Adult Site Broker Talk Episode 175 with Mike Stabile of the Free Speech Coalition

Adult Site Broker Talk Episode 175 with Mike Stabile of the Free Speech Coalition

Bruce, the adult site broker, host of Adult Site Broker Talk and CEO of Adult Site Broker, the leading adult website broker, who is known as the company to sell adult sites, is pleased to welcome Mike Stabile of Free Speech Coalition as this week’s guest on Adult Site Broker Talk in the first of a 2 part series.

Mike Stabile is a journalist and documentary filmmaker who has written about and advocated for sex workers and sexual speech for over a decade. His work has been published in a wide range of publications, including the Daily Beast, Salon, Buzzfeed, Playboy and the New York Times. Seed Money, his documentary on pornographer philanthropist Chuck Holmes was named one of the Best Documentaries of 2015 by The Advocate.

Stabile founded Polari Media to help non-traditional communities and businesses better communicate with a mainstream audience. He has handled communications for the Free Speech Coalition since 2013.

Their mission is to protect the rights and freedoms of both the workers and businesses in the adult industry.

Their organization functions as a resource, a leader, and a tool for the communities that they serve. They take pride in fighting to alleviate the social stigma, misinformation, and discriminatory policies that affect those who work in and adjacent to the adult industry.

For more than thirty years they’ve have been fighting and winning impossible battles, from the Supreme Court to the ballot box and back again. Our industry is almost constantly facing scrutiny and attacks, but we have seen firsthand that when we come together and fight, we win.

You can follow them on Twitter @fscarmy

Bruce, the adult site broker, host of the show and CEO of Adult Site Broker said: “This was Mike’s second time on the show. In fact, it was such a great interview we’ll be featuring part two next week. Mike updated us on the FSC’s fights and victories in court and the ever mounting attacks against our industry.”

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Listen to Mike Stabile in part one of a two part series on Adult Site Broker Talk, starting today at

Bruce F., host of the show and CEO of Adult Site Broker said:

This was Mike’s second time on the show. In fact, it was such a great interview we’ll be featuring part two next week. Mike updated us on the FSC’s fights and victories in court and the ever mounting attacks against our industry.


This is Bruce Friedman of Adult Side Broker and welcome to Adult Site Broker Talk. Where each week we interview one of the movers and shakers of the adult industry and we give you a tip on buying and selling websites. This week we’ll be speaking with Mike Stabile of the free speech coalition in part one of a two-part interview. At Adult Side Broker we’re proud to announce our latest project, the You’ll find articles from industry websites as well as mainstream publications from around the world. It’s designed to raise awareness of our industry’s plight in the War On Porn and the numerous attacks on our industry and online free speech by hate groups, the religious right and politicians. You’ll find all that and more at You’ve probably noticed our new podcast site at It has a more modern look with easier navigation and more information on our guests including their social media links. For more go to And we’ve doubled our affiliate payouts on ASP Cash. Now when you are first sellers or buyers to us, you’re going to receive 20% of our broker commission on any and all sales that result from that referral for life. Check out for more details and to sign up. Now let’s feature our property of the week that’s for sale at AdultSideBroker. We’re proud to introduce a successful and growing only fans agency. They’ve been in business less than a year and a half, but they’ve experienced tremendous growth. The company was founded by two brothers. In the last year, they’ve done over $5 million in gross profit. They have over 130 full-time Filipino employees with affordable salaries. The strategy of the company is to acquire large volumes of creators, put them through their automated onboarding process, and then they decide which creators are worth keeping. Out of over 2000 in the last year, they’ve paired down to the 300+ creators they have now. They focus on 30 to 50 high revenue-producing creators. The top one is generating $120,000 in monthly revenue. There were many high potential creators who currently do between $5,000 to $75,000 a month. These creators can be scaled through detailed focus and know-how, not to mention additional marketing. The founders have created scalable systems and automations through sustainable processes. The whole company is very well structured. The founders currently only work about an hour a day due to their systems. There’s a great potential to further develop the revenue from each creator, thus multiplying the revenue and profits of the company. The main marketing is TikTok with some Instagram sprinkled in, which leaves amazing opportunities using other media and buying ads, only $13.5 million. Now time for this week’s interview. My guest today on Adult State Broker Talk is Mike Stabil of the Free Speech Coalition. Mike, thanks for being back with us today on Adult State Broker Talk. I’m glad to be here Bruce. Thanks so much for having me. It’s great to have you back. Now Mike is a journalist and documentary filmmaker who’s written about and advocated for sex workers and sexual speech for over a decade. His work has been published in a wide range of places, including the Daily Beast, Salon, Buzzfeed, Playboy, and The New York Times. Seed Money, his documentary on pornographer and philanthropist, Chuck Holmes was named one of the best documentaries in 2015 by the advocate. It’s to be all-founded Polari Media to help non-traditional communities and businesses better communicate with the mainstream audience. He’s handled communications