Through websites such as Backpage.com, the internet has long since overtaken the street corner as the marketplace for buying and selling sex and therefore for sex trafficking.
Recently, investigations have suggested that some popular commercial websites may actually facilitate trafficking through their business practices.
The National Human Trafficking Hotline, which is operated by Polaris, has received nearly 2,000 reports of sex trafficking that were facilitated through online advertisements. Now, the Senate, the tech community, and the anti-trafficking field are coming together to find a solution. This will effectively combat this crime while still protecting First Amendment freedoms.
The Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA) is a narrowly focused, bipartisan bill that targets websites that knowingly facilitate sex trafficking. It ensures websites that violate federal sex trafficking laws are held accountable, without inadvertently affecting good actors that aren’t deliberately enabling sex trafficking.
SESTA just unanimously passed through the Senate Commerce Committee, and now it needs a full vote. Call on your Senator today and urge them to vote for SESTA.