The non-profits dedicated to fighting this, while seemingly well-intentioned, were completely and totally unwilling to see any other perspective or try to find shared ground. It was scorched earth approach or nothing. Literally to the tune of "we should be burning down craigslist entirely, and yahoo, google, microsoft, etc should be required to be scanning your search history and reporting you to the police if they suspect you might be sex trafficking".
It was frustrating enough that two of the other participants literally walked out.
The only thing mildly surprising to me here is that it took them ~10 years to get the house to do it.
If you've ever felt frustrated at an IVR system for routine tasks such as banking, restaurant reservations, canceling a gym membership, checking a gift card balance, etc. then you may understand where the "scorched earth" people are coming from when it comes to advocating for dozens, if not hundreds, of innocent victims who have been raped, exploited, and brutalized.
That said, I really wish that I could come forward with a solution to the online sex trafficking problem.
Life is too short to make excuses for stupid behavior.
I think almost every vice would be less damaging to society if it was in the open. Polite society doesn't want to see sex work or drugs, but they still exist. Hiding them makes things much worse for the people directly involved. It's trafficked kids with broken immigration status who are more scared of the cops than their captors. It's drug addicts who OD on tainted drugs.
Bring it all into the open. Have the government certify providers directly. Crack down on unauthorized middlemen. Tax it. Use the taxes to pay for programs that help people leave when they realize they can have a better life without it.
We need the classic American Market here: free trade enabled by regulation that ensures market quality and protects participants from fraud.
Unfortunately I don't think this is politically possible. It would take a long, well funded campaign. The people who are willing to do that kind of work are motivated by stories of individual tragedy and focus on draconian solutions like this mess of a law. The people who would push for openness can make more money elsewhere, and don't want to make their name "Advocating for drugs & sex."
A depressing thought: What if we apply something akin to Occam's Razor? What if the lawmakers want to hurt the people struggling at at the lower rungs of society? To me it feels unlikely it is intentional in most cases, or conscious, but what if on some level, there is a motivation to hurt these people who they feel are inferior? You can easily apply Hanlon's razor here as a counter-argument, but that's not what I'm saying. I'm not attributing malice to any individual actor, but to something more subtle, e.g. unconscious bias.
Maybe subconsciously, there's a force that's trying to destroy people who are for whatever reason unable thrive in society? I guess maybe this force IS society?
Apologies if this is a bit vague and short. I just wanted to share this thought in case it resonated with anyone else. I'll be happy to expand upon this thought if there's interest.
There can be malice, but I think this is mostly akin to the idea of "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity" only substitute ignorance for stupidity.
When I was homeless, I certainly ran into malicious behavior rooted in classism, mostly on a particular forum (not HN). But mostly I ran into people who just couldn't really comprehend my situation, so they didn't really know how to be effectively helpful. This can easily turn into a case of "The road to hell is paved with good intentions."
The history of the "war on drugs" is fraught with racism, there's no need to assume malice - it's quite well documented.
Crusades against other vices like prostitution and alcohol have often had religious or other motivations of "purity" behind them, the same thing with nicotine. One could argue excessive alcohol consumption and smoking are of course genuine public health issues as well, but while the anti-smoking movement started with mostly good intentions you can see the "dirty smoker" sentiment that's developed when raising taxes on tobacco products has been a decent way to generate tax revenue in a way that mostly targets the poor without raising suspicion or ire from the public.
The road to hell is indeed paved with good intentions, but often those good intentions are extremely thin veils over supposed moral superiority.
Besides Hal Draper, what authors would you recommend to further explore this thought? I’m educated as a programmer and only beginning to deliberately explore ideas outside of science and engineering.
Replying at the end of the thread because I think that makes the most sense.
> "The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I'm saying? We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did."
– John Ehrlichman, to Dan Baum for Harper's Magazine in 1994, about President Richard Nixon's war on drugs, declared in 1971.
Meta source: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_on_drugs#20th_century
There's also a lot of superior moralizing etc.
I'm not a sociologist, so I won't try to explain it, but that should give you a start. I can't find the article that used my exact explanation, but the rich are consistently shown to be worse at empathizing with others
I think this insightful, and I suggest there is a motivation to hurt other people in general - but it's only feasible to do so when those others are relatively powerless. Hence the targeting of the defenseless.
This is not a popular opinion in the modern age, as it's become dogma that "all men are brothers". However from an evolutionary perspective, a tendency to get pleasure from causing pain (sadism) is a vital component in the kind of psychological makeup which thrives in a Darwinian world.
We shouldn't justify this tendency but recognize it and learn to work around it (perhaps by playing contact sports, for example).
The "kick the helpless" is because they helpless can't fight back.
Unfortunately technology isn’t infaliable either and the result of thinking it is, is the refusal to fix problems because they “can’t happen”.
Doubtful. It's not that they don't want to help them, but more that there's simply not much government can do.
Consider drug addicts. One of my good friends died of an overdose last year, and all of his friends including myself had tried for years to get him to quit. No luck. If someone's closest friends can't help them, what makes us think the government will be anymore effective?
In fact the government has tried through the "war on drugs". You can disagree with the means of the war, but the intent was to help society and the people most vulnerable in society by eliminating drugs through force.
Ha, ha, no it wasn't. It was started by Republicans to get people angry at the hippies and black people. Read this: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/nixon-aide-war-drug...
The salient quote is: "“We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”
A true "war on drugs" would seek to increase access to rehabilitation and counselors, while identifying and working to reduce the causes of addiction. Any time a lawmakers seeks to make something punishable by jail time, he is seeking to hurt someone he disagrees with. (There are obvious exceptions, like murder, theft, etc).
When lawmakers seek to punish someone, they aren't doing it because they relish the suffering of the other person, but because they hope that person's pain will dissuade others from committing those same crimes.
Unfortunately this belief is completely unfounded in reality. I really wish this were the case, but we have mountains of evidence on how to help people fight addiction, poverty, get out of the criminal cycle, etc. And that's all ignored in favor of punishment.
Obviously murder is among the greatest tragedies, but often it's a product of circumstance. Theft especially so
The government's much greater resources and number of full-time professionals at its disposal is one reason to think they might be able to do things an addict's friend could not.