for the Free Speech Coalition since 2013. The Free Speech Coalition’s mission is to protect the rights and freedoms of both the workers and businesses in the adult industry. Their organization functions as a resource, a leader, and a tool for the communities that they serve. They take pride in fighting to alleviate the social stigma, misinformation, and discriminatory policies that affect those who work in and adjacent to the adult industry. For more than 25 years they’ve been fighting and winning impossible battles from the Supreme Court to the ballot box and back again. Our industry is almost constantly facing scrutiny and attacks, but we’ve seen firsthand that when we come together and fight we win. And I’ve just got to say, Mike, that you guys in the last couple of years, and I think I can probably track this back to Allison coming on board. I just cannot say enough about what you’ve been doing and what you’ve been getting accomplished. It is, it has been a tough battle, but it’s been a really rewarding battle and it’s been a battle that we’ve been able to fight in part because the industry has gotten stronger. But the attacks have gotten stronger too. Yeah, I mean certainly, I think that one of the things that we saw in, I would say, early 2000 with the rise of, we both had COVID and we also had the rise of the fan sites and the rise of public health departments saying, hey, watch pornography, it’s safe. I think there was a sort of a larger discussion around it. What we saw was a rise of an anti-porn movement. And that culminated at least, you know, later that year in the Children of Korn Hub article by Nick Kristoff, I shouldn’t even call it an article, it’s an opinion piece, but that sort of really launched it. Well, you know, I mean, I think that what happens is that these anti-porn groups were really in the wilderness for a long time. You know, for years and years and years, they couldn’t get their calls returned on Capitol Hill, right? They were seen for what they were, which was morality police, sort of faith-based groups that wanted to ban porn and turn back the clock. And what they realized was, oh, you know, what banking is the way that we can do this? That we can put pressure on banks to stop working with with adult businesses. That’s going to be a pressure point. It’s going to be the new way that we’re going to go about this because they can’t, they’re limited by the First Amendment, right? So they’re limited by the use to use of sanity prosecutions. They used to come after they would, you know, order a deep, a VHS to a small town in Utah and then prosecute you for a sanity based on the community standards of that region. You know, they couldn’t no longer do that. And so what they have, what they’ve turned to do is to focus on, starting with sort of sort of throwing sand in the gears, right? Scrooing around with banks and financial institutions and pressuring them to deep bank adult businesses. More recently, what they’ve tried to do is come up with regulations around what can be available on the internet itself, right? And it comes under the guise of age verification and things that, you know, are widely supported, including by people within the adult industry, right? We want to find ways to keep kids from accessing adult content. There’s no benefit to us to having kids on our site, right? And there’s detriment. And what they’ve realized is that if we can sort of work the bureaucracy, if we can, we can create Byzantine regulations, if we can make it difficult to comply, then, you know, these platforms are going to get rid of adult sites, right? Google is going to stop delisting. Twitter is going to get rid of them. We can create liability so that they can be sued. You know, it’s sort of death by a thousand cuts. And so that’s sort of what we’re facing, right? There is obviously a revitalized faith-based movement on the right, on whole host-hibit. This is not something that is entirely separate from the larger cultural wars. Horon is, has become front and center. But I think that what we’re seeing is they’re trying to exact censorship in a backdoor fashion. And that’s what we have to fight. And it’s an uphill battle because a lot of these things seem very sensible, at least to a general citizen. Yeah. And I mean, something like age verification, we agree with it. Like you said, but I think our biggest mistake was not getting in front of it 10, 15 years ago and adopting a standard in the adult industry, which unfortunately, it’s hard to get everyone to agree on anything. And now everyone’s working on defense as opposed to getting ahead of it and setting a standard and getting the billing companies involved and getting everyone involved. So hey, this is what we’re going to do. We’ve got this solution. We pick out a couple of software providers and a way we go, but we never did that. And now we’re facing the consequences. Well, part of that is because consumers have been really hesitant to adopt this. So when you look at the age verification in Louisiana, mind-key complied, I know that in Utah, I believe, just for fans complied and have attempted to go through these processes, what they’re seeing is that, in the case of just for fans, they saw, I want to say about 2% of users went through the age verification process when it was instituted. People don’t want to do it. So I think that there’s an idea that this is just the matter of getting the right tack or things like that. And that is true to accept, right? If we could find a free way, something that doesn’t cost the website very much money, something that is seamless for the consumer and something where the consumer doesn’t feel like, I am risking my privacy to access this. I think that it would be a no-brainer. You know, I think that one of the things that you hear in these hearings in the press is they’ll say, well, you know, we flash an idea to buy a magazine at an adult bookshop. This is just the same thing. And I wish that it were. If it were, I think that everybody would institute it. You