District Court Ruling Highlights Congress’ Hastiness To Pass ‘Worst of Both Worlds FOSTA’– Doe 1 v. Backpage

Backpage has been the poster child for Section 230’s purported failings. The argument goes (1) Backpage facilitates sex trafficking, (2) Section 230 protects Backpage, so (3) Section 230 is evil. That was the core message of the so-called “documentary” I Am Jane Doe; and Congress has spent the last year working on SESTA and FOSTA predicated on this argument. But…what if the argument were wrong, and Section 230 didn’t protect Backpage’s role in sex trafficking? If true, SESTA/FOSTA would be nonsensical. From the beginning, FOSTA/SESTA opponents have argued that Section 230 does not guarantee protection for Backpage. For example, we showed that the Department of Justice took down two sites similar to Backpage using existing law; and a California court denied Backpage Section 230 protection for  a state criminal prosecution over money laundering. Plus, the Senate Investigative Report from January 2017 exposed…

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