I don’t get why prostitution is not legalized when more states have weed legalized.
I spent quite a bit of time in Australia, where it is legalized. There was a time when Brothels advertised in newspapers in lesser read sections.
I’m glad that America is not the rest of the world, because it sure has some weird culture. They would rather have easier access to guns than sex.
Not that I support prostitution. Every man and woman for themselves. I do support their right to live their lives as they wish if they aren’t interfering with others’ lives.
The submitted article is talking about a reaction to the behaviour of one publication who were openly allowing people to advertise kidnapped drugged children for sex; and then when they took a minimal step back from that the publisher was giving advice to advertisers about how to create an ad to sell drugged kidnapped children for sex without hitting the publications new filters.
Once these children were rescued they were telling the publisher that some of these ads contained images of them; that they had been kidnapped, drugged, and repeatedly raped; and that they'd like the images taken down and preferably for the ads to be taken down. That publisher refused.
One of the problems of decriminalisation of buying and selling sex work is that someone who wants to fuck a 14 year old child isn't going to use the service a 25 year old provides, so legalisation has limited usefulness to prevent the kidnap and drugging of children.
> but someone will still want to fuck 14 year olds
This is still wrong, we can still criminalize it. That’s fine. We can still give a lot of other sex workers way more safety and legitimacy than they have now. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
There could be secondary effects that help the 14 year olds. (1) Most Johns would prefer the legal adult market, so that’s where the money will be. (2) There would be a bigger stigma to the illegal stuff because there are good legal alternatives, creating s higher barrier to entry. (3) institutions would develop to support sec workers, and they’d have resources and visibility to help the minors, more than exists now.
The point is we can decriminalize/ legalize a LOT more than we do now, and have a net positive impact.
If X personal compensation exists for corrupt behavior, and < X is the reward for serving legal government institutions correctly, then how do you make government function?
If you prosecute people for corrupt behavior, then your prosecutors and justice system now have to make the same decision.
Ultimately, rule of law only exists because of tradition and a sufficiently widespread support of it.
I don't agree. Decriminalization is a better approach than legalization and regulation. If it is decriminalized, then victims don't have to live in fear of the police. Legalization and regulation often makes things worse, not better.
Whatever policy we choose, it should have a clear goal and be evaluated against how well t achieves that goal. “Fewer deaths by tainted drugs” and “fewer sex workers living with abuse” is a good place to start. I think decriminalization work further both of those goals.
Isn't this the same as with legalization?
Legalization and regulation often makes things worse, not better.
Do you have examples of this?
This article seems to be generally in line with my understanding:
Example of making it worse: From what I gather, prostitution in Las Vegas is mostly run by the mafia and legalization has not led to women being free to be their own boss, set their own hours, etc. Legalization of prostitution often means sex workers are subjected to a lot of rules and regulations such that it becomes akin to wage slavery rather than freedom to pursue work independently like a small business owner.
I will suggest Obamacare as another example of regulation making things worse. I'm quite poor and being hit with harsh financial penalties on my taxes this year for failing to have full coverage for all of last year. Prior to Obamacare, I could just forego having healthcare and the government did not get all up in my business about why I did that and whether or not I was allowed to do that, etc.
My support of decriminalization of prostitution comes from having read Working: My Life as a Prostitute
by Dolores French. Prior to becoming a prostitute, she was a political activist.
Legalization has always meant "making it legal", which in most societies means "removing laws that make it illegal" (though it might mean something different in North Korea, if you see what I mean).
Decriminalization is a wishy-washier idea, that includes lightening or removing criminal penalties, while potentially keeping other penalities. For example, changing indictable offenses to non-indictable offenses (in the U.S. that'd be roughly equivalent to changing felonies to misdemeanours).
Prostitution should be legalized, not merely have the penalties lightened. And that alone is not sufficient; legal regimes that legalize the actual act of sex-for-money, but still force most prostitutes to hide from the cops (I'm looking at Canadian law, here) are still inadequate, because such regimes still victimize sex workers (consensual or otherwise). It's simply a human rights issue.
I also think it's clear that some degree of regulation is desirable, but I think that reasonable people can disagree on this.
I don't think it's just me. It's a little more complicated than that.
I do try to be mindful that the words get used inconsistently and I do try to make a point of clarifying my intended meaning. I'm human and I don't always remember that this is an ongoing issue.
I have no idea whatsoever why that would be reason for you to turn this into a personal attack and justification for apparently your personal frustration with me. My understanding is you are British. You could more charitably chalk up any communication difficulties between us to cultural differences and to being "separated by the same language."
I understand what you're saying. However, compare sex work to slavery (which it often is). Nobody wants to be a slave. Some desperate people might agree to be enslaved to pay off a debt.
You could say that if someone agrees to be enslaved, it's OK. But I'd argue that removing certain choices promotes freedom. If slavery is illegal, a person found with slaves can't force the slaves to say they agreed to this arrangement; the arrangement itself is illegal and the slave holder is always in the wrong.
I think treating prostitution the same way makes sense. People are free to sleep with whom they choose, but when it's done for money, it's far too easy for exploitation to occur. If we say it's always illegal, we remove the veneer of respectability that enables one person to exploit another "by agreement".
Note that in both cases we should target the exploiter and not the victim. The point isn't "you can't be a slave", but "you can't enslave anyone."
I think you're being hyperbolic.
It is not possible for all people to have all freedoms. My freedom to go where I want is limited by your freedom to decide who comes on your property. Like it or not, we have to collectively draw boundaries that restrict some freedoms in order to preserve others.
Some of these tradeoffs are tricky. This one isn't. If large numbers of people start protesting their inability to become slaves, I'll reconsider. Meanwhile, large numbers of people are currently being forced into slavery - 20.9 million, by one estimate. https://www.endslaverynow.org/learn/slavery-today
Restricting the rights of some small number of hypothetical would-be slaves in order to protect the rights of large numbers of real people in forced bondage is clearly a worthwhile tradeoff.
See, this is the sort of contradiction inherent in the "positive rights" worldview. Positive "rights" are always in conflict, which is very convenient when you're looking for an excuse to pick and choose which rights other people have and not very useful as a framework for a stable society.
