Controversial bill to hold websites accountable for sex trafficking

John Simpson of Consumer Watchdog joined host Michael Finney to explain a controversial bill that aims to help stop sex trafficking, SESTA (Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act).

The bipartisan bill, approved by the Senate Commerce Committee earlier this month, calls for websites to be held accountable for knowingly facilitating sex trafficking.

Currently the courts categorize websites similarly to large phone phone companies, with both carriers and those behind websites/platforms sidestepping any responsibility for the actions of third parties.

SESTA would modify section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to allow victims of sex trafficking to seek justice if the website knowingly facilitated the crimes against them, with the argument being that transactions and comments on the Internet can now be easily tracked and regulated.

Google and Facebook have aggressively opposed the proposed amendment to section 230, claiming the changes would undermine freedom of expression on the Internet. Smaller tech companies are also joining in, arguing that they would not be equipped to regulate their content to the extent the bill calls for.

Listen to the full segment below for additional information on the topic.


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