fbpx
Home/The State of the Union/K Street’s Creepy Porn Lawyers

K Street’s Creepy Porn Lawyers

Peddlers of physical and psychological porn are lobbying to protect Section 230 and the immunity it provides.

OnlyFans, the online streaming-subscription platform known for creating a new generation of pornstars, is making its presence known in Washington, D.C. by hiring the lobbying firm The Vogel Group to do its bidding.

The thrust of OnlyFans’ lobbying effort is not to overtly argue against the revitalized movement of social conservatives calling for an absolute ban on porn (a debate I’m not going to wade into in this piece), but rather to oppose efforts to reform Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. However, while The Vogel Group’s Alex Vogel, Matt Keelen, and Ali Khimji will be working to oppose Section 230 reform, rather than the growing Republican opposition to porn more generally, the two issues are deeply intertwined.

Section 230, as you may know, provides platforms and other online-service providers massive legal immunities over material posted on their sites by third-parties, and allows providers to remove offensive or obscene content “in good faith.” This implicit trust between government and corporation has been violated, or at least its nature twisted and perverted to the point of being unrecognizable. “A blessing of liberty,” the half-wits whole-heartedly proclaim.

OnlyFans and its new cohort of lobbyists understand that Section 230’s “good faith” stipulation was, in large part, always about cleansing the internet of pornographic content for the sake of end users and those taken advantage of by the porn industry. This is predominantly why OnlyFans, which once planned to ban “sexually explicit” content before balking, has chosen to enter the Section 230 fray. It’s a more tactful way to go about porn-peddling in Washington.

OnlyFans is by far the only porn-service to do so. In September, Politico  reported The Free Speech Coalition, a trade organization for the porn industry, hired Clarity Consulting lobbyists Keith Nelson, a former Bush administration and GOP congressional staffer, and Democrat-affiliated Shawn Delaney to do its bidding. This was the first time a group had registered to lobby on behalf of the porn industry in Washington. Their chosen fight? Section 230, of course.

And what has Section 230 wrought? Many will say the rise of censorious multinational tech corporations with market valuations larger than the GDP of some nations that control the flow of information, interfere in elections, regularly purge users without explanation or for perceived breaches of vague terms of use, and remove the sitting president and other conservative elected officials. All true. But the same provision that has given this power and immunity to the sowers of psychological porn—Twitter, Facebook, Google, YouTube—has given immunity to purveyors of physical porn for child pornography or revenge porn. Make no mistake–this is what K Street’s new creepy porn lawyers are trying to protect.

Maybe OnlyFans and PornHub make efforts to get rid of such content when they come across it. I don’t know for sure, but from what I’ve read, it seems they’re doing an awful job at it. This isn’t in the least surprising, because what’s the incentive to aggressively remove child and revenge porn when the platform has legal immunity?

I should add that fighting Big Tech’s psychological and physical porn machine doesn’t start and end with Section 230 reform. There’s much to do beyond it. 

But for now, like former President Franklin D. Roosevelt, “I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made.”

about the author

Bradley Devlin is a Staff Reporter for The American Conservative. Previously, he was an Analysis Reporter for the Daily Caller, and has been published in the Daily Wire and the Daily Signal, among other publications that don't include the word "Daily." He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in Political Economy. You can follow Bradley on Twitter @bradleydevlin.

leave a comment

Latest Articles