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Apr 11, 2018

Amid FOSTA crackdown, sex workers find refuge on Mastodon

Sex workers are running out of safe online spaces. Craigslist is no longer displaying personal ads. The controversial classifieds site Backpage, which many escorts used to screen clients, has been seized by the FBI. Adult content is disappearing off Google Drive, and many sex workers say they’re being forced off social media. With the news that President Trump has signed the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA), their options will continue to dwindle — and with it, the ability for many sex workers to pay their bills, let alone do so safely.

Over the past few weeks, sex workers have been turning to an unexpected platform to remain online: the social network Mastodon, under a new instance called “Switter.”...

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