The Law of Decency in Communication

Topics: Sex Trafficking

Also known as human trafficking, the internet is making it much easier to capture, sell, and purchase sex worldwide. Sites such as Craigslist and back page are available for people who would like to find victims online to use for sex, the most hurtful thing about human trafficking is that children are being involved and are also being used as sex slaves. Slavery ended in 1863 but modern-day slavery is still happening and it is getting worse (Asencion, 2017).Historical Background for Policy In 1934 the Communication Decency Act (CDA) provided websites protection from being that they are ‘interactive computer services.

Internet communications were set out to encourage the success of the internet as a marketplace, section 230 wanted to keep the government involvement to a minimum. Originally, section 230 of the CDA was created to protect children online from sexual mistreatment (Asencion, 2017).

Since the 1990’s courts have dealt with being accused of being responsible for the internet service provider for the content that is displayed on its platform.

The requirement that must be met for the courts to protect Internet service providers were the service provider is obligated to allow access by several users to a computer server (Asencion, 2017). When public use of the internet began to become enlarged, the CDA was passed. The CDA provided sections that pertained to the internet, and some made an effort to have control over the sexually explicit content on the internet, which was section 223. Section 230 still only became a safe place for internet providers (Halverson, 2018). Most of the allowance concerning the CDA has its attention on the scope and application of section 230 protection from the public obligations, this normally concerning defamation cases.

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The CDA’s main goal was to protect underage children from being explicit content online. Confirmatory defenses were provided by the CDA to correct the concerns about the accountability of the internet industry (Halverston, 2018). In the year 2007, websites were reported by adults such as craigslist, that particular percentage rose to 53% in 2010 and particular sections of the websites included adult content and dating, this website permitted individuals to display advertisements that offered and also requested sexual services (Asencion, 2017).  Many courts have acted as protectors of section 230 of the CDA. Courts who are all for section 230 have said that the protection encourages free speech, mostly in online public media. There is also controversy that section 230 is important because websites cannot be projected to have the dimensions to look after every third-party content that is uploaded on their sites (Halverson, 2018). Even though section 230 was not created to start any protection, courts have worked hard and failed to settle models from the earlier internet era with the realism of oppression.

The ending results of the actions have been victims of sex traffickers unable to continue any cases with the businesses that enable sex trafficking (Heil, 2017). Problems That Necessitate the Policy Even though criminal law exists and cases have been brought against the internet service provider for inappropriate information that is on their websites. One website that has been under fire for the content that is on its website is the back page, which is facing criminal charges. There have been several failed attempts to put the Back page to an end and hold them accountable for their content (Maras, 2017). If this certain website is held accountable for the content on its site then it will be known as an ‘information content provider’ under the 230 section of the CDA (Maras, 2017). Over the world, section 230 of the CDA was originally set out to protect children in the world and the courts have safeguarded commercial exploiters of children and adults (Halverson, 2018). Section 230 of the CDA’s protection set off disagreement from the beginning and set the platform for the steady debates regarding the pressure between unregulated free speech and online safety (Halverson, 2018).

Section 230 of the CDA is responsible for the development of the internet. Others say that the internet is very much so not what it should be, regardless of whether it comes to sex trafficking of children and women and pornography of children (Hiel, 2018). Human trafficking has grown fast over the years and forty million people in the world have become victims of human trafficking estimated to the International Labour Organization. With so much exploitation of modern-day slavery, sadly, 25% of the victims are children (Hiel, 2018). There has been a request for Congress to upgrade the 230 section of the CDA and address the problems that have occurred because of it. Since the internet is evolving, many traffickers find their victims on the internet, it has become so much easier to capture victims of sex trafficking, especially children, other than catching victims on the streets and in public areas like it has been done in the past (Asencion, 2017). Instead of the internet service providers being punished for the content that is being placed on their websites, instead, the individuals who post the inappropriate material on the sites are being punished. The CDA is the reason for the internet being a place for individuals to come to find victims of human trafficking (Asencion, 2017). The online classified website Craigslist was sued by the Sheriff of Cook County and claimed that it was irritation and the website was the blame for the solicitation of prostitution but unfortunately, the lawsuit was dismissed and the pressure was not put on any websites for the content that was displayed (Asencion, 2017).

It was demanded that their adult section is removed from their platform, and it was removed. Unfortunately, after Craigslist was removed, the Back page was created, and users from Craigslist moved to the Back page and continued to advertise sex online. CDA section 230 made sure that the Back page did not pursue any trafficking of children on their website (Asencion, 2017). Titles are used to target minors to be sold for sex, the courts are dismissing these websites of any guilt of trafficking minors. The CDA is used as a protection against what is happening on websites today. The website’s Back page is hiding behind the CDA and continues to be protected if the courts and Congress never say differently. (Asencion, 2017). Some federal officials have referred to the CDA as the ‘Communication Indecency Act’ because the CDA treats classified websites how common phone carriers are treated. Officials are trusting these websites to review all the content that is placed o their platforms, which should not happen because it only increases the human trafficking of young individuals. Researchers express that the first amendment should not be used as a safety gate to cover the illegal content that is being portrayed on the internet. Children suffer from long-term injuries from trafficking and no one in the higher power is doing anything about it (Asencion, 2017).

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The Law of Decency in Communication. (2022, Apr 28). Retrieved from

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