know, as I said earlier, adult sites don’t want kids on their sites. Not just because there’s moral issues and ethical issues, right? So many in our industry are parents themselves and they maybe even have a personal reason for not wanting kids on their sites because they don’t want them to see the content of it. Like in some ways, we’re more working certainly about this than maybe some of these evangelicals. But beyond that, it runs up server costs. You don’t want anybody who is on your site who’s not a consumer. And so I think that we’re all looking for that solution. We’re all looking for something that would be cheap, easy, and effective, and the consumers would go through. And I think that that has been largely the challenge. So I think that, you know, again, they say, well, it’s just like flashing your IT. Again, and I wish that that were true. What happens when you go online? I don’t know if you’ve gone through the process. I have several times with these companies is that it takes 10 minutes, right? To go and you have to scan your ID. It doesn’t always go through, right? The upload doesn’t go through. It doesn’t match your face. You have to stick your face in this thing. You have to have good lighting. You have to go to computer. Right. I’m at a desktop. I have no fear about my identity being stolen. Right? I mean, not my, I do have fears about my identity being sold. I don’t have fears about being linked to adult content. I use my legal name. And I’m doing it in a well-lit place with professional equipment. You know, most people who are watching adult content are watching it on their phone, right? And they’re watching their bedroom or they’re watching in the bathroom. They’re not going to pull out an ID and trying to scan that ID and get it up. Well, here’s the problem. Okay. Most of the age ID solutions out there are doing it wrong. I’ve actually got a client that I’m introducing to the adult industry called Blue Check. And what they’re doing is it’s strictly based on a phone number. And you don’t have to submit your ID. And it’s also approved by, I don’t remember how many states and how many countries, but it’s massive. So this is something we’ll definitely have to talk about offline because these guys have figured it out and they’re good. And they’ve already verified hundreds of millions of people in other industries and also adult. So this is something that’s going to be a game changer. That sounds great. I mean, I think that that’s the stuff that we have run up come up against in these discussions is that legislators draft this legislation in a way that even some of the providers who are providing services in the adult industry don’t match. They have very specific language. We’re not quite sure how it matches even to a lot of the existing providers that are doing each verification for models. But something that is cheap and easy and the consumers can use is the industry will knock down your door. Well, I think that’s going to happen because they’re just getting their introduction to adult now. So we shall see where it takes us. And I’m going to have Alex Zieg, the CEO on fairly soon. So we’ll be talking about that. We should get him out to the shows in Europe, but his wife is expecting their first child. So that’s not going to happen. So when we last spoke, we talked about the global backlash against adult. How does it look now from the front lines? You know, I think that the battle has gotten more intense. Certainly, right? I think that when we talked last, it was before any of these states had introduced really their age verification laws. You know, I think that Louisiana had sort of introduced theirs in 2022, went into effect in 2023. And we had monitored it and we had monitored that legislation as it was going through. And we saw problems with it then. But it didn’t make a lot of noise. I think that come the first of a year, it went into effect. Hornhub pulls out of Louisiana. I think what you see is a lot of legislators saying, hey, listen, this works, right? We can get these companies to do this. We found a solution. And this seems to be this sort of recurring drumbeat with them that they’re like, oh, there’s not any problem here. There’s not any problem. You know, don’t don’t look at the man behind the curtain. And I think that Hornhub, you know, I think did it essentially as an experiment. Let’s see how this works. And in Louisiana, there was a way to comply. There was a digital ID. They had some structure in there, which most of these states don’t have. But again, Hornhub said, you know, their traffic dropped 80%. Most people do not feel comfortable uploading that information. They’re going to go to a site that is overseas. They’re going to go to a site that doesn’t do the age verification. So there’s a disincentive in this legislation for sites to comply. You know, or they’re going to go to Twitter, or they’re going to go to Reddit, which, you know, at least according to the legislators behind this, you know, they sort of want to exclude those sites, right? They want to exclude social media so that the adult is left alone and has to fight its own battle. If you do it from one, you do it for all. Yeah. And I think that, but I think that there was a calculation there was that if we can get big tech out of this battle, adults not going to be able to fight back. You know, if you have Reddit and Twitter in this, well, they’ve got big lobbyists. They’ve got a lot of money. They’ve got influence. You know, they have a lot of resources. If we just go after adult, adult is going to be left on its own. Nobody’s going to want to defend them. You know, we’ll go after those guys. And so I think that that was part of the calculation here. I think that what they didn’t calculate on was how strong we would be and how much this is our wheelhouse. Right? I think that we, you know, Allison and I and the team have talked with allies, you know, in the tech industry and the civil liberties industry and the free speech realm, people who are big bold face names, lots