Yesterday, U.S. President Donald Trump signed FOSTA (the “Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act”), a law that severely punishes websites caught benefiting or participating in anything that facilitates “sex-trafficking.” Many sex workers agree the law will endanger their lives, and it’s so broadly worded that various websites have shut down their personals and sex-discussion sections to avoid being prosecuted. But now one company, SpankChain, wants to shame the U.S. Senators who voted for the law by asking any sex workers who have slept with said congressmen to step up and identify their hypocritical clients.
Spankchain is basically a business that uses the Ethereum cryptocurrency to let people pay for online porn since credit card companies and PayPal sometimes prevent porn performers from receiving online payments for their sex-related work. Spankchain circumvents those companies by letting porn viewers basically pay performers directly with fewer fees or restrictions.
Spankchain says it would like sex workers to step forward and announce whether any of their clients are among the 97 U.S. Senators who voted for FOSTA.
The company hasn’t announced why it’s only targeting senators and not the 388 House Representatives who voted for the law. Nor have they said what they’ll do with the sex workers’ information, stating they’d decide after consulting with and paying sex workers for the info.
Spankchain co-founder and adult performer Janice Griffith said:
We want to expose the hypocrisy and corrupt representation that exists within our government, working not to serve the people but attack them for their choices and allow lives lost as collateral damage under a charade of well-intent. SESTA (the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act integrated with FOSTA) does not serve to actually end sex trafficking or forced labor of any kind, rather it pushes consensual workers out of places they have created for themselves and criminals further underground.
But sex worker rights advocate Kate D’Adamo says Spankchain’s plan could backfire because it reinforces the idea that people should be ashamed for employing sex workers, an idea that actually hurts sex workers rather than helping their cause.
“This is entirely about being angry about the (FOSTA) bill and nothing to do with sex worker support,” D’Adamo says.
Many experts, sex worker organizations, the Department of Justice, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a group called Survivors Against SESTA and gay porn star Conner Habib have all spoken out against FOSTA.
They worry that banking websites and fundraising websites (like OnlyFans) will shut down and sex workers on social media will get banned, severely hurting sex workers’ ability to survive financially and forcing them to return to pimps and an inability to weed out potentially violent clients online before meeting.