U.S.: Delay law requiring age verification for Internet advertising models
A judge in Washington suspended for 14 days entry into force of the Act “SB 6251″ which provides for imprisonment of those responsible for websites that allow Ads offering sexual services ‘embedded’ image involving juvenile of age.
While entry may seem a necessary law, its application would be little or no viable, so the people of the Backpage.com classifieds website (which has been widely criticized for publishing such notices) has filed an appeal before the authorities in the U.S. capital, and they have accepted it, paralyzing the Act for two weeks.
In its application Backpage.com people explains the procedures necessary to comply with this law, would make all the websites that allow publishing of content from third parties (not only classifieds but also to the forums, websites / blogs, social networks , chats, etc.), in a sort of “censors” in the service of the State, and in practice the procedure to verify the ages of advertisers and / or people who are involved in the ads is so complex that it becomes almost unenforceable.
As they explain Backpage.com lawyers, those responsible should review the websites one by one the ads, and in case of sexual contents even implied deals (which already lends itself to a lot of subjectivity) must check that does not involve minors, for which they must obtain and maintain a record identifying the person on whom the notice is published and …
We, in this case, for example, I understand that this is a site famous for Classified ads sex, so I have to check almost everything that is published and verify who is the author of everything, which, we clear, in practice it is almost impossible to fulfill, or is a slow and expensive. They argue that managers of interactive Web sites, such as boards or forums, for example, are not responsible for third party content appearing on your platform.
However, the penalties established by this new Law those responsible for websites that publish such ads are nothing more and nothing less than fines of up to $ 10,000 and up to five years in prison. In this regard, Liz McDougall, general counsel of Village Voice Media, the media group that owns Backpage.com, said:
“We believe that human trafficking is an abomination to stop. However, SB 6251 is not the answer “
To all these, the reasons why the Judge Ricardo Martinez instructed the temporary cessation (two weeks) of the controversial law that was to take effect today, is that the arguments of Backpage.com have shown a “likelihood of success” … That is, that in part he was convinced the above arguments.
The next thing will probably be the “break” of who defend SB 6251, considering fundamental to stop trafficking and sexual exploitation of Minors on the Internet: Surely not stay idly by, so in these next weeks we will be attentive to what they may claim.
In particular, although I think it is necessary to establish controls to punish such crimes and to combat child prostitution in the Red and trafficking of people, I do not think that a law with so many “loose ends” is the solution: that one thing to establish control mechanisms, but another very important is that these mechanisms are viable and do not represent an affront to other freedoms like expression or information, for example.
And let’s assume, for example, that the Act comes into force and the Webs (for fear of punishment to that school if they are facing one of these ads banned) begin to review one by one the published content, for example in a Web forum or classified … imagine the time it would take! So much so that perhaps when approved our review or notice would have no reason to be published … how would then our right to express and opinion on the Web? Difficult …
Link: Judge Ties Up Online Sex-Advertising Law (WIRED)Tags: Ads, Advertising, Backpage.com, Children, Classified, Intenret, Law, Minors, SB 6251, standstill, U.S., Washington