of respect. They don’t know the issues that were facing, right? And they don’t know the logistics technology has changed since this last battle, right? Since that, since they were involved in any of these fights. You know, and if the technology that hasn’t, you know, maybe the people who were working there weren’t. So where are the experts in this? You don’t industry as the experts. When we go into meetings, it may seem intimidating to be dealing with a big national organization with a huge roster and tons of lawyers and tons of expertise. But when we walk into that room, we know more than they do about this situation. Oh, if it’s in Washington, you tell me, well, sure, you do know more than them. I’ve heard these 85-year-old senators asking questions about tech. Oh, my God. Yeah. And I think that like what we found is that there’s tremendous respect for FSC and what we do. And that rather than treating us like the kid that comes from a bad home or you know, went to a bad school, they understand that we really know what’s going on, right? The reality of something like the Erded Act or some of the age verification regulations, we know how this is going to play out. We understand our consumers, we understand our creators, we understand who’s going to be targeted. And most of these organizations haven’t dealt with that because they don’t know the industry all that well. And that’s sort of where we come in. I think that we all play a part here. I think that there’s a huge ecosystem. And I don’t want to sound like FSC is the only one who knows anything that’s certainly not true. But I think that we’ve gone from, you know, in the beginning of this fight, saying, you know, oh, feeling a little intimidated, going, oh, no, no, we know our stuff. And we’re going to be treated as equals. And I think that that is what the anti-coron groups did not expect. I think that they thought, you know, I think that a lot of times they were getting high on their own supply, right? That they had convinced themselves that their legal rationale was clear, you know, that they’ve talked to First Amendment attorneys and they’ve drafted this in a way that is, you know, really buttoned up. It doesn’t turn out to be case. I think there’s a lot of wishful thinking. And so I think that what it looks like on the front lines right now is we’re kicking some ass. You know, I think that it’s there are fierce battles ahead like this isn’t going to be easy. It is going to take a lot of resources. These people are better funded than we are. As much as our allies love us, they are tied up in their own fights. This is our fight to fight. But, you know, as we’ve seen sort of, you know, in the past a couple of weeks, we’re, you know, even in conservative areas, we’re getting decisions that are almost entirely in our favor because the laws that have been drafted are done so poorly. They’re done so ignorantly and they’re done so speciously, right? They’re set out to censor. It’s not about protecting kids. They’ve designed it in a way to make it a liability for adults to look at adult content. And that is absolutely in violation of the First Amendment. Of course, I’m pretty sure I have shared with you the new website that our companies put up the world on And that is all about making people aware. You know, the other thing that I spoke with the guest yesterday about is our industry coming together and making their membership aware. I know this is something that Mind Geek, Gailow, or whatever they’re calling themselves today has done with a with the spokesperson model. But I think it’s something the industry needs to do as a whole. Have there been any efforts to do that together with the sites? Absolutely. So that is one of my, you know, we started working on it this summer. I have been talking with creators, I’ve been talking with platforms. I think that everybody understands that, you know, including the anti-court groups, right, is that we have a massive audience. We have an audience that they cannot compete with. We have a very online audience. We have an audience that’s very engaged. And we have an audience where this absolutely affects them, right? If you’re saying to a porn consumer, hey, listen, put in your ID, it’ll be absolutely fine. Don’t worry about it. Don’t worry about identity theft. Don’t worry about any of this stuff. porn consumers are saying, you know, that’s not fair. Like I’m an adult. I can look at the stuff. It’s legal content. Why should I have to do this? So they’ve got an investment in it. And I think that what we’re looking at, I got out of a call right before I was on this, talking with someone about really unlocking that. I think that in this is, depending on people’s political orientation, it’s a, it can be a little bit of a loaded analogy. But I think that what we saw happen in 2016 with Donald Trump was he was able to unlock people who weren’t previously voters. He was in part of the way in which he was able to be so successful was that he was able to go after people who previously weren’t voting or they weren’t regular voters and engage them. That’s what we need to do. I think that we have the law on our side. I think that when we talk about this with legislators, ones who are not ideologically driven but are concerned with kids, I think that it’s easy to walk through and say, hey listen, here’s what the issues are. Let us work with you. We’re happy to figure out solutions to make this work. We don’t want kids on our sites either. But you can’t ask us to put in regulations where 98% of the visitors are going to go somewhere else, right? Or they’re going to they’re going to abandon it, right? That’s not reasonable. And I think that most legislators and regulars look at that and they say, okay, I understand that. You’re not these evil demons that you’re being presented at. You’re being offered, you know, a shit sandwich and that’s not viable. People won’t comply with that. And if you want compliance, if you want compliance throughout the industry, what you need to do is figure out