Safeguarding Your Business in the Eyes of SESTA and FOSTA

WITH SO MUCH UNCERTAINTY SURROUNDING SESTA AND FOSTA, IT'S ALMOST LIKE THE PROVERBIAL CARPET IS BEING PULLED OUT FROM BENEATH THE PROFESSIONAL ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY.

Time to change your state of mind! Many of the advocates that support FOSTA are opposed to sex work in general. While these bills may limit human trafficking and child pornography (which is a good thing), the implications overshadowing free speech for professional models and hostesses are daunting. What are the first steps that you as a tour guide can take to safeguard your business and future?

SILENCE YOUR CONTENT

If your website text is too suggestive or implies the offering of illegal acts, rewrite it or replace it altogether. I have read a lot of model website content that makes me cringe by its crass nature. Creatively structure your content in a way that speaks in metaphors. Do not use lewd language. Rather, use suggestive words that imply ideas so as to keep you safe, at least until the aftermath of FOSTA takes shape.

CURB YOUR IMAGERY

I have always been an opponent of raunchy photos that leave nothing to the imagination. In light of SESTA and FOSTA, avoiding this type of branding is more critical than ever. Such images degrade the branding of the model behind the pictures and could incriminate. Keep it tasteful, ladies. Show skin in a classy way that will inspire your viewers without giving it all away in a few photos. Think Agent Provocateur, Kiki di Montparnasse.

REPLACE YOUR KEYWORDS

This is a big one and doing so means that your content could totally unravel. We will begin to see a new industry standard. Gone are the days of keywords and phrases as we know them. Now more than ever, it is important that your content expresses the services that you offer in more obscure ways that subtly paint a picture without the use of blatant wording. But not to worry! Expect a new era of key words and phrases that I will be putting together in a later post.

CHANGE YOUR DOMAIN SUFFICE FROM .COM TO .CH

Top level domain extensions such as .com, .net are the most common among professional model websites. These domain extensions are regulated by the United States and ICANN. If SESTA and FOSTA turn out to be disastrous for the exotic entertainment industry, changing your domain suffix to a country code top level domain such as .ch from Switzerland is a safe bet.

THE 2257 DISCLOSURE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER

Does your website have a legal disclosure? If not, now is the time to add one. If you already have one, check the language. It should be clear and strong. Make it beefy.

SHOULD YOU PASSWORD PROTECT YOUR BLOG?

Think about adding a members only section to your website where you can express a bit more freedom in how much skin you show and the maturity of your language. Unless your words are benign, it is probably a good idea to password protect your blog. In doing so, you will collect a database of subscribers to which you can advertise through a drip email marketing campaign (more on this topic in a future post).

ENCRYPT YOUR BUSINESS EMAIL ACCOUNT

If your email account is not encrypted, you should run, not walk to an email client that protects your privacy and anonymity. Consider using ProtonMail or SafeOffice. Remember not to select .com for your new email account, not even your backup email account.

SWITTER IS THE NEW TWITTER

In this social forum called SWITTER, speak your mind and flaunt your assets as much as you like. Mastodon is the software that Switter uses. Switter is a distributed and federated social network, with microblogging features similar to Twitter but administered as a decentralized federation of independently operated servers running free software. What does all that gibberish mean? No censorship! Founded in 2016, we wish to thank Eugen Rochko, the originating developer, for blessing us all with a forum that is all about free speech. Toot away, ladies! Oh, and don’t forget to post your SWITTER LISTING. Then, DELETE all of those saucy Tweets that you’ve posted over the years, just to be on the safe side.

SHADOWBANNED ON TWITTER?

Shadowbanning is the act of banning a user or their content from an online community (like Twitter) so that the user does not realize that they have been banned. In the case of Twitter, if you have been shadowbanned, you might be tweeting but your tweets are not seen. Just one more reason to join Switter (catch me there! @Meeshee).

RETHINK WHERE TO STORE YOUR DIGITAL INFORMATION

As in your contacts, photos, content and anything else that could be incriminating to your business. Discontinue using Google drive and iCloud. At any given time, they can delete your account and all its information or worse, disclose your personal details upon request of the U.S. government. Revert to the old fashioned method: backing up all of the information on your computer to an external hard drive plugged into your computer. You own it and no one has access to it except your cat or dog. Even though they claim privacy, online data storage (cloud storage) services can access your data at any time.

