Date of Award

Spring 5-2021

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Political Science

Advisor/Committee Chair

Meredith Weiss


FOSTA/SESTA, a federal law passed in 2017, was intended to thwart sex trafficking on the internet by amending Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996. In practice, it has radically changed the ways internet service providers (ISPs) moderate user content, oftentimes impacting the livelihoods of sex workers. Considering FOSTA/SESTA’s broad bipartisan support, this thesis examines the roles of different advocacy groups in FOSTA/SESTA’s creation. By examining witness testimonies before Congress, public statements, and letters for/against FOSTA/SESTA, the author finds that, the more socially accepted an advocacy group’s members are, the more influence that stakeholder group held over the creation of this strange and impactful law.