A few days ago, the US Senate passed the FOSTA/SESTA bill. SESTA stands for the Stop Enabling Sex Trafficking Act while FOSTA stands for the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act.
Because of the bill, Craigslist immediately took down their Personals section, Reddit shut down darknetmarkets, Google has apparently deleted porn from Drive, and Amazon removed the Erotica bestseller rankings from its store.
You may be wondering, wait, what does Erotica have to do with an online sex trafficking bill?
I don’t know but because Amazon ends up being an online platform and the bill will make it possible to penalize online providers that enable sex trafficking to occur, that’s why Amazon is doing what it’s doing…? Or is it just one big coincidence?
This new change has had authors scrambling, and not just erotica writers, but those who write romance because it seems that a few who don’t write erotica or have erotic content in their books have been affected, too. Not having a store ranking means it’s no longer visible in the overall store but readers looking for erotica content can still search for it—unlike a book that’s been “dungeoned” where you can’t even find it in search results. Yep, Amazon has a dungeon where certain books are sent to die!
Does Amazon’s new system mean that erotica is dead?
Considering that my post about writing erotica is the most popular on my blog, well, I’d like to think not (yet — just kidding). Erotica books are still selling on Amazon, only now their listing has been removed from the main store pages much like Walmart moving Cosmopolitan magazines away from the checkout racks and putting them into the magazine aisle.
What does this mean for my naughty pen name? Is it worth it to keep it?
I don’t know the answer to that yet but I do love writing under my naughty pen. It’s more liberating and I wish I could share it here but I can’t. But because it’s now grown from the original 8k word erotica short to a 50k word erotic novel that has yet to be continued until it’s happily ever after, I have the option of migrating it to my main name after I “clean it up” a bit or keep it under the naughty pen’s stable and leave it as raunchy as it is.
I do like the second option better.
But with Amazon’s latest move and Google’s deletion of porn content from Drive, this has got me thinking about personal blogs.
- Will WordPress, Blogger and similar online providers police content, too?
- Will they create a separate category like Amazon has done?
- Will they shut down what they consider pornographic?
- And who considers what to be pornographic? A bot? A human behind a terminal going through all the blogs (highly unlikely)?
The questions are endless and I guess time will tell. What do you think?
Edited to ADD the image below from Radish Fiction, an app that delivers serials and charges per chapter.
At this point, I don’t think online erotic content will last long 😦