Trial By Twitter: Cal/OSHA Edition

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos. (The sleep of reason produces monsters.)

It has come to light that back in April an anonymous “do-gooder” filed a Cal/OSHA petition about the adult film business. This being 2019, it should come as no surprise that the petition cites to TWITTER POSTS to illustrate what its author claims are widespread abuses within the adult industry.

It’s a shit-show, basically, and it all rests on the kind of “guilt by accusation” trial by Twitter pap that we have been warning you all about.

Many of these one-sided claims have already been debunked. Some of the tweets contain mere critiques which the petitioner has stretched beyond reason, transforming them into admissions that adult production has become a nightmare out of “Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom“.

A deranged mind

It was only a matter of time before a hysterical, axe-grinding loon would try to weaponize cancel culture and the veneration of victimhood against the adult business through the auspices of the government of the People’s Republic of California.

As for the remedies suggested by the deranged petitioner, they run the gamut from banal to bizarre and burdensome to impossible and illegal. Many of these fall outside the purview of Cal/OSHA, such as the demand that tube sites be forced to pay for (non-employee) performer testing and protective gear, and some — such as banning the category of IR in adult entertainment — run afoul of black letter law.

Only in an age when social media is the preferred venue to seek redress of grievances — and blacken the names of ones enemies — could a state agency be moved into action by a collection of Twitter posts attached to ramblings about Mindgeek and claims that dues-paying members of the Free Speech Coalition (FSC) and APAG should be treated as their employees.

And only in the age of trial by Twitter would we see articles written by porn industry haters (such as Aurora Snow and the sexually confused AHF fanboy Dennis Romero), which are themselves founded on unproven online accusations, employed to validate those very claims!

Here is a link to the petition as well as the Cal/OSHA staff evaluation, proposed petition decision and recommendations.

SPOLIER ALERT: We’ll be headed back to Cal/OSHA Standards Board Meetings sometime soon. The first public meeting slated for consideration of the petition is set for this Thursday, Oct. 17 (see the Cal/OSHA agenda at the bottom of this post).

Screenshots of pages from the documents are reproduced below. We have not reproduced the actual petition, because to do so would give more air to the many false and defamatory claims included within. Readers can view the petition PDF at the link provided.

The anonymous petitioner has gone to some lengths to hide their identity, but XBIZ reports that is was retired  erstwhile performer Verta a.k.a. PerVerta.

Trial By Twitter: Cal/OSHA Edition

Trial By Twitter: Cal/OSHA Edition Trial By Twitter: Cal/OSHA Edition Trial By Twitter: Cal/OSHA Edition


Trial By Twitter: Cal/OSHA Edition


Trial By Twitter: Cal/OSHA Edition

518220cookie-checkTrial By Twitter: Cal/OSHA Edition

Trial By Twitter: Cal/OSHA Edition

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25 Responses

  1. Michael Weinstein strikes again, huh. In the “bad old days” when the Mafia ran the industry his ass would have been knocked off years ago. I think he used information from this very site to write the Mindgeek parts of his “proposal”, I am not a supporter of MindGeek’s business practices either so that doesn’t really bother me other than I don’t think current law allows that company to be assessed for all testing expenses whether someone in the industry works for them or not (and many don’t work for MindGeek). All Weinstein will get if this passes is for no porn to be made in California (which is obviously his real goal). Nevada and Florida will be the obvious winners here and Nevada OSHA in particular has already told Weinstein to go fuck himself over this issue. I don’t think Florida has a particular appetite to tolerate Weinstein’s bullshit, either, as long as porn production remains limited to Miami-Dade County.

  2. Until the porn industry cleans up itself, AHF & others will continue to go at it. Unlicensed agencies are freely running around, escorting is seen as ok to the point where girls are using the same email to book escort & porn work. Many girls are getting preventable STDs, FSC & PASS reigns supreme even though AB5 is coming. Also, show me a tubesite where we can see hollywood movies for free, there is none.

  3. Your comment about AB5 is puzzling. Yes, it was passed and on its face it makes it more difficult for adult film business workers to be classified as ICs. But what does that have to do with FSC and PASS?

    FSC is a trade organization, and every industry has one, regardless and irrespective of its employee/IC ratio. PASS is a test verification system, which is extremely important for performer health, regardless of their worker status.

