On the 11th of April, 2018, President Donald Trump passes into law the “Stop Enabling Sex Trafficking and Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (also known as FOSTA-SESTA)”. What the government aims to gain with this law is to stop to an extent the evil act of sex trafficking. This will also include curbing the online platforms.
One of the issues pertaining to this law was highlighted by Privacy Experts. They are concerned that this law will not only affect the services of sex workers but that it will also criminalize their services. The bill also amended section 230 which previously immunized online services from civil liability for the acts committed by users on their websites.
These are two laws that might change what is used to be known as a safe harbor for owners of websites. In the past, these website owners weren’t answerable for any actions of their site users. To understand this, let’s say you threaten someone on any of the Social Media platform. You as a user will be held liable for the threat (post). But the owner of such site won’t be ‘legally’ held liable for hosting such posts as it is impossible to control what people post on these sites. Hence, making it a violation of the privacy rights of users. Now, under the new FOSTA-SESTA law, that won’t be a tenable excuse anymore. Every site owner will face the wrath of the law for hosting what the new law terms as prostitution.
How it will affect Sugar Daddy industry
For those who still don’t know what all of these means, it’s simple, this law won’t just affect the ‘obvious’ prostitution cases around us. This might also result in adult contents being deleted from your cloud account or Google Drive. Social Media platforms banning adult contents on their sites and so many other things that would be affected. But the real question that beckons now is, what does this mean for the Sugar Daddy Industry? Since the difference between consensual sex, arrangement or human trafficking was not clearly stated by the law. Meeting new people for companionship or arrangement (which is what Sugar Daddy sites do) might not be possible anymore, at least not legally.
On the 27th of May, 2018, Apple removed all the Sugar Daddy apps that were formerly on their store. What this simply means is that App Store won’t be accepting Sugar Daddy App. To use the dating apps, you will have to the Android platform. More reason why the Sudy app was modified and turned to the now new millionaire dating app of today.
We all agree that this new law has really affected the Sugar Daddy Websites. But not to worry, this won’t be the end of the online dating industry and Sugar Daddy industry too. As a Sugar daddy site owner, what you have to do is convince the government agencies that they aren’t doing any of these actions that are termed illegal by the FOSTA-SESTA law. You also have to make sure that you control and stand against these illegal practices on their platform.
The questions that beg to be answered would be “are sugar daddy sites really bad?” Or is all of this drama a ripple effect from the discriminating attitude of people towards the Sugar Daddy Websites as a whole? To be fair, I think the latter would be the case. Let’s look at it from this part, most of the Sugar Babies on these platforms are female students who are driven by the high cost of learning. No thanks to the Universities they attend who don’t see anything wrong with the expensive tuition fees. Now, these ladies are helped out by the Sugar Daddies they meet on this so-called ‘illegal’ platform. This makes the site a life saver for these girls.
Is this the end?
Not really, the honors now lie on the site owners to work hard to do whatever it is they need to do to comply with the new law. A good idea would be to integrate algorithms and software that would help flag any prostitution-related jargons and immediately report these actions to the authority. Painting a picture of helping to fight against these illegal activities can help them too. One of the things that you may have to sacrifice could be the huge number of users that are presently using the platform, as a result of banning and restricting accounts of offenders/those who violate this law.
This could also mean giving full access to government authorities to viewing user’s personal messages and monitor accounts of members to make sure that they aren’t performing any act of prostitution. But it is also important to note that these are all ideas that can help reduce the pressure and solve the problem moving forward.
This law could be counterproductive because the law would send these sex workers back to the street where the real trafficking and sex slavery is really happening. What would happen next is left to be seen. But this doesn’t change the fact that this law would definitely affect the Sugar Daddy Industry and they (Sugar Daddy Sites) now face a future that is not clear. And Sugar Daddy apps are not likely to be on Apple store for a while. We can only wait to find out what would really happen next and what this holds for everyone.