Negative rights, on the other hand, never conflict; there is really only one fundamental right, which is self-ownership: the exclusive right to decide how yourself, and by extension your property, will be used. The only actions are out of bounds are those which would infringe on others' rights of self-ownership. From this you can infer other rights like the freedom of speech, freedom of association, the right to privacy, and the right not to be enslaved against your will, and together with others you can cooperate to provide each other with things which, while desirable, are not rights, such as food, shelter, defense, gainful employment, and healthcare.
> Meanwhile, large numbers of people are currently being forced into slavery - 20.9 million, by one estimate.
And I agree that this is wrong. The key difference is that these people were forced into slavery—it wasn't their choice. Obviously it's not a very attractive option under any circumstance, but one can easily imagine situations where the alternative might be worse. If you need what someone else can provide, and have nothing else of sufficient value to barter for it, giving up your freedom might be a price you'd be willing to pay. No one else should presume to take that option from you.
> Restricting the rights of some small number of hypothetical would-be slaves in order to protect the rights of large numbers of real people in forced bondage is clearly a worthwhile tradeoff.
Putting aside the fact that it isn't your right which you're trading away, and consequently that this isn't your decision to make, it doesn't actually protect anyone. A person who was coerced into such a situation could simply say so, forcing the other party to prove that they had agreed to it in exchange for some form of consideration.
That logic makes pornography illegal.
A warning to anybody thinking of building a gigantic illegal escort listing service or agency and hosting it in Russia or via Tor, imagine the massive effort to come after you in hopes they discover political rivals have been using your service.
I had the same reaction to this. Shutting down one avenue, just pushes these people back into the shadows where its going to be a LOT harder to track down and find them. With CL being up, it was public, traceable and arrests could be made discretely and out of public view.
Out of sight and out of mind enables thriving dark markets. To eliminate dark markets, the open market must be all inclusive. There needs to be only one market.
For darker material, we need more aggressive inclusion tactics.
For example, pedophilia should be considered an extremely dangerous disease. Imagine if we treated Ebola or AIDS as a crime. No one would ever be protected or cured (or neutralized), and carriers would be hiding among us.
While I agree that the current measure is overblown, I do understand where the people behind the legislation are coming from.
Like meeting strangers on the internet and buying/selling sex for money? If it was legal, it could be better regulated, and they could operate with more safety...but it's not legal. While I'm in favor of decriminalizing adults engaging in adult behavior, I don't believe anyone goes into selling sex with a healthy attitude towards sex. They're typically victims of sexual abuse at a young age, which has warped their perspective, leading them to believe that their biggest value is to sell their bodies for sex.
Readers of HN
1. Would you move to Nevada to work in your spare time as a legal prostitute? It's all the benefits of being an Uber driver, but with much better per-hour pay, no vehicle lease, and relatively no upkeep costs. You get to chose the clients you service, but you have service. To offset the pain of moving, in addition to the money you make as a prostitute, you also get a sizable pay-raise for your day job.
2. Do we start to encourage women to move to Nevada to work as prostitutes, with campaigns similar to STEAM campaigns? Not everyone can get a six-figure tech job, so the money and self sufficiency that affords is a good alternative to a low-paying entry-level position.
3. Your teenage child tells you they have decided to be a prostitute to save-for and pay for college. You've put away enough money for them, but they refuse to take it, and instead want to earn their way. Do you encourage them? What if you didn't have any money saved up? Would you support their decision?
My point of view isn't to demonize those who have gone into prostitution now, in the past, or in the future, but recognize that it's not a choice that pretty much any of us would make for ourselves, nor the ones we care about.
2. If a whole lot of them did that, then I expect the price would drop a great deal, so such a campaign might be dishonest—well, actually, in some respects that is like a stereotype of a STEM campaign, with some companies bemoaning how hard it is to find talent while not raising their low wages. Other than that concern, yeah, I'd be happy with such a campaign.
3. I don't have children of my own yet, but I have sisters and a niece and female friends, so I will imagine them in that situation. I would have two concerns: STDs and hard drug use. For the first, I would look up some statistics—e.g. flying on a plane feels a little viscerally unsafe, but in practice it is pretty safe—and the practices of the Nevada brothel in question, and let's say that I'd conclude the STD risk was negligible. For the second, I would make certain that my child (a) knew about the risks of various drugs, (b) was prepared to deal with pressure to take drugs, and (c) knew that she could leave at any time and come back home.
After those concerns were addressed, yes, I would consider it an interesting experience for my child to have. Lucrative, get to see a bunch of people in an unusual set of circumstances, probably get practice in negotiation and in reading people, etc.
Alterations of the position:
"While I'm in favor of people engaging in worship, I don't think anybody worships Mohammad with a healthy attitude towards the lord. They're typically victims of religious indoctrination at a young age, which has warped their perception, leading them to believe in a false god"
"While I'm in favor of people having freedom, I don't think anybody uses narcotics with a healthy attitude towards their health. They're typically victims of immoral liberal households at a young age, which has warped their perception, leading them to believe that drugs are OK"
Basically, you're making a moral decision and saying that anybody that ends up making a contrary decision for themselves must be damaged due to their upbringing.
There is a thin line between saying that very few people would make a choice, and very few people should make a choice. You are correctly asserting that you said "would" not "should", but others are correctly pushing back and saying that it is a common rhetorical technique to say one when actually meaning the other. If you meant what you said in a non-normative manner, you may need to emphasize this fact to prevent the more common reading.
Separately, I'm sure some people question whether you are correct that few would choose this lifestyle, and if so, why this would be. Personally, I think you are right that few would choose to work as prostitutes but that the reason is the societal stigma associated with sex work. I don't know how popular the choice would be if the stigma would be removed and the pay remained high. You seem to be asserting that it would remain extremely unpopular, but I'm not sure that's correct.
If they have a better option, perhaps you could illustrate what that might be. Perhaps grab a coding job? Or waitressing, with all the benefits and pay that comes with (and sexual harassment with no recourse, not much #metoo for underpaid waitresses)?
Or, are you offering a job?
It's not comtempt; I just haven't fooled myself into thinking that prostitution isn't a victimless crime.