a system that will work. Otherwise, everyone’s just going to go overseas. A company in Hungary isn’t going to respond to a civil suit in Louisiana, right? They’re just going to ignore it. And so what you’re going to see, similar with sites in Russia and in Hong Kong where a lot of illegal and pirate sites are, they’re just not going to deal with that. Oh, of course, they don’t deal with anything. So they’re certainly not going to deal with this. What we talk about with these regulators and these legislators is that we want compliance. We want sites to comply. We don’t want to push consumers to sites that are illegal, right? We don’t want to encourage the growth. But I look at legislation in Louisiana or Utah or wherever else. What I’m looking at is regulation that’s going to fuel pirate sites because what you’re doing is you’re blocking all of this content. You’re driving consumers. Where are they going to go? They’re going to go to a site that’s coming out of India, their Netherlands. Some places not going to respond to a civil suit. And you know, isn’t going to respond to take down notices for illegal content, for CSAM, you know, for revenge porn, for all of this up. That’s where you’re pushing people. And that’s what we don’t want to encourage the growth of that. We want to encourage the growth of compliance sites, but in order to do that, you have to come up with regulations that are reasonable. Yes, absolutely. So on Twitter, you often talk about the ways in which the war on porn is connected to other cultural battles that more broadly make it a war on sex. Explain what you mean by that. Well, you know, I think that this is if you look at people who are pushing these regulations and pushing the laws, often what they’re doing is they understand that it is a weak link for a lot of consumers across the political spectrum. This is what they’re looking to do is censor the air. And not just of, you know, adult content, but all sorts of contents, specifically LGBTQ content, sex ed content, information regarding reproductive rights. Starting in a rupture when books are being burned, that scares me. Yeah, and this is, I mean, they are being burned, you know, and they’re being burned online, right? This is they’re trying to cordon off the internet. Oh, and and edited, by the way. And standard classics are being edited. What they’re doing is trying to create, you know, sort of their faith-based version of what the world should be online. They don’t want people accessing ideas. And, you know, specifically when it comes to sex. And so I think that when you look at the language of this legislation, most of them use the same language as coffee from state to state. What it says is, we think about it in terms of like sexually explicit material, or pornography, you know, things that we think of as porn. What the language actually says is, as little as the depiction or description of the nipple of the female breast. So what they’re saying is that it can be anything, right? If it is sex education that we don’t like, we’re happy to go after you, right? And in fact, one of our co-plaintiffs in the the Utah Louisiana cases is a sex and site called O school that features frank conversations around sex and sexuality and sex education. They are most like, you know, what to expect on your first time, right? Things like that that may not be suitable for a non-linear role, but are fine probably for a 17-year-old. Under the law, they are particularly liable because the law doesn’t differentiate between a set what’s appropriate for a 17-year-old or what’s appropriate for a nine-year-old. It just regards it as as minors. And so I think that these laws have been put off as we just need to protect kids from porn. But what they’re putting out there in that actual legislation, they’re creating all the tools so large swaths of content can be prosecuted. And that’s really dangerous. And I think that one of the things that FSC has really tried hard to do is to make that more apparent, right? Because I think that when you talk to a journalist or when you talk to a legislator and they sort of see, well, this is a group, it seems like a family group and all they want to do is protect kids from accessing adult content. Being able to say, that’s actually not what they want. Here are the details. I think that that’s tremendously helpful. It’s interesting. Lately, I’ve been binge-watching all in the family. I’m sure you remember the show. And think about it and I go, God, could you imagine that running today, right? And it kind of makes me think. All of this makes me think of Archibuncker. You know, because all the things that he was against, all these people, that’s what they’re preaching. It’s nuts. It’s absolutely. And that ran from 71 to 79. So it’ll kind of give you an idea. So that’s putting us back 50 years, okay? But if you really think about it, they’re trying to current the clock back about 100 years. Yeah. I think what they want is they want to be able to be in books. You know, if you look at the sort of 70 battles of the early 20th century and the mid-20th century, you’re dealing with things like lady shadowing, lover, you’re dealing with things like you listening, you’re dealing with, you know, fanny, help, right? You’re dealing mostly with books because those were what had sort of legal distribution or at least theoretically legal distribution. But all of the things were largely sold under the counter. And that was what brought in sort of organized crime. Because they were able to sort of get the distribution. But yeah, so you’re, I think that what they want to do is they want to control access to ideas. And if you see the conversation that happens online, especially around sex work that comes from the right, they want a traditional family, they want a submissive woman and man is head of household. And anything else that counters that, they want to remove that idea. There’s the idea that people experience, they’re encountering this online, whether it’s on an adult site or whether it’s on