The FOSTA (Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act) and the SESTA (Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act) was signed into law by U.S. President Donald Trump on April 11th, 2018. Any website that sexually exploits women in any way could now be affected.
There is a lot of debate over whether these laws interfere with digital privacy rights. Up until these laws were signed, website owners did not get into any legal trouble over the misconduct that their visitors did on these websites. For instance, if you ran a classified ads website and someone posted an advertisement to solicit prostitution, you wouldn’t get in trouble for that. But now, under these laws, you would get in trouble.
Now you might be thinking, “How can this affect sugar daddy websites since they’re not trafficking women by force?” Well, these laws were not very specific about the nature of the sex that is forbidden. In other words, there is no clear separation between sex trafficking and consensual sex in these laws. That means if you go on a sugar daddy website to look for a young lady or an older man, you could get in trouble under these laws. It doesn’t matter if it is a consensual arrangement between the two of you.
Of course, sugar daddy websites are supposed to be about companionship rather than sex. But that’s no different than an escort agency which claims only to offer escort services. In both cases, the women and their clients typically make private arrangements to have sex transactions. However, the FOSTA-SESTA laws might still go after sugar daddy website owners anyway. The legislation mentions that any online platform promoting “prostitution” will be in trouble. It doesn’t get into any more specifics that.
Due to the vagueness of the word “prostitution” in the legislation, these laws could very well affect sugar daddy websites. Even though the laws are supposed to be about sex trafficking, they’re actually targeting “prostitution” in any possible form. If a dating website or sugar daddy website is exploiting women for the sake of arranging a meet up with someone else, this could be construed as prostitution under the laws.
Effects on Sugar Daddy Websites in the UK
Okay, so clearly sugar daddy websites in the United States are being threatened by these new American laws. But how can this affect a totally different country like the United Kingdom? It all depends on where the sugar daddy websites are hosted.
There are a lot of British websites with the “co.uk” extension which are not actually hosted in the United Kingdom. A website owner must always follow the laws of the country where their website is hosted. This might not necessarily be their own country.
For instance, if you live in the United Kingdom and operate a sugar daddy website that is hosted on American hosting servers, then you’re obligated to follow these new FOSTA-SESTA laws that were passed in the United States. But if your sugar daddy website is hosted in the United Kingdom, then these laws don’t apply to you in any way.
There is no guarantee this will solve the problem. But the more you convince the government that prostitution is not taking place on your website, the better chance you’ll have of not getting sued or arrested.
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