You've built a strawman for my argument; I'm not showing contempt for the choice of picking prostitution; but I am saying that in the US engaging in it, as a seller or as a buyer constitutes being stupid.
The increase risk of violence, sexual or otherwise, the risk to your families health, the risk to your own health, the risk to your career. All reasons why it's stupid.
I believe decriminalizing prostitution would reduce the risks--but regardless, those who go into prostitution will still be exploited, regardless of it's legal status.
If it were decriminalized (and remove it's social stigma) I don't see more people becoming prostitutes.
Parser error: maximum number of negations exceeded.
Also, healthy attitude? What's that and who exactly defined it?
And, as to who exactly, psychologists.
> the major concern about [Johns] is not so much that they pay for sex but that they seem blind to the plight of these women. They convince themselves that prostitution is a choice and that none of the women they see are exploited.
There’s a lot of exploitation in our society, and I don’t like any of it. Simple example: when I go to a restaurant, it’s very possible that the person serving my food works 2-3 jobs and still can’t afford health care. I hate that. I would like to be confident that everyone I meet was able to get basic necessities like healthcare.
Legalizing prostitution would open the door to reducing exploitation. Does the prostitute have a state issued sex worker ID? Are you paying at least the state-mandated minimum? Did you pay via a certified escrow service that has strict requirements to watch for common signs of abuse? Then no worries, you’re probably not supporting exploitation.
Compare that to what we have now, which is a total lack of transparency. Demand for sex is not going away. We need to prevent it from causing exploitation by creating a safe, legal option.
Psychologists are not a monolithic block, and many would say that an individual's choice to pursue sex work could be "healthy" as long as it isn't causing them emotional distress or preventing them from living a fulfilling life.
One is prostitution, a form of sex work which is illegal in most of the United States. The American public have varying feelings about its legal status, how enforcement should be carried out, etc. Public opinion doesn't support measures which endanger sex workers (which FOSTA does), because they're already an at-risk group.
A separate issue is human trafficking, which is moving people across borders for the purpose of slavery/forced labor, including sex slavery. Public opinion is rightly massively against slavery in any form.
What I would like to know is, how much slavery was taking place through the Craigslist personals section? How much of it goes on in America? Can we get some real data injected into this discussion about the nature and the extent of actual forced sex labor? Scorched earth tactics might be appropriate if America has developed a serious slavery problem (again), but they need to be justified with facts.
I've run across people who want to take a scorched earth approach to eradicating prostitution (which will not work any more than the war on drugs did). They refer to all prostitution as trafficking in order to conflate the two issues, mislead the public and build support for their radical policies. There is also a class of people who have used FOSTA as an opportunity to expand government power. Neither of these agendas reflect public opinion.
The thing is, while some people see it as a separate issue, there is a very common opinion (deliberately fostered by the anti-prostitution lobby) that prostitution is inherently and inalterably human trafficking, and invocation of the term "human trafficking" is now very commonly used as a cover for policies that are directed generally against prostitution, and not at either the place where human trafficking overlaps with prostitution and not at human trafficking unconnected to prostitution.
- The sex trafficking article states that in 2001 the State Department estimated 50k-100k were trafficked into the US -- this estimate was for both genders but the article erroneously states it is women only.
- Either way, by 2004 the State Department reduced its estimate to 14,500-17,500 trafficked into the US annually for all genders and purposes.
- According to the Washington Post, between 2000-2007 the government had identified 1,362 total victims of human trafficking brought into the United States. The percentage of these related to sex is not mentioned.
- The human trafficking article states that the Global Slavery Index estimated 57,700 people were trafficked into the US in 2016. This statement is also erroneous. The GSI's estimate was for the number of people in some form of "modern slavery," which by their definition includes certain kinds of prison labor among other things, and is unrelated to whether they were trafficked.
- The article also doesn't mention that the GSI arrived at 57,700 by designating a tier of the least enslaved countries studied and estimating the number of modern slaves at 0.018% of the population. The same formula is used for Switzerland, Sweden, Germany, etc. I'm not trying to detract from the importance of the issue of modern slavery but mentioning the 57k out of context seems a bit misleading, the US is literally among the best in the world in this area and the number is so rough that it could be off by tens of thousands. And again, it has nothing to do with trafficking, let alone sex trafficking!)
Both the ACLU and EFF oppose FOSTA on the grounds that it violates both human and civil rights. Why aren't we doing better studies and getting better data about the problem it purports to solve?
I'll probably get downvotes for this, but the Republican leadership is uninterested in facts. They are only interested in their agenda, and if facts get in the way, they will ignore them. It got a lot worse when Newt Gingrich took the reigns in Congress in the 90's. Since Obama was elected, it's gone into hyperdrive. They fucking hated that man.
That said, there does seem to be an overall lack of trust in the scientific method among the political right, the reasons behind which being a bit more complicated than political efficacy.
I recommend giving it a read if you'd like your attitude challenged.
That's only one definition. Other countries have broader definitions.
Slavery is still legal in the USA according to the 13th Amendment.
"- The article also doesn't mention that the GSI arrived at 57,700 by designating a tier of the least enslaved countries studied and estimating the number of modern slaves at 0.018% of the population. The same formula is used for Switzerland, Sweden, Germany, etc. I'm not trying to detract from the importance of the issue of modern slavery but mentioning the 57k out of context seems a bit misleading, the US is literally among the best in the world in this area and the number is so rough that it could be off by tens of thousands. And again, it has nothing to do with trafficking, let alone sex trafficking!)"
The form of this is a false equivalency (or perhaps the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacy_of_composition): If you are pro-<activity that is only rarely engaged in by bad actors>, then you are pro-<activity that is ONLY done by bad actors>
The upshot of this will be ZERO startups that deal in user-generated content simply because they cannot afford the manpower or the liability. Which is a pretty bad consequence, IMHO.
This also creates a law open to abuse: If you have a corporate enemy that permits user-generated content, simply anonymously post some objectionable content to their site, take a screenshot, and then alert the authorities with the URL and screenshot. It's like SWATting, except on a whole 'nother level!
Is Giphy really to blame in this fiasco? How are they somehow more to blame than the person who actually posted this? (as they would be, after this law goes into effect) https://mashable.com/2018/03/10/snapchat-instagram-giphy-rac...
