New Yorker

Mid-June 2018

ECCIE relaunches.

June 14, 2018

California's AB 2243 is amended and it protects a sex worker from prosecution for reporting a violent crime. The Evidence Code was inspired by San Francisco's Prioritizing Safety for Sex Worker policies.

We’ve hit 100k!
— Assembly Four announcing another Switter milestone.

June 21, 2018

Switter hits 100k+ users. Making it the 4th largest instance on Mastodon in terms of population.

June 28, 2018

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) files a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of FOSTA/SESTA. The EFF would team up with Woodhull Foundation with the lawsuit.

July 2018

July 8, 2018

GoDaddy's recommendation to NOT go through AdultSearch's verification.

GoDaddy informs the public via Twitter that they do NOT recommend succumbing to AdultSearch’s invasive verification process.

July 9, 2018

More police report about human trafficking cases are impossible to solve without Backpage. Read More...

July 17, 2018

EFF asks court to block FOSTA as the lawsuit continues. Read More...

FOSTA attacks online speakers who speak favorably about sex work by imposing harsh penalties for any website that might be seen as “facilitating” prostitution or “contribute to sex trafficking.
— EFF's defense against FOSTA.

"They just wanted to make money off the backs of escorts." Sarah Stevens, former PinkDate President.

July 17, 2018

Former President Sarah Stevens, of PinkDate, an app that plans to become ‘the Uber of Escorts’, steps down because of worries of the new team and their attitude towards escorts. PinkDate would also deal with criticism regarding their new highly anonymous system, and its difficulty to manage a fully anonymous network.
Read More...

 

 

A quid-pro-quo deal with the site Erotic Review, on which customers posted consumer reviews of prostitutes and prostitution services.
— Michael French, Adult Video News (AVN)

July 26, 2018

The Erotic Review labeled as a co-conspirator in Backpage’s newest indictment. Read More...

July 27, 2018

  • About forty sex workers go to Washington to meet with Congress to push back against the FOSTA. Read More...
  • “FOSTA Has Stopped 90% of Online Sex Ads” New Republican video spreads false info regarding the ‘success’ of FOSTA. Read More...

August 2018

Check back soon as we continue to witness and experience this new wave of digital sex work during FOSTA/SESTA.