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    Sex trafficking in Colombia. Students fight modern slavery. Artists draw attention to modern slavery. From domestic slave to the Democratic Convention. Sex trafficking victim speaks out. Story highlights The bill that passed Congress may actually harm sex workers, critics say Internet forums provide protections for sex workers, who find work off streets. Seeing her own reflection "was so traumatizing" for Stark, a transgender woman who hadn't yet undergone the surgical treatments she knew she needed.

    Some days, she couldn't leave the house. She tried taking her own life. An Army veteran living with disability, she could not get this surgical care from her usual provider, the Department of Veterans Affairs, which does not pay for or perform gender transition-related surgeries. Stark calls Wisconsin home but mostly lives out of a suitcase, maintaining a busy schedule as an escort, adult film performer, photographer and phone sex operator. But now, her career is coming to an abrupt end after a bill passed by Congress in March.

    Senate approves anti-sex-trafficking bill. I just call it the end of my career, essentially," she said. The bill, called the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act , prompted the online bulletin board Craigslist to shut down its personal ads two days after its passage. The bill was directed against sex trafficking, not the volitional career in sex work to which Stark credits her own survival. Craigslist is an online classifieds site, divided by city or geographic area, through which users advertise a range of goods, services, jobs and housing.

    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. I've been thinking about this a lot this morning. 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. 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: 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. I've been thinking about this peripherally for a while, especially the bigger picture when some law is passed, and it seems exceptionally out of touch with the reality, and does more harm than good.

    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.

    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. DoreenMichele 3 months ago. 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. I think high gasoline taxes would, on balance, benefit society. It would at the same time disproportionately affect the working and commuting poor.

    Besides Hal Draper, what authors would you recommend to further explore this thought? Just a term you may not have heard before that will lead you towards similar conversations - https: I have been reading "Strategy: A History" by Lawrence Freedman, and reading the papers and books mentioned in the bibliography as I go. Take a look at anarcho-capitalism and Murray Rothbard.

    You can find many works of his on mises. Reason and Liberty by Shayne Wissler. It can be downloaded for free online. Thanks everyone, I'll do some reading! Maybe I'll even follow up in a month or so.

    Replying at the end of the thread because I think that makes the most sense. It's even worse than that: 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. This is a very powerful quote. It is too bad that it was first published[1] 12 years after Erlichman told it to Baum and after Erlichman died.

    It sure fits with what I think Nixon was capable of, but I wonder how embellished the actual quote given by Baum so many years after Ehrlichman said it. Would have been nice to have Ehrlichman confirm it but he was already dead when this quote was published. DataWorker 3 months ago. Your own Wikipedia citation even seems to counter your claim.

    NotSammyHagar 3 months ago. I would believe that lots of politicians do want to hurt people at the lower rungs. This is also an explanation of why there is so much opposition to welfare - I want to help 'good people' who lost their jobs and need help, but not those losers who just live forever on welfare and are in "some group I don't like". Same argument will be used against UBI.

    It's very compelling for a lot of people. Malice is one possibility, but I think indifference is more likely. Such people are the ants about their feet; they aren't usually going out of their way to step on them, but they are also not particularly troubled if they do.

    They don't understand how it works, and because they don't understand they feel superior, so they make decisions on behalf of the lower classes with the intent of nobly showing the masses the way while serving their own interests.

    There's also a lot of superior moralizing etc. Declanomous 3 months ago. There's an interesting theory, which I can't recall the name of, that says that poor people understand the rich because they can empathize with them, but it takes too much energy for the rich to empathize with the poor because there are so many of them and their burden is overwhelming. So the rich don't understand the poor but the poor understand the rich, which explains why we have the laws we have.

    It seems more likely that the lower classes can easily empathize with the rich because they want to be the rich, while the converse is not normally true.

    It would be interesting if you could explain this a little better, or find the source. Sounds a little vague but I'd like to know more. 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. My friend middle class dated a daughter of Staples founder. This was his takeaway too: 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.

    Either the hurt being inflicted on the helpless leads to more votes or business opportunities for cronies. The "kick the helpless" is because they helpless can't fight back. Might I suggest an introduction course to political science? Additionally consider learning legal history and contemporary things. There are just no better options.

    I don't think it is so much wanting to hurt people. It's more that they see the poor as barely people, and see the Internet as a seething crowded marketplace where the poor bustle and jostle against each other, breathing each others air, grinding out their meager existences.

    And if left to their own devices, they will first destroy the pillars of society major industry and then themselves. This is a tremendously large topic, but the underlying rabid anti-sex motives underlying this bill and the total lack of caring about how it will furthermore expunge human sexual expression from the Internet goes back to the Industrial Revolution.

    There was arguably reason for it back then. It survives purely out of a wrongheaded blind sense of 'denial is virtue, satisfaction is sin'.

    It's not that they don't want to help them, but more that there's simply not much government can do. 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.

    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.

    Delmania 3 months ago. Ha, ha, no it wasn't. It was started by Republicans to get people angry at the hippies and black people. The salient quote is: 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. Sure that may have been one individual's motivation for the plan, but the public and subsequent governments thought it was a the best way to prevent drugs from infecting society.