The next Craigs list will be on Tor and will have a child prostitute section.
Congratulations on making things worse.
But you are absolutely right, this is pushing sex workers further underground and therefore making their lives more dangerous.
Can't help but think this will be a boon for those in the business of sex trafficking.
So you deny there is trafficking of people as sex slaves? Or that particular sites enable it? Or?
He's saying that this affects far more legitimate users than sex traffickers by multiple orders of magnitude, while at the same time not preventing sex trafficking from taking place anyway.
Step 1. End Prohibition of Sex Work
Step 2. Stop Diverting Police Resources to enforcing laws on what consenting Adults do on their own time (both Prostitution and Drugs)
Step 3. Stop Criminalizing Speech driving to further and further under ground were it is no longer tracable at all
The "scorched earth" groups are in no way protecting victims, in fact they are making it WORSE by driving people to more shady platforms deep deep under ground, where law enforcement will be less likely to find information or victims.
All you have to do is study the laws of prostitution elsewhere in the world to understand that they have little to no influence on sex trafficking. Prostitution is legal, explicit, and even taxed in the Netherlands, but sex trafficking remains such a major problem that some large cities, like Utrecht, have outlawed prostitution locally to combat the issue.
Edit: law abiding != kind, respectful, or moral
Assumptions are...well, you know the saying.
Worsened conditions is quite vague, I went down the line that it covered the attitudes of customers, not necessarily translated it mean physical (or extreme verbal) abuse. The likelihood of customers that [would] make derogatory comments post encounter goes up. Not necessarily the % or ratio but the actual number. For example: pre legalization a prostitute saw 10 clients a day, 10%, one, of them would say "that wasn't worth it" to the prostitute after services were rendered. Post legalization that prostitute might have 30 clients a day, 10%, three, say exhibit the same behavior. While the ratio is the same the hard number of negative feedback is 3 times greater. And psychologically negative feedback has much more weight that positive feedback which can weigh on an person's self-confidence and feeling of self-worth.
My point is, there are more people now openly able and willing to approach prostitutes who think "shut up and do what I say because I'm paying you [you low life worthless being who has to sell you body to make a living]". I'm not saying all people who use or are okay with prostitution think this, just that the supply of people who think this and act this way now find themselves able to openly go to prostitutes (where as the law, and fear of it, kept these assholes from using prostitutes before).
What does this have to do with the discussion at hand? Between this comment and the one in which you attempted to feign credibility by making up a series of numbers that had no reference to back them, you’re not really saying much.
I could similarly argue that legalized food service increases a server’s exposure to people who think that they are worthless because they have to serve food for a living. If your point is that some percentage of people are assholes who look down on others and that more people means more assholes overall, then this is already well understood. How this clarifies the topic at hand or in any way furthers the discussion is missing.
Someone said they heard legalization made conditions worse.
I was merely offering up an opinion of why that might be, if true.
Where are "closet" rude and mean people more likely to make degrading and derogatory comments? In public in front of others where their socially unacceptable behavior (food service employees) would be exposed? Or behind closed doors with a single individual where they can freely say shit making the other feel small and themselves feel big?
Sorry, I forgot anecdotes, metaphors, and hypotheses are not allowed on HN.
I'm truly sorry I wasn't able to effectively and clearly communicate how the dots connect.
it is factually wrong that "no one wants", it would be more accurate to say "very few"
But this also holds true for many occupations, very few people want to be toilet cleaners, or pick up trash, or really work at all. So the same "coercive element" could be said (and has been said) to drive people to enter any field of employment making all work for wages "coercive" by nature.
But society has rules, it's the grey areas that are always going to be in contention.
I'm sure you want the police and laws there to protect children from sexual exploitation.
The same with drugs, you don't want smack and cocaine being sold in Boots.
So there has to be a law, and that law is going to be too restrictive for some people and too lenient for others.
The laws and implementation of them swings back and forth all throughout time.
Which is why I clearly said ADULT in my response.
We protect children from all manner of things because their brains have not formed to the point where we as a society believe they can make rational choices for themselves
However if we are going to have a free society at some point you become an adult, at which point I do not believe the government should act as a parent over your life making choices as to what is "best" for you
Allowing for that type of government means you lose self agency and your liberty. I reject that
>>The same with drugs, you don't want smack and cocaine being sold in Boots.
Not sure what a boot is, in American English a boot is a type of shoe, I dont really know if I care that people sell drugs out of their shoes...
Aside from that, Yes I believe "smack", cocaine, and every other drug should be legal to sell to adults. The government has not business telling an adult what food, drink or drugs they are allowed or not allowed to take. At most the government has an responsibility to enforce quality, and truthful advertisement laws (i.e not allowing people to sell snake oil, or fentynal as heroin, etc) but beyond that the government has no place in it.
>Not sure what a boot is,
Boots is a chain of pharmacies (also "health and beauty") stores in the UK. Probably pretty comparable to the US Walgreens or CVS chains.
It's all very well for us to imagine legalized drugs would be safer and more easy to regulate, but a majority of people disagree - so for the time being, they will continue being sold out of the boots of cars.
I do actually. Taxed and regulated the same as alcohol and tobacco.
Start by legalizing prostitution and removing the black market. That won't end all trafficking, but will end a lot and will make it much easier to go after the remaining illegal black market as it's now been separated from the legal market. Comment about how people who don't learn are doomed to repeat history here. How many black markets for harmless everyday goods and services do we need to ban before the idiots in charge start to understand these simple principles? They're constantly talking about markets, but clearly no one in government understands the first thing about them. Or, more likely, doesn't want to.
Why, because the former is hidden by the legally allowed behaviour.
When all brothels (escort services etc) are illegal, operators have very little incentive to enforce all sex workers being 18+, non-trafficed, getting regular medicals, whatever. Even a conscientious customer has very few options to check for themselves. If brothels on the other hand are legal, operators have every incentive to do this, and if anyone is looking for an illegal brothel (which looks very different from a legal one, just like the place you're buying smuggled smokes looks very different from a 7-11), this "paraphernalia" is direct evidence that they're looking for something bad.
