CV NEWS FEED // The so-called “adult entertainment industry” has hired lobbyists to meet with lawmakers of both parties in an effort to save itself from regulations that could quash the proliferation of pornography online, according to a Politico report.
“A trade organization for the adult entertainment industry has hired a D.C. lobbying firm to build its relationships with lawmakers and to advocate on behalf of key policies that affect the industry,” Politico reported Wednesday:
Most notably it is trying to beat back major changes to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act — a shield for internet platforms that safeguards them from liability for what their users post. …Like the large and powerful social media companies, the porn industry says that Section 230 is key to its ability to exist. The same law that protects Instagram and YouTube from being sued over illegal content posted by its users — such as threats or hate speech — also protects sites like PornHub and OnlyFans from their own unlawful content, like child pornography or revenge porn.
In Congress, there is a bipartisan interest in reforming Section 230.
Republicans see a need to reign in too-powerful internet giants like Twitter, Google, and Facebook, which have acted to suppress Republican messaging — often in the midst of heated election contests. In addition, Republicans favor the rapidly-growing anti-porn movement which not only opposes the proliferation of smut, but also calls out the pornography industry for its abysmal record of hosting illegal content on its online platforms.
Democrats, meantime, would like to hold Big Tech legally accountable for harmful content and “misinformation” on its platforms.
“The Free Speech Coalition, a trade organization for the adult entertainment industry, has enlisted two lobbyists at Clarity Consulting, a D.C.-based lobbying firm,” Politico reported:
Keith Nelson, a former Republican Hill staffer and Bush White House alumnus, along with Shawn Delaney, a longtime lobbyist with Democratic ties. In doing so, it became the first group to register to lobby on behalf of the porn industry in Washington.
Nelson told Politico he will be lobbying “Congress and the executive branch, including the Treasury Department,” on behalf of Big Porn.
“If Section 230 is gone, we are not going to exist on the internet,” one “pornographic actress” who also works with the lobbying group told Politico.
The lobbyists have already met with the staff of a number of high-profile Democrats, including Sen. Ron Wyden, D-OR, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-MA, and Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY.
Lobbyists with the pornography industry have been at work for decades, especially in the state of California, according to Politico. Among their successes was winning “a Supreme Court case in 2002 that found the Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996 — which banned sexually explicit content that appeared to depict minors who were not actual children — to be overly broad.”