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5 Things You Need to Know About The Craigslist Adult Services Censor

Posted: September 8th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on 5 Things You Need to Know About The Craigslist Adult Services Censor

"This weekend, Craigslist censored the Adult Services section of their site," Lori Adelman writes of the much-publicized controversy in which Melissa Farley and other anti-prostitution activists have hypocritially accused the company of facilitating child sex trafficking. Using wildly inflated numbers, misguided or just plain ignorant activists along with 17 "criminally shortsighted" attorneys general eager to jump on the panic-wagon put enough public pressure on Craigslist to make them self-censor part of the website.

If this all sounds familiar, it should. And what ideologically-motivated anti-trafficking groups ought to know is what they most don't want to hear: censoring Craigslist helps traffickers, hurting women, children, and cops.

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SPOTLIGHT: Lifting the lid on Project Acumen’ | An Anthology of English Pros

Posted: August 29th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on SPOTLIGHT: Lifting the lid on Project Acumen’ | An Anthology of English Pros

Recently, project Acumen, by Association of Chief Police Officers in the UK, put together a report called "Setting the Record," which sought to discover how many sex workers, and particularly migrant sex workers, in the UK were "vulnerable" or "trafficked." Naturally, there were immediately headlines all over the Internet saying things like "1 in 10 Sex Workers Trafficked," with the number of trafficked workers being reported as anything from 2,600 to 12,000. Because, of course, most media sources want to get something published more than they want to read through appendices. Stephen Patterson of An Anthology of English Pros, however, did read through the whole thing. What he has to say about it not very surprising to us at Kink On Tap, but I bet it would surprise the heck out of a lot of the people reading the mainstream coverage of the report.

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Reporter’s Sex-Trafficking Questions Silences Craigslist Founder – Tech Talk – CBS News

Posted: August 6th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Reporter’s Sex-Trafficking Questions Silences Craigslist Founder – Tech Talk – CBS News

Craig Newmark, "the Craig from Craigslist," was "ambushed" by CNN's Amber Lyon for a slam piece about sex trafficking, Charles Cooper reports. "When the reporter…first approached him with a question about screening out ads for sex with minors, Newmark told her that the company had explained all that on its corporate blog. … After a cutaway with a Detective, Lyon returned to the attack." In Lyon's CNN report, he asks her "Have you reported this to us?" She replies, "Why do I have the responsibility to report this to you when it's your website? You're the one posting this online." Newmark then walked away. In an emailed statement, a Craigslist spokesperson wrote Lyon's interview "was a direct violation of the Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics."

Sex trafficking is a loaded issue, and conflations between it and sex work are dangerous for victims and society alike.

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World Cup Fever: Has it Really Led to an Increase in Trafficking?

Posted: July 1st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on World Cup Fever: Has it Really Led to an Increase in Trafficking?

"Mainstream media outlets have been reporting that 40,000 women have been trafficked into South African brothels for the World Cup," Audacia Ray writes. "That’s a pretty horrifying statistic—except that there simply aren’t any good citations that confirm it." That statistic has, in fact, been a favorite of alarming news reports since 2006, and Laura Augustín points out that it was just as uncorroborated then as it is now.

"To be fair," Audacia says, "there is some critique of the World Cup trafficking scare happening in mainstream media…but the voices of South Africans, and particularly people who work in the sex industry, were entirely absent from the articles." According to South African Researchers Marlise Richter and Tamlyn Monson, "there is no evidence" that the World Cup increased trafficking crimes. Instead, they say, it's some people's expectation.

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NY Bill Allows Sex Trafficking Victims to Clear Prostitution Convictions — The Curvature

Posted: July 1st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on NY Bill Allows Sex Trafficking Victims to Clear Prostitution Convictions — The Curvature

A bill amending NY State Criminal Procedure Law could let victims of sex trafficking clear their prostitution convictions. If signed into law by Gov. Paterson, the bill would be the first of its kind in the US. Although she admits it's a huge victory, Cara says, "I find the need for such legislation in the first place to be very sad. […T]he thought of women being tried in a court of law and convicted for the 'crime' of having been repeatedly raped, since that’s what non-consensual sex work is…an utterly appalling system." That's why I call it the legal system, not the justice system.

Advocates from the Sex Workers Project helped draft the bill. "[H]elping to write a piece of important and passed legislation is a major success, and one that deserves to be celebrated and applauded," Cara says. But "the Feminist Majority Foundation didn’t seem to think so." Cara outlines how a major FMF publication, Ms. Magazine, "didn’t see fit as to so much mention the Sex Workers Project’s name."

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