That would be to rational thing to do, but people aren't rational and they don't actually want solutions.
Seriously, dude, if you're a "hungry man", open Tinder or just go to a local hook up bar. Hooking up for a one night stand is trivial.
And don’t put yourself down. Other people are happy to do it for you.
If you tell yourself those things often enough, which frankly sound like what other people have said about you in the past, eventually you start to believe them as fact.
Both looks and personality can be improved upon, even if you are on a budget.
Glad you've been lucky, but don't make assumptions from data set of 1. It's trivial only for the most attractive and charismatic males. OkCupid has published some nice research on it
But yea prostitution is the world's oldest profession for a reason - sometimes people just want a transactional sexual encounter. For money, one can have no "equal parts" requirement - no need to reciprocate. It's not for everyone (or for me) but I can understand the attraction.
That is true for maybe 3-5% of the human race. Some people can indeed easily attract casual sexual partners in a matter of minutes or hours in almost any environment. But the vast majority of the population cannot. That’s why prostitution will never go away, regardless of how many laws are passed trying to limit it.
And “cheating” is up to the solipsism of the woman to decide, anything between kissing and looking at a girl on the street and thinking about a woman is considered cheating, at least because society believes the woman at face value.
So no, casual relationships are, depending on the subject, no different from marriage, juges recognize men as fathers even in casual relationships, and there’s no way today to make the contract clear with a woman today. Hence, prostitution would contractualize the casualness of the relationship and it’s not allowed today.
No, it can't; but what does happen is people taking "she didn't complain" as evidence of consent rather than evidence of coercion into not complaining.
Continuing sex with someone after they tell you to stop, no matter what they said before, is sexual assault.
Reasoning recursively: To dismiss males’ testimonials, you’d need to take girls’ words at face value, which, in itself, demonstrates that girls’ words are taken at face value by a lot of people in society, hence the recurring massive problem of false convictions.
(Also, I'm going to assume you're not a native English speaker - the contrasting group nouns should be "men" and "women" not "males" and "girls")
You are talking convictions, the OP seems to be talking Accusations and where the latest trend is to gain a conviction in the court of public opinion and to inflict punishment outside of a judicial system
No, its more like the Salem witch hunt.
You mean, like millions of illegal immigrants who are working in farming, construction, fast food, and many other industries? How do you feel about scorched earth approach to those?
How can you compare being the victim of misdesigned automated system, who has no conscience and follows blind rules, to being the victim of a trafficker who has full understanding and responsibility for what he's doing and exploiting a mindless computer system designed for an entirely different purpose?
Now I agree we as a society should recognize that some tools, in the hands of the criminal, sociopath or insane can do a lot of harm, and it's fair to move and restrict them. High explosives, nuclear material, anonymous banking are all examples of technologies that, while useful, can and should be restricted.
But at no point it is a fault of the technology, and at no point should we examine the technology divorced from it's nefarious users who ultimately bear responsibility. Restricting useful technology is an extreme measure reserved for the most dangerous situations, otherwise ANY technology can be used for harming others. This particular case seems completely out of balance and likely to have NO impact.
My reading is that he's likening the frustrations of the non profits with getting through to what they consider faceless entities (the companies) to the lesser frustrations one may have when one's subjected to an optional IVR experience.
In other words, paraphrasing liberally: "if you occasionally get annoyed by bring subjected to being automated by IVRs, imagine what these folks feel like trying to get through to [insert company name here]."
I'm not sure how to take your comments, based on your other thoughts. We shouldn't have anonymous banking, i.e. cryptocurrency or even cash?
Yes, the instinct is understandable, but by the time we're putting NGO experts in government-sponsored working groups for the purpose of drafting legislation, it's pretty much a foregone conclusion that we're expecting something that rises (high!) above mere instinct. Otherwise, we can (almost, somewhat melodramatic exaggeration) just let mobs with pitchforks take care of business and save a ton of effort.
Because if they just knew, if they just understood, if they just had a little human empathy and sympathy for the pain and suffering... Why then they'd take all their money and smart people and Solve the Problem! That this is perhaps an excessively simplistic view doesn't occur to people who fervently believe that it's simply a matter of making the useless arrogant dweebs do the right thing.
Instead, it's scorched earth with good intentions. My heart aches for the wonderful people saving lives out there. For their deep frustration, and for the purity of their beliefs and intentions. Yet, it's perhaps abstractly possible that empathy and good intentions might be subtly different from good policy.
It is also quite unfitting and stupid and innefective.
So, let's all be honest about something about CL personals that means these folks might not be wrong (even if, as is likely, the actual legislation is terrible policy).
I've actually used CL personals to get some dates, and there are things I liked about it (primarily text-focused medium can be nice, are there any more of those?), and I'm single, so having it go away is personally a bit disappointing.
But it is obvious to anyone who has used them that CL personals were utterly overwhelmed by people who are selling the other kind of Saas (Sex as a Service). This was a point of frustration for anyone looking for a connection (however unconventional) rather than a transaction. But worse, no matter your views on whether people should be able to voluntarily do sex work, with the majority of the w4m traffic being prostitution, it seems all but inevitable that there was some coerced trafficking regularly associated with it.
This was at least nominally against the terms of the personals section, but nobody selling cared at all (and in some cases, were cheeky enough to flag legit not-selling-anything ads), and if craigslist mounted any serious effort to fix the problem, it wasn't one I noticed.
This legislation sounds like thoughtless single-dimension policy, but I'm not sure it burns down CL entirely on its own so much as it does forces CL to reckon with the fact that its personals section was already set on fire by pushers much earlier and that they didn't care enough to do anything about it.
(Which is fine, they obviously never derived revenue from it and are under no obligation to divert resources there or let that drag down the rest of their successful classifieds offering.)
That is also largely the government fault because back in 2010 they more or less forced CL to close the Sections of the site that was dedicated to Adult Services... and as predicted the people that were in those sections simply moved to the personals
Governments have a long history of enforcing laws in ways that harm everyone but the criminals they were trying to stop. You shouldn't expect people to be pleased.
