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Author Topic: Elliquiy and the Stop Enabling Sex Trafficking Act (SESTA)  (Read 632 times)

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Online stormwyrmTopic starter

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Elliquiy and the Stop Enabling Sex Trafficking Act (SESTA)
« on: November 13, 2017, 11:24:19 PM »
Well, I just came across this particularly egregious bit of legislation called the Stop Enabling Sex Trafficking Act (SESTA), and while its goals are stuff everyone behind here would definitely support, the devil is in the details, as usual, and those details just might result in the destruction of E and other sites like it.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2017/11/sesta-approved-senate-commerce-committee-still-awful-bill

Quote
SESTA was and continues to be a deeply flawed bill. It would weaken 47 U.S.C. § 230, (commonly known as “CDA 230” or simply “Section 230”), one of the most important laws protecting free expression online. Section 230 says that for purposes of enforcing certain laws affecting speech online, an intermediary cannot be held legally responsible for any content created by others.

SESTA would create an exception to Section 230 for laws related to sex trafficking, thus exposing online platforms to an immense risk of civil and criminal litigation. What that really means is that online platforms would be forced to take drastic measures to censor their users.

I don't think it is hard to see just what kind of effect this bill would have on a site like this. It seems that just like Wikipedia, Elliquiy can only exist because of 47 U.S.C. § 230. If the bill passes, it will alter Section 230 by introducing a vague standard for website operators that will expand liability for "knowing" support of criminal activity.

I think this is the sort of issue that would warrant Vekseid putting up a big banner up top calling attention to it. Any website with user-generated content is especially vulnerable to these changes in the law, and that we deal in sexually explicit content here on Elliquiy makes us especially vulnerable. The actual text of the bill is here:

https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/1693/text

And here's another link from the EFF that provides some important context about the bill:

https://www.eff.org/files/2017/08/02/sesta2017.pdf

 To those of you in the United States, I think this would be a good time to reach out to your representatives and tell them how this bill must be stopped. The Senate Commerce Committee has approved the bill, and with 30 senators committed to it, it's likely that once it gets on the floor it will pass. Here's some more coverage:

https://medium.com/@Wikimedia/three-principles-in-cda-230-that-make-wikipedia-possible-c0fb0006a932
https://www.theverge.com/2017/11/10/16633054/sesta-facebook-google-sex-trafficking-section-230
https://www.marketplace.org/2017/11/10/tech/big-tech-warms-up-senate-bill-would-roll-back-some-internet-protections
https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20171110/09353838586/wikipedia-warns-that-sesta-could-destroy-wikipedia.shtml

Quote
For many people supporting SESTA, the discussion seems to start and end with "sex trafficking is bad, this bill says it targets sex trafficking and therefore it's good" (and maybe with a touch of "if it hurts big internet companies, that's fine, they deserve it.") But, the impact of SESTA goes way beyond that (not to mention it doesn't actually do anything to stop sex trafficking and could make the problem worse). It's good to see Wikimedia speak up -- and hopefully someone in Congress will finally start to understand why SESTA is such a bad bill.

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Re: Elliquiy and the Stop Enabling Sex Trafficking Act (SESTA)
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2017, 12:52:16 AM »
It may be technical density, but I'm finding it difficult to understand how this impacts Elliquiy, specifically. Are we talking about images or the writings that we produce? IS there a provision specifically for produced content having something to do with trafficking? I'm asking because I'm genuinely curious.

Online Lustful Bride

Re: Elliquiy and the Stop Enabling Sex Trafficking Act (SESTA)
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2017, 06:33:25 AM »
I can sort of see how it might affect E, its not specifically designed to crash the site, but given a lot of what is done here it might raise some redflags in whatever system they use since there is no understanding of subtle differences. Its sort of like how SOPA was going to hurt people more than it would actually stop online piracy.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Elliquiy and the Stop Enabling Sex Trafficking Act (SESTA)
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2017, 12:16:21 PM »
It may be technical density, but I'm finding it difficult to understand how this impacts Elliquiy, specifically. Are we talking about images or the writings that we produce? IS there a provision specifically for produced content having something to do with trafficking? I'm asking because I'm genuinely curious.

Well, the obvious target of this bill is Craigslist and various escort service websites. I can see how various personals sites and matching services (e.g. Tinder) and poorly moderated supercommunities (e.g. Reddit) could be hit by this.

The Supreme Court is pretty ham-fisted about the necessity of safe harbor, to the point where even Clarence Thomas shot the original CDA down. So I'm not personally too worried about this meaningfully impacted a site as heavily moderated as any of my forums, much less E.