    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. Falling3 3 months ago. 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. Are theft and murder so obvious?

    Obviously murder is among the greatest tragedies, but often it's a product of circumstance. A product of circumstance? A product of circumstance in the sense that murders and theft often occur in low income, low education areas.

    It doesn't excuse the behavior, but it does shine a light in a place we can make drastic improvements. Little Bobbie Brown observes a 'rat' try out his brand new cement shoes. One of the boss' hired help sees Bobbie in the bushes, and, in accordance with the boss' desire for no witnesses, moves to kill Bobbie. 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.

    Almost every major show on Netflix and other media companies is filled with Nudity. 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. They would rather have easier access to guns than sex. Not that I support prostitution. Every man and woman for themselves.

    DanBC 3 months ago. I'm in favour of careful legalisation. 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. 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.

    I am unaware of this behavior by Craigslist. I want to believe that people are taken seriously when they alert authorities to crimes against them. We can still give a lot of other sex workers way more safety and legitimacy than they have now.

    There could be secondary effects that help the 14 year olds. While I agree with your list of things that would help there is a significant problem I've been thinking about with respect to everything that's been happening lately.

    There is no "government" that does anything, its all people. Then you have the problem of the types of people that could work with drug dealers and sex workers may have more fluid ethics that could be corrupted in some ways.

    For example, if everyone could be like Violet Blue that would be one thing. But I could imagine some less than savory person applying for the job but with the intent to look the other way for some payback. I think we really need to stop thinking about the problems as if there is some uncorruptable benevolent "government" that is going to help us. And start think about systems that are realistically run by fallible people but have checks and balances in place to remove corruption.

    Like maybe the "terrible" government is responsible for punishing only? I don't know how to solve the problems honestly, just seems like we are looking where the light is rather than where we lost our keys maybe down the sewer.

    This is the corruption trap that you see in narco-regimes and countries where government institutions are being built or rebuilt.

    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. 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. We can start decriminalizing now, open up more if it appears to work.

    Whatever policy we choose, it should have a clear goal and be evaluated against how well t achieves that goal. I think decriminalization work further both of those goals. Isn't this the same as with legalization? Do you have examples of this? No, they aren't the same.

    Unfortunately, googling decriminalization vs legalization gets me articles that state the exact opposite of my understanding. As I understand it, decriminalization means making no law against it. Legalization means making laws about it that boil down to regulation. Thus, decriminalization is more free. 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. The reason you get those google results is because your understanding is not consistent with how other people use the words.

    Your suggested usage is reasonable, but it's not the usage that is common, and I suggest that you change your understanding. 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. 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. DoreenMichele 88 days ago. My understanding of the difference is rooted in the opinions of Dolores French who was a sex worker and political activist. She advocated for decriminalization, not legalization, because it was more beneficial to sex workers. I find some articles that fit with that framework and some that don't.

    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 provided both a link to an article that communicates my understanding of the topic as well as cited the original source where I got the info, plus stated as clearly as I can that googling it may lead to additional confusion because articles on the topic are contradictory.

    Some agree with my understanding. Some say the opposite. 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. This is also basically the Portugal approach to drug control, which appears to be working. You think we would have learned with the experience from Prohibition to inform us 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 would argue that the sea between "sex slavery" aaaand "sex worker" is just as vast as that between professional engineer and enslaved engineer. Again, polite society would have you think otherwise Please can we call sex workers pleasure technicians? A pleasure engineer should require a degree By saying that a person can't voluntarily agree to become a slave, you are saying that you, not they, have the right to determine what happens to them.

    That is the essence of slavery right there. By taking away their choice you are claiming ownership over them. You haven't eliminated slavery at all; you've just assumed the role of slave-owner yourself "for their own good", much as other slave owners throughout history have justified their actions by claiming that their slaves would be incapable of managing on their own as free individuals.

    That is the essence of slavery right there 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. 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 - 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 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.

    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. 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. AFNobody 3 months ago. That logic makes pornography illegal. Most US sex workers fled CL and use Instagram now or any chat program that provides location distances.

    In other countries Weechat is the preferred method to find companions for hire. You'll also find countless escort ads in any adult social media hookup site like say, Fetlife or Adult Friend Finder.

    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. This was interesting to me, so I researched a little. Apparently, the real volume of transactions has moved to https: As usual, the internet routes around censorship. 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. Nothing should be demonized. Anything that hinders humanity should be regulated and monitored, proportional to the threat.

    That is all that is needed. 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. No one would ever be protected or cured or neutralized , and carriers would be hiding among us. Well no we can't make the sex trade disappear, but we can certainly make it more difficult and by extension less prevalent.

    While I agree that the current measure is overblown, I do understand where the people behind the legislation are coming from. Because something can be used for terrorism, like cars, ban all cars. That kind of mentality tends to come from reactionary conservatives in my experience. If it was legal, it could be better regulated, and they could operate with more safety 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. Let me provide a few questions on prostitution: 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. 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.

    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.

    My day job as a programmer in Silicon Valley already pays a lot, and I expect the pay to increase over time, but if the ratio of [prostitution pay] to [day job pay] was as high as it is for most people, then, yes, I think it'd make sense to do that. 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. 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. 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.