TikTok. And we have to limit access to ideas because ideas are dangerous. And that’s the scary part, you know, as you say with the book for me, this is really going back, you know, to 19th learns. It’s interesting. I don’t know if you’ve heard my episode on the author of the book Oliver Carter, the author of the book under the counter. You mentioned under the counter. So it kind of made me think about that. And he talked about the pornography trade of the 60s in the UK. And all of them were under the counter. And it’s kind of interesting because that’s what it reminded me of. Yeah, I mean, that’s exactly it. We look at how it was dealt, it was people selling things out of the back of their car. I mean, one of the early documentary products I worked up was sort of the birth of legal pornography. And, you know, it was incredibly dangerous, right? People didn’t get involved in this industry because it was so dangerous. It was also very profitable. You risk going to prison. And I think that that’s what they want. They want it to be dangerous and want people to, you know, it wasn’t until 1973 for the Supreme Court rule that it was to the you couldn’t be prosecuted for having pornography in your house. Not for selling it, not for distributing, but for having it in your house. You know, there was a Stanley versus Georgia, which said you cannot be prosecuted for possessing this content. I think that that is nearly that’s 50 years ago. I think that most people would be a gas to think that the government could control what you could have, what books you could read, what movies you could watch, the privacy of your own home. Yeah, no, it’s it’s insane. You and Oliver would have a lot in common. I should put you guys together and you should definitely read his book and he should check out your documentary. So FSC has been involved in multiple legal battles at the state level over age verification laws. So what was the strategy in actually suing the states? Well, you know, I think that what we saw was that these laws were going to create liability. That these laws were going to, you know, specifically look at something like Texas, you know, Oral Louisiana, what you saw is that the in those states, the governor or the attorney general rather could go after an old site themselves. They can find you $10,000 a day for not doing what they feel was appropriate in each verification, right? If it didn’t need their standards, they could find you. And then on top of that, if somebody access that content, you know, if a kid access the content, you could be fined another $250,000, right? So these aren’t theoretical laws for us, right? These are laws that have to be blocked. You know, so that we don’t have a luxury, I think of sitting back and saying like, well, you know, well, I hope that nobody does anything or we’ll cross that bridge when you come to it. You got very conservative legislative, very conservative executive branches in these states that have basically said that we need to take down pornography, we need to get it out of. Thanks for the memories, Donald Trump, on what he did with the judiciary. So it is, there is certainly a hangover from that. I think that basically in the fifth circuit where we filed the Texas case and then we’ll see how it’s a difficult circuit for us. But we’re still having incredible success even in these areas. So I think that there wasn’t, like when this came about, when we started talking about filing initially, we filed first in Utah and then subsequently in Texas and Louisiana, you know, it was because our members, right, and members not just of FSC, but members of the industry, we’re going to be liable here. You know, we need to lay out our argument. We’re an industry of cowboys a lot of times and we are used to being on the margins of what’s acceptable in society, the margins of the law and being in this wild frontier. As an industry, we’re not often joiners, right? And we sort of think about how do we get around something rather than how do we comply with something or how do we stop something. And I think that a lot of the conversations that happened when these laws were originally passed was like, well, you know, people are just going to get fukens or I’m going to move my business out of the country or, you know, no one, you know, they’re going to go after somebody else first, right? And then I’ll deal with it. And FSC has been around for over 30 years. We know that that’s not a viable solution, right? That’s not a long-term strategy. It might be a strategy that you may be very risk tolerant. You may say, you know, they’re not likely to come after me first. I’m going to see what happens. I’m not going to, you know, make waves. But at the end of the day, they are going to use it. You know, when you introduce a gun in the first act, it’s going to get used by the third. And so letting this legislation pass and letting it go unchallenged was just going to result in prosecutions later. And so we file those suits. You know, we were joined in Texas by, you know, Hornhub and a number of their other big, old sites who, you know, under the law were also going to be forced to carry religious propaganda about pornography on their websites, health warnings, and such with that. And sexual addiction. Sexual addiction. I mean, it was like everything, but like, you know, you were going to go hair on your palms and go blind. You know, it was not bad. So someone needed to stand up and stop it. And that’s what FSC is here for. Absolutely. And you guys are doing a great job, as I mentioned, the top of the show. I know that on the online adult forums, there was originally some debate about that strategy. Is it the nature of our industry or is this a particularly contentious issue? Well, you know, I think, like I said, right, we’re a very independent group. We’ve got a lot of smart guys in our industry as well. We’ve got it all figured out. Yeah. Yeah. Some, some really, and some they think they’re smart. Yeah. Well, you know, I may think that I understand that there’s a