The bill, euphemistically known as the “Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act,” or FOSTA, was passed by the House of Representatives in late February. It’s been largely portrayed by the media and those in Congress as an “anti-sex trafficking” measure. But while doing nothing to realistically fight sex trafficking, it manages to muck up all sorts of other serious things.
Under current law, the site can’t be held legally liable if someone uses veiled terms to solicit commercial sex—aka prostitution—through the Craigslist personals. But FOSTA will change that, opening up Craigslist (and every other digital platform) to serious legal and financial jeopardy should it accidently “promote” or “facilitate” prostitution.