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... I posted a fake ad as a woman to see what kinds of responses I would get, and I interviewed two women who have had success hooking escourt service escortcall on casual encounters in the past. The investigation led Backpage to shut down its adult ads section. Samuel Axon is a digital content producer in New York City. The site was seized by federal law enforcement agencies Friday, and on Monday the Justice Department announced that seven people have been indicted on 93 counts related to facilitating prostitution and money laundering. One of the women I interviewed said she once had a crush on a client at her job, but couldn't make a move without compromising her professionalism.

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Now awaiting the president's signature, the bill paves the way for sex trafficking survivors to hold websites accountable for "knowingly" facilitating their abuse. The legislation chips away at part of a act that gave a broad layer of immunity to online companies, such as Facebook or Twitter, from being held liable for what their users post.

The company did not immediately respond to a request for further comment. Though the bill aims to crack down on sex trafficking and protect survivors, critics say it threatens the lives and livelihoods of sex workers who choose to work in the profession by encouraging websites like Craigslist to censor their content -- pushing some sex workers back out to the street and removing their tools for finding and screening clients.

Some sex workers are already losing their housing as a direct result of forums like Craigslist personals going dark, according to Christa B. Daring, board president of the Sex Workers Outreach Project. Many pay rent week-to-week and struggle to feed themselves and their children, they said. Craigslist was the first site Stark used to transition away from the street, where she relied on her military training to make "snap judgments" to stay out of harm's way, dodge potentially dangerous clients and avoid getting arrested -- again.

Even with the advantage of her military training, however, "most often, physical appearance and demeanor really don't tell you a whole lot," she said. Many sex workers run background checks on clients, communicate through online forums and check "bad date lists," which sex workers create to warn others about hostile clients. Stark also has a mandatory hour waiting period before she agrees to meet clients, giving her time to check for criminal records and other warning signs. She learned ways to stay safe and grow her business from other sex workers online, some of whom keep blogs.

We can mentor each other. We can support each other. We can screen our clients," said Akynos. Bolstering these concerns about sex worker safety is a recent research paper -- still under peer review -- that suggests Craigslist's "erotic" services section may be linked to a drop in the female homicide rate. Prostitutes speak out against Senate health bill. I don't think Waco had one. But Craigslist didn't launch this section in every city at the same time.

Cunningham's team found that cities where Craigslist launched the section for erotic services reduced their female homicide rate by up to However, it is not possible to say what portion of those homicide victims were sex workers, Cunningham said, nor is it possible to prove that Craigslist was directly responsible for the dip.

This reduction wasn't seen for other types of homicides Cunningham analyzed. The research gives quantitative insight into what is likely to happen in the wake of the new bill, he said. Some of them go back to working for a pimp. Some of them, maybe they advertise on the dark web. Limited information exists on the number of sex workers in the United States, including illegal acts of prostitution.

Many definitions of sex work include a broader variety of services beyond prostitution, such as "erotic performances. Akynos expects that black sex workers will be some of the hardest hit by the anti-trafficking legislation.

She recently founded a group called the Black Sex Worker Collective to "help facilitate sex workers who may be looking to exit the business, as well as support those that are in the business. We're already criminalized in so many more ways than white people are, period," said Akynos, who specified that she was not talking about sex work alone. What is going to happen to us as a whole?

The bill's supporters, including 97 senators who voted for the legislation, say it will give law enforcement tools in the fight against sex trafficking and enable survivors and their families to seek justice in the court system. The bill followed a two-year Senate investigation into online sex trafficking on the classified ads site Backpage. The investigation, led by bill co-sponsors Sens.

Rob Portman and Claire McCaskill, found that Backpage knowingly aided criminal sex trafficking of women and young girls, scrubbing terms from ads such as "Lolita," "teenage," "rape" and "amber alert" and publishing them on its site. Anti-trafficking organizations around the world. The investigation led Backpage to shut down its adult ads section. The site was seized by federal law enforcement agencies Friday, and on Monday the Justice Department announced that seven people have been indicted on 93 counts related to facilitating prostitution and money laundering.

Ron Wyden, one of only two senators to vote against the new bill, said in February that it would paradoxically "make it harder to catch bad actors and protect victims by driving this vile crime to shadowy corners of society that are harder for law enforcement to reach. Roughly 6, sex trafficking cases were reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline last year. When asked about the concerns over sex worker safety, Benavides said, "Tell that to the mothers and fathers of daughters who've been murdered after being trafficked on Backpage.

Despite wide congressional support, a number of tech groups have voiced concerns about the legislation, alleging that its broad reach could lead to unintended negative consequences for free speech on the internet and for smaller companies whose resources don't rival those of tech giants such as Facebook and Twitter.

Getting such ads removed from other sites is the next goal, said Malika Saada Saar, executive director of the Rebecca Project for Human Rights, a group that has been involved in pressuring Craigslist to block adult services ads. In May , postings at Backpage. When Craigslist removed its adult-services section, postings at Backpage spiked again.

Senate candidate, said Tuesday that several state attorneys general sent a joint letter to Backpage and asked that it drop its adult services section. Backpage officials quickly responded and said it would not close the adult-services section. In a blog posting, Backpage officials wrote that it would not drop the category because it had increased efforts, including working with law enforcement officials, to block ads promoting prostitution and child-trafficking.

It is our sincere hope that law enforcement and advocacy groups will find helpful partners there. John Duffield, who worked five years ago as a detective in the vice unit for the Ontario Police Department, said Craigslist was the most popular Internet site because, at the time, it was free.

We would know which ones were new, which were local. Pimps will face higher charges on other websites.

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