Stop Online Piracy Act (2012)
I remember SOPA vividly! I was in high school, and I swear, this bill ignited millennials, such as myself, since it threatened to censor the internet!
User-Generated Content & Other Similarities
SOPA had the potential of affecting online freedom of speech, websites, and Internet communities. Protesters also argued that there were insufficient safeguards in place to protect sites based upon user-generated content.
Gee! Sounds a bit similar to FOSTA, right?
I’ll never forgot the online protests that Google, Wikipedia, Erowid, Craigslist, etc. orchestrated to display the insidious nature of SOPA.
All images courtesy of Electronic Frontier Foundation.
On January 18, 2012, These companies either went completely dark or censored their websites to inform the public to speak out against SOPA becoming law.
Motion Pictures Association of America (MPAA)
A major supported of the bill was the MPAA, yet they called for the protests to end because people relied on these sites for information.
So, if we rely on these websites for information, then why are you (MPAA) supporting a bill that could potentiality shut them down without warning?
Think about it, MPAA.
Congress Censors the Internet
Six years later on March 21, 2018, the Senate passed Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) with a 97-2 vote.
Freedom of speech & internet communities dedicated to helping sex workers were now under attack.
Early spring 2018, FOSTA quickly created a domino effect for online sex workers. CityVibe was the first to go, followed by Backpage, ECCIE, USA Sex Guide, etc.
In December 2018, the wrath of FOSTA continues as social media sites are now planning to ban any porn or sexual content from their platforms.
Alternate Universe, Not Controlled Universe
Remember that the internet is young, so all these digital laws that are trying to pass are just control. Authorities want to control an entity that thrives on expression & innovation.
The internet progresses via creativity & ideas. Not through legality & limitations!
The Future of the Internet
FOSTA scares me, and it should scare the fuck out of you too.
Look at things now! Craigslist shut down its ‘personals’, social media sites are banning porn/adult content, Reddit censored Dark Net Markets and a few Escort and Sugar Daddy/Baby related subreddits, Google Voice is suspending accounts linked to adult professions, etc. and rumors of Google’s algorithm affecting escort sites.
After Porn, What Next?
FOSTA’s enactment has generated censorship of porn and other adult/sexual content.
So, once all of that is eradicated, what’s next?