    As for escorting, I think it SHOULD be seen as okay; the performers and their fan clients are consenting adults and pushing this activity into the shadows through laws that don’t work anyway is the problem.

  4. AB5 is going to change the way porn performers are paid in California. Some will leave the state altogether to get around it, some producers will pay via payroll (a few already do) and a few may close up shop. The state is pissed that so many gig workers aren’t paying their taxes so this is their solution — nearly eliminating independent contractors in the state. The tax money is the real goal, not social justice or employee rights. Uber and Lyft will just leave the state, Uber in particular has left several cities over this very issue but porn producers have roots in the San Fernando area so I think some will remain for the time being — but with the new run on the industry from OSHA (reported on this very site just today) in five years there will be basically no porn industry left in California. It started in earnest when Kink moved all production out of the state, since it has been proven that porn companies can produce in Nevada without all of the BS at some point all of this BS from the California government (and probably the next large earthquake) will cause the rest of porn to decide to say “fuck it” and move out of California.

  5. I will also note that I agree with Sam that escorting should be legal. IMO there needs to be a 14 day or less negative VD test requirement for both escort and john and for the time being cities should be allowed to restrict it to commercial neighborhoods (most people cruising for prostitutes are drunk/high off of their asses and dangerous to have driving in residential neighborhoods with kids playing in the street) but my proposal espouses for very minimal regulation compared with today. Too bad Dennis Hof is dead, he could have made a mint off of legalized prostitution.

  6. Skimmed complaint and relevant documents.

    Out of the gate whoever wrote the complaint assumes Cal/OSHA recognizes FSC, Mindgeek & APAG as regulatory bodies …when it comes to Cal/OSHA they are not. Period end full stop ?

    FSC is going to do what it’s member pay them to do…fight the absurd demands. PASS is a VOLUNTARY system and as such can not & will not ever be named by cal/OSHA as an adequate means to meet existing mandatory work place safety regulations.

    Next the idea that Cal/OSHA could or would do a twitter trial is beyond ludicrous. Read the staff evaluation, it pretty much says we’ve been down this road before & decided existing regs are applicable.

    If you don’t think that’s a big deal, go ask Kink or the lawyers who fought long & hard to overturn applicable existing regulations. Those final Cal/OSHA rulings were used as established fact in civil lawsuits.

    Briefly skimming didn’t show anything to get worked up about. They may do another advisory board which will turn into a silly circus rehashing industry specific regs & Cal/OSHA is going to decide they don’t need them. The main issues petitioner tries to fix are already existing Employer responsibilities in state or federal law.

    That is the rub here. The ‘EMPLOYER’ is responsible and on the hook if & when an ‘employee’ prevails on an OSHA complaint. FSC does not employ performers, performers for Mindgeek productions are hired by separate corporate subsidiaries and APAG well that brings me to one of my favorite chuckles …

    “Require the Free Speech Coalition (FSC) and the legally recognized adult entertainment union, Adult Performer Advocacy Guild (APAG) provide comprehensive health care plans to all members.”

    Leaving aside the fact that Cal/OSHA has no authority over mandated employee benefits such as vacation, paid time off or health plans; this demand is written to ‘provide’ as in FSC and APAG will cover the full premiums for all members….members are not employees. Oops.

    Important to know what Cal/OSHA does and doesn’t do and how it gets done.

  7. Insurance companies would not be inclined to pay for talent testing.

    Another issue would be the MIB report, acronym for Medical Information Bureau. It’s basically similar to a person’s credit report. Each time you go to a Doctors office and any insurance company covers a test which is expected to be ordered by a Medical Doctor not a talent, the test results are permanently on your MIB report and is later used to grant, deny or sets your insurance premium.

    What happens when a dirty test issues arises,

    Would that insurance company be highly likely to drop you immediately and place you in a high risk job category or a undesirable red flag target

  8. @Sam

    Exactly what I expected. APAG is a young union that has potential to make positive changes for performers. Cal/OSHA will use the advisory board to inform them what Cal/OSHA can & can not do with goal of helping APAG create ‘meaningful guidelines’ to do their job as a union negotiating better working conditions for workers OSHA classifies as employees.

    Anyone can post anything on twitter. When Cal/OSHA starts using Twitter instead of meetings, hearings and established appeal processes I’ll accept premise that this has become a trial by twitter.