Hierarchy of Government Rationality as it pertains to criminal law
1. Generate Revenue
2. Control the population
3. Protect Businesses and the Wealthy people that fund Campaigns
.... many other items
9999999999999. Stop criminals
It should be legal that is the point
>Its their fault they forced craigslist to shut down a section openly advertising illegal content?
yes, that was the entire point of Section 230 of the communications act, to prevent platform from being liable for users content, even if the users were doing things that were illegal
Further it is a violation, imo, of the 1st amendment to prohibit speech, while they may be able to make the ACT of prostitution illegal they should not be able to prohibit speech about prostitution.. There is a very very big difference
There was the assumption in this is that illegal content was removed.
There's also a difference in CL actively putting a section in that says "Illegal Services advertised here".
For clarity, there's no concern with legalizing these services, as far as I am concerned.
You think it's a violation of your First Amendment rights to be unable to openly advertise criminal activities? Where does that line end?
I dont know... lets see
Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech,
Yep seems pretty clear to me, that congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech.... So what part of that is unclear to you?
>>Where does that line end?
No where? Freedom of speech is absolute. It you have a limit on speech is stops being free speech, and become regulated speech
-- Thomas Jefferson
You seem to consider Thomas Jefferson as some kind of ultimate arbiter of constitutional questions. :b
To the extent that his point is that judges alone (and in particular judges-for-life) aren't enough to guarantee a well-functioning non-corrupt minimally-oppressive state, sure, that's a reasonable point and the American multi-branched system is a reasonable response to that.
To the extent that Jefferson's being brought in here to say "Yeah, well, that's just, like, [The Supreme Court's] opinion, man" and therefore to dismiss the idea that legally, free speech is not an unabridged right... o-kay. You know that judges are, tautologically, the arbiters of constitutional and legal questions (and the supreme court the ultimate arbiters), right? Even if you said "hey, we're getting rid of all these ultimate arbiter judges because they're oligarchy waiting to happen" the next question is "well, who decides what the law says?" and either your answer to that question is something like "well, we'll call them, ummmm... 'Readers', yeah" (and they're effectively judges) or someone says something really dumb like "Well, the people who wrote the law are the arbiters!" (oops, we just collapsed multiple branches of government into 1) or "well, it's obvious, everyone will do it." Jefferson's point about potential for tyranny seems to be orthogonal to his complaint about judges being the ultimate arbiters and it's why the other co-equal branches do other things besides a-arbiter'ing.
On the off chance that there's a superior argument or arrangement to what the courts have constructed as cited by the grandparent -- and it could happen, courts make flawed or even terrible decisions sometimes -- by all means, make the case for it in the marketplace of ideas and get it re-litigated through the courts or authored/amended into law.
But unless you have a specific argument as to why they got it wrong, not only is it true that the court decision reflects the law of the land for now because that's how our system works, chances are pretty good that the court also had a better argument than random HN commentators, even if they have a favorite founding father quote at hand. It might be better to reach for dissenting opinions instead.
I also trust, unless proven otherwise, that these judges have studied the law and are acting in good faith, both as arbiters of justice and as American citizens. These aren't isolated, unique cases. On the whole, I would defer to them over my own opinion, as I would for many experts. And, without additional information about you, I'd defer to their opinion over yours, as I'd expect you to, in the same situation, as well.
I don't believe that there is some conspiracy across all of these judges and justices to systematically deprive citizens of rights. You are free to believe otherwise. I do believe that assuming bad faith across the board is a recipe for the destruction of community, society, and government. Perhaps you believe we're already at that point. I don't believe we are, at least not yet.
Given how arbitrarily laws are applied, it is the fault of the people choosing when to arbitrarily apply a law as to the impacts of arbitrarily applying that law.
Naturally, m4m, w4w, mw4m etc are also understood.
The newsweeklies that used to carry personals lost a lot of ad revenue when Craigslist took over the space for free. (Some went bankrupt soon after CL added their city, even.) Unlikely that they will get that ad revenue back with CL out of the game, as many won't want to touch personals again for similar reasons to CL, and a lot of the personals space is also moved on to the Match.com/OKCupid/PlentyOfFishes of the internet.
Legalization is far from perfect but abuse in Nevada brothels is much lower than as street walkers.
It seems it's more a puritanical belief system than a genuine desire to render aid.
It's kind of ironic when in France, for example, a law gets passed criminalizing the customers while the sex workers go in the street to protest that law saying that it will create more abuse (and one year after, they were right).
Trying to stop behaviors that will always exist in human societies doesn't work, it just drives the demand underground and if things are illegal already, then other more illegal, more abusive behaviors start to surface.
Why do we have to "believe"? There are many examples to learn from, to see what works and what doesn't.
For example, this study .
"This paper suggests it’s the latter. Using trafficking data from 150 countries, the authors find that "countries where prostitution is legal experience a larger reported incidence of human trafficking inflows."
As an example, they discuss Germany, which legalized prostitution in 2002. The minimum estimate of sex trafficking victims in the country increased from 9,870 in 2001 to 11,080 in 2002, to 12,350 in 2003."
As an anecdotal example: Sweden has one of the harshest stances on prostitution, and it's working just fine .
Careful, such numbers typically come from criminal statistics. Those count reported cases, not convictions, and (by design) can't contain unreported cases.
Alternative reading: by legalizing prostitution, an entire economical sector (there's €€€ involved) is now open to routine law enforcement controls which increased visibility in the trafficking part of it, since sex workers can be more forthcoming with information as they don't need to hide their own business.
The ramp up into 2003 could indicate that law enforcement took a while to properly take advantage of that.
Sex trafficking has always been illegal, and the reasons for its under-reporting have little to do with prostitution being illegal.
The legalization narrative is about sexual abuse (in the general sense both for sex workers and the broader population) and not specifically trafficking.
You are redefining English in attempt to use a paper that is entirely conjecture based on the predispositions of the authors. I stated _abuse_ as in sexual abuse, not trafficking specifically.
Sex workers are objecting to this law because it is cutting off their ability to communicate dangerous clients to each other. That will lead to an increase in them getting raped.
Like, I get you want to say "Sex trafficking bad and clearly that is the only issue that matters" but it is far from the only issue.