certain sense in our industry that, oh, well, they’re going to take down the big guys first. And that’s going to be good for me because they can step in. Right. If they take Tom Pornhub and all the other tube sites, that’ll be good for me because they still hate the tube sites when it comes right down to it. So that I think that that’s the sort of sense, right? And I think there was some discussion online too about, well, it’s the tube sites that got us into us. If there wasn’t a ton of free content there, you know, nobody would be looking at us. I think that’s misguided. I think that there might be some things to it. But before the tube sites, there was, you know, the downland sites and the torrent sites, and there’s the social media sites. I think that tube sites get a lot of the heat, you know, because they really grew it this period. But I, you know, if it went from the tube sites, I imagine there would also be other sites, right? There was somebody who was going to step into that, yeah. And I also don’t think that the legislators in this this current moment or the sort of religious groups care much about whether it’s a tube site or whether it’s a pay site. Yeah, I think a lot of it is is trying to sit down and say, hey, listen, I understand where you’re coming from. I understand why you think this shouldn’t apply to you or why it doesn’t apply to you or won’t apply to you. But I’m here to tell you from the the future is someone who knows the past that this is going to apply to you, right? That your content, I mean, this is what we used to see, you know, in the obscenity battles, right? When people say, well, they’re going to go after BDSM. So I don’t have to worry about that. Or they’re going to go after your inner racial or they’re going to have to gay or they don’t know for whatever these these sort of categories work. They are doing controversial stuff. I’m just doing vanilla. I’m going to be fine. And in some cases, that was a case. And in other cases, it wasn’t right. And once you have a law on the books, someone’s going to use it, you know, a conservative attorney general is going to use it. And you know, they don’t like your content. The politics of respectability was saying, well, they’re going to go after somebody else and not me. And so therefore that’s a net good thing. You know, he’s really short-term thinking. Well, what’s interesting about that is a lot of people believe that back page brought us fast to SESTA. That’s really not true. If you look at the charges that went against back page, it had very little to do with the whole sex trafficking thing and a lot more to do with things like money laundering. And obviously, back page was prosecuted without fast access to right. Fast access to that in the past when back page was prosecuted. And we were trying it. And what was happening with back page was also very similar to what was happening in some ways with pornhuck. With back page, what the anti-sex groups were trying to do was pressure and what they were able to do. Right? It was pressure via set in master card to stop working with back page. They went after the banks. They went after the financial institutions because they knew that it’s a week. They knew that financial institutions are by their nature very conservative, small-sea institutions, right? They don’t want to make waves. They don’t want to be attached to anything that’s that’s scandalous, little on pornography or sex worker or anything like that. And so what you saw a lot of these groups do in the mid-2000s was reposition themselves as anti-trafficking because I think they knew that trafficking was probably the most inflammatory label that they could put on things. And so what you see is a lot of accusations of trafficking on back page. You see accusations of trafficking on pornhuck even when you actually go into the testimony, you go into the history, you see that the sites are actually working with law enforcement to identify trafficking, right? They’re working to push it off of their sites. All of the legitimate escort sites were working with law enforcement, providing evidence, testifying against people that were breaking the law when it came to sex trafficking. I knew this one platform or the owner of one platform and I ran into them at the Phoenix Forum, which was the day after Foster Cesset passed. And as soon as it passed, he cut his side up. And he was making $5 million a year. And he said, "I don’t look good in orange." I think that’s what you see with a lot of these laws, right? Is that they want the chilling effect, right? It’s not about whether or not these sites are illegal or facilitating illegal activity or facilitating they should say coerced activity trafficking. They just want them down. When you look at the raid on Red Boy, right? Jeffrey went to jail. A lot of these are political and moral crusades. What you’ll see in the press releases is that they might say trafficking or something, but that’s never part of the charges. That is something that it’s one of the monitoring the way in which the police do it in sexual rape, though, they’ll say we had 18 arrests in our human trafficking investigation. Well, none of those arrests are for trafficking. They’re just calling it a human trafficking investigation. They didn’t find any trafficking, but they arrested 18 people for prostitution. That’s sort of the ways in which the language gets fuzzy here. And I think that with, like I said, these anti-sex work groups, these anti-sex groups were using the language of trafficking because they knew it was the most inflammatory. The papers would sort of breath, let’s see, pick it up. And they knew that the banks were going to be very fearful of it because there were so many regulations around anti-trafficking in the financial system. Yeah. And who’s in favor of sex trafficking, right? Nobody. That’s it. Yeah. And let’s face it, most prostitution, probably 99% of prostitution is consensual. Probably more. But the thing is that the whole sex trafficking thing has brought down an