The Appeal: Anti-Backpage Law Not Yet Enacted, But the Crackdown on Sex Workers Has Already Begun

Before the Senate had finished its vote on FOSTA on March 21, its co-sponsors gathered for a press conference, livestreamed by the Senate GOP. “We had a big victory,” began Senator Rob Portman (R-OH). “We now have the ability to go after these websites that are exploiting women and children online.” A few minutes later, an adult model named Brie Taylor said she was trying to access Cityvibe.com, a website that hosted sex work-related ads. “I was flagging an ad with my pics in it,” she tweeted, “…and then the site was gone.” That advertising site is still offline — along with Craigslist’s entire Personals section, and the ad sections of several lesser-known websites. But the big news came Friday afternoon, when Backpage had its homepage replaced with a notice stating, “Backpage.com and affiliated websites have been seized as part of enforcement action by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division.”

“Anti-Backpage Law Not Yet Enacted, But the Crackdown on Sex Workers Has Already Begun” by Melissa Gira Grant for The Appeal

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