Date: August 29, 2018
01) FOSTA and the Alt-Right Are Censoring Speech About Child Protection
Thanks to Kamil Beylant!
There’s a fair bit of nose pinching you’ll have to do, if you’re at all educated and open minded about intergenerational relationships…But, this is an important issue.
We should never stand by idly, while MAPs are being censored…Communication and association is a base, human right…
…This is a line, it is never okay, under any circumstances whatsoever, for hostile outsiders to cross and interfere.
“The proponents of the anti-trafficking law FOSTA have claimed (falsely) that since passage of the law there has been a 90% fall in the number of sex advertisements published online. But whatever its real impact on sex ads, what’s beyond doubt is that the law has resulted in the censorship of a lot of constitutionally protected speech—including discussions about child sexual abuse prevention.
The Woodhull Freedom Foundation and four other plaintiffs are currently challenging the constitutionality of FOSTA in court. (You can hear Electronic Frontier Foundation lawyer David Greene talking about lawsuit in the clip from our launch event below.)
Although the plaintiffs’ free speech claims relate to discussions of consensual sex work and massage therapy, child sexual abuse (CSA) also falls within the statute’s definition of “sex trafficking,” at least in cases where somebody gives or receives something of value in association with the abuse. This doesn’t mean that any speech about CSA is forbidden, but it does create a large grey area of uncertainty about what is permitted and what isn’t.
In particular, would a platform that allows pedophiles to post online be considered as “knowingly assisting, facilitating, or supporting” CSA? Instinctively, many of us might answer yes. And that’s certainly the correct answer when it comes to content that directly facilitates abuse, such as transmitting child pornography or grooming children. These are not constitutionally protected speech and ought not to be allowed online.
But what about pedophiles who speak out against CSA? If this sounds unlikely, that may be because of the common but false assumption that all pedophiles abuse children, and that all child abusers are pedophiles. But in reality most CSA is committed by those who are primarily sexually attracted to adults, and conversely many of those who are sexually attracted to minors choose never to act on that attraction. Some of this latter group use social media to interact with peers and professionals who support them in their quest to remain non-offending for life.
What should be done about such content? Experts say that as confronting as it may be to hear from pedophiles and other so-called minor-attracted persons (MAPs) online, allowing them to safely connect with peers and professionals can provide them with a social support system that could help protect children from abuse. Even so, that’s a tough sell to Internet platforms, who don’t always have the resources or the expertise to differentiate between MAPs who speak out against abuse, and those who seek to excuse or minimize it. And FOSTA hasn’t made this decision any easier for them.
One significant Internet platform recently delivered its answer. Last Tuesday, Medium deleted dozens of articles that had been collected in a publication provocatively (yet accurately) titled “Pedophiles About Pedophilia,” and banned its editors and authors from the site. The Internet Archive (which is, not coincidentally, a plaintiff in the FOSTA lawsuit) has a partial archive of the banned publication here.”
So…”Pedophiles About Pedophilia”, a group blog of virped members, got suspended by Medium…I’ve shared a number of their articles here, in the past.
I’m not sure exactly when this happened, as I’m a tad disconnected lately…but it was recent.
I’m not a huge fan of medium…but some MAPs liked it…and it’s always bad, when a platform starts discriminating against MAPs.