    You could use the same argument against anything that groups of people consider "immoral". Alterations of the position: 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.

    What morale decision am I making? 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. Even if the stigma were removed, I think the years of human evolution which encourages men and women to pair-wise mate for life would make it hard on an emotional level for more people to provide sex as a service. Outside of our biological needs, the health risks would be difficult to manage as well. Your contempt for their choices is bizarre and really offensive.

    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? What benefits come with being a prostitute? If you're worried about sexual harassment with no recourse, picking a profession with astronomically higher risk of sexual violence would be the last choice any rational person would make.

    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. What's that and who exactly defined it? And, as to who exactly, psychologists. From the Mental Help article: They convince themselves that prostitution is a choice and that none of the women they see are exploited. 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? 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. My counter, if everyone had basic necessities met like health care, and universal basic income, would they choose to work as prostitutes?

    Perhaps a certain kind of psychologist. 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. The "scorched earth" approach only gets support when the nature and scope of the issues are distorted. What are the real issues in play? 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. 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.

    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.

    Thanks for the links! These Wikipedia articles demonstrate my point that the facts and data are very weak in the trafficking discussion, and that data is often misrepresented to exaggerate the size of the problem. The percentage of these related to sex is not mentioned.

    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 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! 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. Everyone is only interested in their agenda in politics, calling for additional research just happens to sometimes further a side's agenda.

    As of right now, the Democrats are the one's who want additional research in most situations, but that doesn't mean they want more research universally, and when studies have come back negatively as they sometimes do , they are disregarded.

    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. Your comment brings to mind this article: I recommend giving it a read if you'd like your attitude challenged.

    Illniyar 3 months ago. Actually prostitution is legal in Nevada but not in the big cities. So even that isn't so clear cut. Great point, I edited my comment to reflect this. Other countries have broader definitions. Slavery is still legal in the USA according to the 13th Amendment. Here is a related WP article[1]. Retric 3 months ago. That number is pretending to be accurate the error bars are rediculus to have 3 digits. Yeah it seems too odd that the population percentage is 0.

    From safety1st's excellent comment: The scorched earth mentality says that if you're not in favor of gun-banning, you're pro-murder. If you're not in favor of policing all of your user-generated content instantaneously and at significant cost, then you are pro-childporn and pro-child-sexual-exploitation. When in fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

    The form of this is a false equivalency or perhaps the https: 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? And to make the system better they just took the system offline. The next Craigs list will be on Tor and will have a child prostitute section.

    Congratulations on making things worse. There was at least one that was very popular around 5 years ago, but I don't remember the name. But you are absolutely right, this is pushing sex workers further underground and therefore making their lives more dangerous. And now you'll have the "innocent" john sorting through ads selling any number of illegal offerings, because he will have to use the TOR version now. Can't help but think this will be a boon for those in the business of sex trafficking.

    Would it be surprising to say that trading in this might include Bitcoin? Monero is the de facto standard currency in the deep web nowadays, not bitcoin. TeMPOraL 3 months ago. About as surprising as noticing that e. I'd imagine they would use Monero or Zcash nowadays since those are proven fairly more anonymized.

    Bitcoin is wholly public so all it takes is one identifiable wallet to start profiling addresses they interact with. You used to be able to tumble the bitcoins but cant realistically do it anymore due to high fees. By Bitcoin I meant Blockchain based money. But I couldn't edit it later on. Unless they send you suitcase with human being and they don't expect them to get back with cash, then yes, it would be surprising.

    But if people are content to swat away a problem until they can't see it anymore, despite that the ignored causes continues to generate more misery, then it's hard to be sympathetic to that defensible position.

    Especially since a lot of people just lost access to romantic venues because a minority of users make a living through sex. Or that particular sites enable it? I think the point is: Bartweiss 3 months ago. Perhaps more directly - if we're trying to stop sex trafficking by shutting down the places where victims meet clients, we're going to have to ban streets. Fjolsvith 3 months ago. Or why can't we ban churches because pastors can use them to rape or molest church members?

    Most monetary transactions involving victims of sex slaves involve money, should we remove it too? 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. No, no, we don't ban money, we just move to systems where the government gets to monitor all your financial transactions in real time and they get to selectively block those they don't find morally wholesome.

    End Prohibition of Sex Work Step 2. 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.

    End Prohibition of Sex Work 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.

    It may not end sex trafficking but legalising prostitution lowers harm levels on workers, but allowing them to seek medical care and police protection without risk of incarceration. There is no down-side to legalisation as many would say for drugs, as it allows problems to have legal solutions.

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    7 Sep For some time, Craigslist has urged its critics to focus on other wrote four months ago in the Craigslist blog, linking to a ad. "My fear is that the ads will migrate to the 'casual encounters' section" of Craigslist. 11 Apr Craigslist shut down their personals after an anti-sex trafficking bill passed as an escort, adult film performer, photographer and phone sex operator. through online forums and check "bad date lists," which sex workers. 3 Aug I decided to dive into Craigslist's "Casual Encounters" — a section made for no- strings The most common scams are "safe dating" websites.