Erased: The impact of FOSTA-SESTA and the removal of Backpage on sex workers


  • Danielle Blunt
  • Ariel Wolf



This short article presents in brief the findings of a community-based, sex worker-led survey that asked sex workers about their experiences since the closure of Backpage and adoption of FOSTA. It shows that the financial situation of the vast majority of research participants has deteriorated, as has their ability to access community and screen clients. It concludes that FOSTA is just the latest example of the US government using anti-trafficking policy and restrictions on technology to police already marginalised people.


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Author Biographies

Danielle Blunt

Danielle Blunt is a New York City-based Dominatrix, a full-spectrum doula, and a sex worker rights activist. She recently received her Master’s degree in Public Health. Her research investigates the intersection of public health, sex work, and equitable access to technology in marginalised communities.

Ariel Wolf

Ariel Wolf is a writer, researcher, and former sex worker from New York City. She previously served as the community organiser for the Red Umbrella Project, a non-profit organisation that amplified the voices of those in the sex trades, and as a research assistant for the Center for Court Innovation, where she worked on studies on sex work, human trafficking, gun violence, and procedural justice.




How to Cite

Blunt, D., & Wolf, A. (2020). Erased: The impact of FOSTA-SESTA and the removal of Backpage on sex workers. Anti-Trafficking Review, (14), 117–121.