FINALLY, AVOID USING SERVICES THAT REQUIRE LOCATION INFORMATION AND ENSURE THAT YOUR WEBSITE IS HOSTED OFFSHORE

As talked about in our previous articles, ECD has moved our servers to offshore hosting in Amsterdam. Many more factors about what professional entertainers can do to arm their businesses moving forward will be discussed in upcoming articles. Brace yourself for exciting times, ladies and gents!


What the New Sex Trafficking Bills Mean to Exotic Entertainers

Controversial sex trafficking bill

The House of Representatives recently passed S. 1693, The SESTA bill, Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act of 2017. It’s a big deal and poses a threat to the livelihood of all professional models who reside and do business in the United States.

Is sex trafficking the same thing as paid, consensual companionship?

Hardly. So where is the crossover and how will these bills affect individual escorts?

 

It’s about platforms, not individuals

SESTA/FOSTA laws place legal responsibility for sex work interactions on platform holders (think Craig’s List, Reddit, The Erotic Review, Eros) rather than individual users. FOSTA subjects websites to criminal and civil liability when users unlawfully misuse online personal ads. For years these platforms have been immune to legal responsibility for what their users do either within the platforms or as a result of using the platforms. Rather than assume the legal risk, some platforms are shutting down functionality entirely.

These bills pose a chilling effect filled with uncertainty

Wikipedia defines sex trafficking with the purpose of sexual exploitation and sexual slavery. Sexual exploitation is based upon the interaction between a trafficker selling a victim to customers wherein the victim performs sexual services. Sex trafficking crimes include child sex tourism, domestic minor sex trafficking or commercial sexual exploitation of children, and prostitution.

Nothing in this definition of sex trafficking talks about consensual companionship. But is there an overlap between the two that will adversely impact the adult companionship industry? What will affect the professional entertainment industry is how adult-related forums choose to react to these laws. As in the case with Craig’s List, it became a question of ‘better safe than sorry’ as it could become for other forums. And that my friends, is where our concern comes into play.

The fate of Squarespace and Wix

Squarespace has relaxed their terms and conditions with regard to allowing adult-oriented websites. A few years ago, their TOS prohibited adult content but I never heard of them taking any action by taking down models' websites. However, Squarespace servers are located in the United States - not where any sensual entertainer website longs to be after the passing of SESTA. I submitted a query to the folks at Squarespace asking about their position in this matter. Never heard back.

Wix’s headquarters are located in Tel Aviv, Israel with servers worldwide. While their terms and conditions are not quite as relaxed as those of Square Space, there is some language that could allow for termination of any escort website, if they see fit. At least, that's my interpretation.

WordPress development is my favorite

This development platform allows mature content but within certain parameters that if violated could qualify a site to be shut down. If your site was recently shut down, it could be that the site violated these guidelines and probably could have been avoided. If your website or blog contain explicit content or imagery, be sure the site is marked as ‘mature’ and it will be excluded from public areas within the environment. Now more than ever, it’s best to stay away from images and language that could be construed as nasty, dirty or raunchy.

The United States has jurisdiction over your domain

Headquartered in Los Angeles, California, ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) oversees namespaces and manages internet protocol - in a nutshell. The United States has jurisdiction over these domains: .com, .biz, .org, .net. As long as your website URL ends with any of the aforementioned, it could be at risk under the SESTA/FOSTA laws. There is a lot more on this topic but I’m going to keep it simple.

In light of SESTA/FOSTA we might start to see more reaction in the upcoming months

Who’s to say that at any given time forums, U.S. located internet service providers, website builders or development platforms won’t change their terms and conditions and ban escorts and companions from their use?

What Elegant Copywriting, Consulting and Design, DC is doing to protect client websites

In the world of adult entertainment, the landscape is ever-changing. We must all keep up with the times and stay ahead of the curve if we are to survive. Go to THIS ARTICLE to learn about our proactive changes in light of SESTA/FOSTA that will safeguard your entertainment business and keep you afloat!

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