    Any tweets submitted to Cal/OSHA without a letter from the tweet author will be excluded as white noise in a crowded room. If performers want to be heard w/o filing a formal complaint against a producer they can write a letter in support of the petition.

    Letters sent early in the process carry more weight than lining up people singing same tune in a final hearing. Letters with anecdotal experiences give OSHA information to prioritize items in the original petition.

  9. @Skeet

    Exactly! Porn is not the only industry dependent on medical testing. These insurance issues affect workers in other industries and people who live in certain areas too. IG consider entire towns chemical company’s were forced to buy, pay for relocation and lifelong medical expenses related to exposure to the carcinogenic chemicals.

    Insurance might cover annual testing. But it is not the magic cure some people think it is. Insurance can legally refuse to cover PrEP for performers the same way health insurance rejects claims for auto & workplace injuries. Those exclusions will not go away if policy offered by APAG, FSC or a specific producer. Insurance company’s routinely exclude coverage for known risks specific to the workplace because employer is expected to have Workers Comp insurance to cover those medical issues.

    Insurance will not pay when the rationale for medical testing is dependent on employment; doesn’t matter if it is radiation for an x-ray tech or STD for porn. In this comparison porn might get one panel paid annually and a specific test if the physician orders it to diagnose symptoms; X-ray tech radiation test would only be covered if physician ordered it to diagnose symptoms.

  10. @LurkingReader

    I agree in part and disagree in part.

    First, before APAG can do the things we hope it can, and that it has the potential and the opportunity to do, it needs to clean house. There are holdovers on the board from the time it was created BY AHF as shills for condom mandate legislation.

    It also needs union members — not to mention board members — who are actually working performers. Until then it is unlikely to be seen as a representative body for adult performers, but instead as merely an outlet for the opinions of a few ex-performers. There’s a great opportunity here; I hope they seize it.

    Second, it’s not that Cal/OSHA is engaged in trial by Twitter, it’s that a culture that applauds trial by twitter and guilt by accusation has created an environment in which unauthenticated, unproven hearsay remarks are treated as evidence sufficient to get this process started. I agree that that nonsense will (and should) fade into the background once the process is started, but it’s dumbfounding that such evidence, and articles written by porn haters that seek to elevate these tweets, should form the basis for Standards Board action.

  11. @Sam

    OSHA didn’t start the process from some tweets etc. once they got the petition they are forced to create the three documents linked to the petition within six months.

    DOSH citing the stuff annoying you instead of dozens of papers written by CDC or state health directors saved me the time of hunting through minutes etc to see where they’re going on this.

    The plan is to make noise about workplace violence and remind the industry they are responsible for testing etc.

    Neither FSC or APAG will ever be appointed by OSHA as official points of accountability for performer safety. PASS will never be accepted as a solution that balances performer safety and medical privacy.

    When it comes to petitions OSHA’s role in protecting worker safety is in large part educating employers what their obligations are. It’s very different than their enforcement processes when a worker makes a formal complaint alleging injury or harm.

    OSHA staff must evaluate petitions.
    OSHA must make recommendations.
    OSHA must publish a proposed course of action.

    The documents and the advisory committee is OSHA crossing their t’s & dotting i’s to cover their ass and justify their paychecks.

    I don’t see this becoming a repeat of the acrimonious process the industry went through from 2012 to 2017. I see the advisory board sharing recent regulations added for healthcare & hospitality workers to avoid workplace violence and asking the industry what ideas they have to address issues. They will remind the industry that blood & urine alone aren’t adequate to assess and prevent all STD.

  12. Considering how hard and publicly I fought against Weinstein, I really loathe any comparison made between the two of us.
    Weinstein made money off of harassing the industry. The only thing I get out of this is my name dragged through the mud.
    I requested, when submitting this petition, that if it adhered to federal regulations, consideration be taken for adoption on a federal level. There is no running from this.
    And I’m guessing the person who posted this didn’t bother to show the Twitter screenshots because you would all see I edited out the names of accused talent, making this article little more than fearmongering clickbait.

    Here is my take on this, as the person actually responsible for the petition.

  13. With all due respect, that is a very convenient position for you to take. Yes, it’s true that Mr Weinstein had a clear incentive to harass members of the adult community, but this fact does not change what you have done. If anything, your claim of no financial motivation makes you the fanatic, not Weinstein.

