Correction: My original post here indicated that this was a recent raid by Federal Agents on Eros.com. The raid actually occured one year ago, on Nov. 8, 2017. I was misled by a story that had been copied and published under a current date, without having been edited to reflect the difference in years. I apologize for any confusion. My concerns remain the same.
In the last few days I have recieved numerous queries as to what is happening with the website Eros.com.
Honestly, I have no idea. And neither does anyone else.
It was reported that the offices of Eros were “raided” by agents from the Department of Homeland Security on Nov. 8, 2017, as part of an active investigation. A large quantity of documents and computers were removed as evidence. That is the total limit of what anyone actually knows at this time.
It is completely unknown as to what kind of investigation this is part of. Is it a financial investigation? It would seem odd that DHS would be involved, since that would be more of an issue for the Department of the Treasury, FBI, SEC, or other agency involved with money. Is this part of a FOSTA/SESTA related inquiry? No way to know.
Since the raid, a number of people in the community have reported interruptions in access to Eros, leading to questions of whether the site has been taken down. As of writing this, the site is still active. I was able to log on just before beginning to write.
But will it remain so?
We all know that our community is under attack from those in politics and law enforcement who wish to force their brand of moralism on society. We are also under attack from those who cannot tell the difference between human trafficking and the actions of fully consenting adults.
This raid on Eros presents a number of dangers to our community. If it leads to successful legal and criminal action against any person or persons it will embolden those who hate us to pursue us with new rigor–regardless of what the basis of this investigation is. Personal information regarding people in our community–especially sex workers–is now in the hands of Federal investigators. Who knows how they will use it.
There is no denying that there are plenty of people in politics and law enforcement that wish to destroy what we have. They view us as criminals, perverts, degenerates. They see the worst in all of us, sex workers and clients alike. And, unfortunately, some bad behavior from people runnng some past websites like BackPage and MyRedBook did not help our community. The door has been opened for these kinds of legal actions against us. We must be strong and brave to fight against this. Community is more important than ever. We also need the websites we use to make sure they are not giving law enforcement any extra avenues in which to attack us. Don’t give them an excuse to go after your site.
If someone at Eros has committed some sort of financial crime, or somehow taken part in human trafficking, then I have no sympathy for them. They have done wrong and endangered our community in the process. But I fear that a respected website like Eros comming under fire is just another attack on our community from those who hate or misunderstand us.
I do not know what is going to happen to Eros. No one does at this point. Some are wondering if they should abandon the site, and I really cannot say yes or no to that question. I hope that Eros does not go down. It has been a respected an valuable tool for us for quite a while. We need sites like Eros. But we need to watch this situation closely. Especially those who run similar sites. It is important to learn from these situations. When a site goes down, others must adapt to make sure they are vulnerable in the same manner.
At this time my best advise to everyone is to be careful who you give your personal information to. And I advise everyone to diversify thier online pressense in the community. Do not tie yourself to any single website. Use multiple platforms to remain in contact with others. And get involved with organizations that are fighting for your rights. Make sure you are connected with others and be an active member of the community.
Be careful, be strong, and remember to have fun too. We will weather this storm best if we stay together.