Trafficked persons, in a legal environment, are going to have their place of work inspected, regular interviews with the police for licensing, and their citizenship status checked. The studies of early legalization Germany are so fun for opponents to push because they know Germany did not do this for the first years.
It is like comparing a known, obviously broken implementation and insisting all implementations look like that or that is the only measure of success.
> I was a #sexworker organizer for years in NYC. #FOSTA would undermine almost every single thing I would tell people for how to stay alive. ALL screening, ALL peer references, ALL bad date lists I could send. #SurvivorsAgainstFOSTA
> The authors provide “causal evidence” of a 32 to 40 percent reduction in rape and sexual abuse within two years of a city opening a tippelzone. The higher number is for cities that license sex work in the tippelzone; the lower figure is for cities without a licensing process. “The decreases in sexual abuse are stronger in cities with licensed tippelzones.”
> In cities with both a tippelzone and a licensing requirement, the authors find a 25 percent reduction in drug-related crimes within two years. That result persists beyond two years.
> Most governments in the world including the United States prohibit prostitution. Given these types of laws rarely change and are fairly uniform across regions, our knowledge about the impact of decriminalizing sex work is largely conjectural. We exploit the fact that a Rhode Island District Court judge unexpectedly decriminalized indoor prostitution in 2003 to provide the first causal estimates of the impact of decriminalization on the composition of the sex market, rape offenses, and sexually transmitted infection outcomes. Not surprisingly, we find that decriminalization increased the size of the indoor market. However, we also find that decriminalization caused both forcible rape offenses and gonorrhea incidence to decline for the overall population. Our synthetic control model finds 824 fewer reported rape offenses (31 percent decrease) and 1,035 fewer cases of female gonorrhea (39 percent decrease) from 2004 to 2009.
>> Does this mean legalizing prostitution is a bad idea? Well, not necessarily. The authors note that legalization could have other positive effects, such making it easier for prostitutes to seek legal or medical help and decreasing rates of abuse and sexually-transmitted disease.
The real key, and it's also highlighted in your  link, is if the situation is better for almost everyone after legalizing.
About the Sweden example, claiming that "since the law came into effect fewer men reported purchasing sex and prostitutes were less visible" (your  link) is a winning situation is a bit lame. Of course after a prohibition you expect the prostitution to go underground and less visible. It's like denying paedophilia just because nobody reports himself as a peadophile and you cannot see children on the streets.
Imagine we had legalized drugs, but barely anyone wanted to make them, because making them was nasty and degrading in a way that few people could even tolerate. No matter what you did, you simply couldn't find enough people willing to make them. Paying them more wont help, because beyond a certain point the nastiness of making them can't be washed away with money.
So the next step is coercing people to do so.
Part of the power of abusing people is taking away people's paperwork and convincing them the police won't help them.
Skipping that interview is a crime for the brothel owner, not just the prostitute.
Two weeks after the reform, about 90% of prostitutes in Munich had been interviewed (mostly before it was formally required): http://www.sueddeutsche.de/muenchen/prostitutionsschutzgeset...
I’m not arguing that this is definitely the case, I’m just saying how data should be looked at and compared to have a better understanding of the outcome of an event. But if I’m wrong I’d love to hear why. :)
> If it the trend was to increase by 30% but dropped afterwards to 20% then again it has worked in some way.
Only of you have some real reason to expect the number to increase by 30%. Just looking at a trend is not enough.
Secondly, I was just making a point that in these kinds of researches a % value is IMO a better measurement
The discussion was about abuse, not about total number of trafficking incidents. Those _estimates_ are not actual numbers but extrapolations of the actual numbers in the opinion of the study's authors.
Germany also failed to properly regulate its brothels with the same vigor as they apply to other industries which was genuinely unfortunate.
All it takes is going to legal brothels with business licenses and checking citizenship status.
Sweden is pushing new legislation that will increase the number of rapes even more. It will be a law of consent and will shift the burden of proof from the victim to the rapist. Unless the rapist can prove consent, he will be sentenced for rape by negligence. Under the new law, having sex with a traffic victim prostitute can be considered "rape", and the burden of proof will be on the john to prove that it is not a traffic victim.
I live next door, in Norway. Here we talk of the "Swedish condition".
They record the rape at the initial reporting to the police, no matter what any later investigation shows, and multiple rapes are counted individually (many countries do not).
This is not saying which approach is correct for recording the numbers, but that you cant simply compare the numbers.
For people that lived in Sweden, this claim (that Sweden has some incredible rape problem) is surprising to say the least.
(with that being said, there has been an increase in sexual violence lately, probably correlated with immigration from regions where the rate is higher, but from what I could gather it was not a dramatic increase)
Prostitutes themselves are not punished with a criminal record like they are in the US. Instead they are offered support to exit. Which makes sense if you really want them to to leave that industry. Legit jobs are hard to find with a record, so it's no wonder people who get arrested for crimes like prostitution and drug dealing often end up in the same situation after getting arrested.
I agree, but It's not a complete solution. Where I live brothels are legal, there is one 5 minutes from my house yet there are still street workers. The street workers are generally suffering from homelessness, mental health issues, drugs or all three. Legal brothels take care of much of the demand side, but they don't do much for people pushed into selling themselves.
2. It seems the solution for these particular folks would be to focus less on picking them up for prostitution and instead, finding them safe housing, repeatedly offering mental health care, and repeatedly offering addiction services or at least helping them find a way to avoid feeling like they are forced into prostitution. With prostitution itself being legal, it is much easier to focus on these sorts of technicalities.
This appears to be a popular thesis among the commenters on this page. But your hunch is not proven by the realities of countries that have legalized prostitution. As I've commented elsewhere here, all you have to do is study the laws of prostitution elsewhere in the world to understand that they have little to no influence on sex trafficking. Prostitution is legal, explicit, and even taxed in the Netherlands, but sex trafficking remains such a major problem that some large cities, like Utrecht, have outlawed prostitution locally to combat the issue.
Interesting. I wonder if the timing has anything to do with a recent particularly shocking case of sexual exploitation involving Craigslist:
:%s/gun control laws/internet control laws/g
Some of the non-profits dedicated to fighting this opposed the bill!
I mean hell, if they were facilitating the illegal sale of guns this site would be up in arms to ban them.