industry, well, it’s still online, but it’s offshore now. It’s brought down an industry, the escort sites, that really protected the providers as opposed to hurt them. Well, that’s anything that this is the argument that you hear often from sex workers, right? And right now, which is online platforms, whether it was back page or Craigslist, allowed me to advertise independent. It allowed me to screen clients. It allowed me to have these conversations, right, to do verification. Pushing me off these platforms, not only puts me in dangerous situations. If I have to make rent or I have to find a place to sleep tonight or I have to define food, I can’t screen clients, right? I mean, it pushed a lot of people onto the streets. It also means, and we also see this with banking, right? It means that you have to have an intermediary, right? If you have to go into more dangerous situations or if you can’t access banks or financial institutions, there’s going to be a middleman who can’t. Then the banks come in, of course. This is it. And you see that, I think that sex workers were in vocal about like, this doesn’t make it better, right? This is actually making it worse. And I think that for the anti-sex workers, they want it to be worse, right? They want more horror stories. They don’t want independence. Right. Well, they don’t want prostitution, but here’s the thing. Okay. If you ask law enforcement, they were in favor of those sites too, because how do you think they were finding sex traffickers? Yeah, absolutely. Now, some were processing, prosecuting prostitutes that way. I get that. And why prostitution is illegal anyway? I don’t know. Do you know what’s illegal in Thailand, by the way? Is it? I do not know. Yeah, most people don’t know that. They do actually have a bill, if there’s legislature ever gets seated, the politics here are bigger mess than the US, if you can believe that, that they will decriminalize prostitution and also make sex work an actual profession. So that’ll make sex workers eligible for rights and for benefits and things like that. So yeah, it’s a beautiful thing. Cause let’s face it, Thailand is big on sex work and a lot of people come here for sex tourism and there’s not a damn thing wrong with it. So my cow important is unity in a fight like this. I think it’s tremendously important. I think that what they count on in terms of shutting down adult sites and in terms of censorship, the idea that we’re going to give up one enough, the politics of respectability that I was talking about before, right? I don’t do this type of content. I don’t have this type of site. What they used to do, and this is again, the sort of origins of the free speech coalition was as illegal defense fund, but what they want is they want everybody for themselves because it’s easier to pick us off. And that was historically how they went after adult sites, right? Was it or before adult sites when they were adult production companies and distributors was to go after one at a time and the competitors would sort of look at that and laugh and say, "Ha ha ha, I’m going to pick up that business until it was their turn in the bear." And so I think that we need to stick together. We need to understand that no matter who they’re going after, they’re ultimately going after us. They’re not going to stop it anybody. As I said, earlier what they were trying to do with sites like Twitter and Reddit was to separate them out so that we would have less fewer defenses. So I think that unity is tremendously important. We need to speak with a unified voice. FSC is fighting this litigation now. Like I said, mind geek and other major adult sites have joined that fight. We need more people involved. It’s not enough to sit on the sidelines and say, "You know what, I hope they don’t come from me," or it’s the big person’s responsibility. I think that all of us have an investment in this fight. All of us have a stake in it. We may not have as much money as a giant multinational, but we have some. And I think that that is incumbent on us to contribute. You remember free speech quotient? I’m a member of free speech call it. I give the money every month because I know that outside of my work with them, I work in this industry and I’m glad to have it be legal and I want it to be safer and that’s what I believe FSC should do it. My broker tip today is part 10 of what to do to make your site more valuable for when you decide to sell it later. Last week we talked about what information to give a potential buyer and what determines the value of a site. We’ll continue that today. If a site hasn’t been monetized, then it’s all about the amount and the quality of the traffic. If a sale is based on traffic, it will be a multiple of what the traffic would sell for on the open market. What are the sources of traffic? Direct traffic, search engine traffic and review traffic are the most valuable? Tube traffic, the least valuable. Is the traffic reliable and sustainable? What is the traffic history? In a rare case, the valuation will be based upon revenue. The same factors apply to that as a profit, but of course the valuations will be lower than those of profits. How old is the website? Is the or something else? .com is still king. How many inbound links are there? How much staff does it take to run the site? How many email addresses do you have? In the case of a dating site, this is very important. Another factor can be the reverse engineering cost. How much would it cost to build the site from scratch and drive the same amount of traffic to it and how much time would be involved? What is the lifetime value of a customer on the site? Next week, how to buy a website? And next week we’ll be speaking with Mike Stabile of the free speech coalition in part two of our conversation. And that’s it for this week’s Adult Site Broker Talk. I’d like to once again thank my guest, Mike Stabile. Talk to you again next week on Adult Site Broker Talk. I’m Bruce Friedman. [AUDIO OUT]

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