Events

Where Did All the Porn Go?: The Sexual Sanitation of the Web with FOSTA/SESTA

Event Date:
March 18, 2019
12:00 pm Carnegie Mellon University Gates-Hillman Center, Room 8102 5000 Forbes Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15213

In 2018, the US passed legislation called FOSTA/SESTA. Advertised as a bill to stop sex trafficking, this bill had the side effects of further criminalizing prostitution, holding technology platforms liable for any sexual content that could be construed as prostitution, and has caused major websites to restrict sexual content. While the bill may have been well-intentioned; it has caused significant collateral damage; shutting down safety networks for sex workers; and pushing LGBTQ and other marginalized sexual communities off of the web. FOSTA/SESTA is a case study in how legislators, designers, and technologists must include all relevant stakeholders to prevent unintended effects.