    Your motives are ones about which we can only speculate, but there is a long list of former fringe performers who sought to make a name for themselves or satisfy some dark impulse by attacking the adult business. Welcome to the club.

    You write “I requested, when submitting this petition, that if it adhered to federal regulations, consideration be taken for adoption on a federal level. There is no running from this.”

    Well gee, thanks! Why in the world would someone who loves the industry want to see the Cal/OSHA process, which the industry fought long and hard to curtail, revived . . . and extended to the federal level? I call bullshit.

    You write “I’m guessing the person who posted this didn’t bother to show the Twitter screenshots because you would all see I edited out the names of accused talent.” No, the screenshotted tweets are still unproven one-sided allegations made not under oath that defame members of the industry — regardless of the readctions. The effect is the same.

    You write, “The only thing I get out of this is my name dragged through the mud.” Well, you submitted the petition anonymously but then came out publicly as the petitioner in a media interview. That was your choice. You don’t get to do that and then complain when people call you out. It’s part of the deal. And I’ll say again, many former fringe performers have done the same to get back at the industry. The lack of direct pecuniary benefit doesn’t change their actions.

    I have retained the link to your blog post because I am not afraid to let you have your say. But your claims do not ring true, and i will happily dispute them at length at another time.

  14. So… when people sit and complain about working conditions on social media, they’re whinging. Throwing false allegations. But when someone- who advocated for the industry for years and never made a dime off of their advocacy, never used their name as an advocate for any financial gain- actually tries to stand up and DO SOMETHING, they’re a fanatic?

    I gave one interview to Gustavo because I know him, because people knew I’d done this, and I wasn’t going to be a coward and run from what I’d done. Because when you didn’t know who I was, the allegation was that I was a deranged mind desperate to cling to anonymity. I can’t win. YOU all chose to publish my (dead) name. I’m so irritated that once the board voted to move the petition to an advisory committee, now people suddenly care. I never had any doubt this would happen- and, no, Cal-OSHA did not have to move forward with this.

    Your blog is so upset about the fact that I added Twitter screenshots, which you’re clinging to being defamatory, despite your acknowledgement no accused talent has actually been named. Yet the criticisms of the actual petition are that they are “banal to bizarre.” What is so fanatical about ANYTHING I included in the original petition? Everything I included are things APAC tried to implement in porn when I was on the board. Eric Berg worked very hard to figure out how much of the industry is owned by tube sites, and yes, employees of these companies do have the right to have certain expenses covered- and that’s what performers want.

    You just want the clicks for the 5 seconds people care about Cal-OSHA. You have NO concern with the working conditions of people in porn. Stop being a bottomfeeder.

  15. And, once again, Cal-OSHA was NEVER GOING TO DROP THIS. Which people would know if they continued going to standards board meetings instead of treating the tabling of the FSC and AHF’s petitions as a win and disappearing. Cal-OSHA intended to revise current regulations to be more specific to the adult film industry and focus on enforcement. I don’t know how anyone is naive enough to believe an entire industry of workers- especially as prominent as the porn industry- were just going to be overlooked by Cal-OSHA. In what world is that an actual possibility?

  16. Verta, I’m just going to let you keep talking because you’re doing a wonderful job of proving my points.

    How exactly do you call what you have done “advocacy”? Even your old pals at APAC say they don’t want this.

    As for whether the adult industry would be “overlooked” by Cal/OSHA, clearly you don’t understand the history. Cal/OSHA was dragged into the proceedings over the last decade or more; they paid so little attention to porn production that they simply slapped pre-existing rules designed for hospitals, clinics and undertakers onto the adult film business. Enforcement was nearly non-existent.

    Plus, since Pres Trump’s election, the OSHA agenda nationwide reflects his administration’s focus on de-regulation. Among the items removed from the regulatory agenda: bloodborne pathogens.

    What you have done is stir up a hornets’ nest. The reason you give is that it was inevitable. I’m sorry but that is circular logic.

    No one wants OSHA in everyone’s hair, and the bulk of your recommendations suggest that you had no clue what the fuck was going on at those OSHA meetings. You want OSHA to require APAG to provide health insurance? You want them to ban IR scene terminology? This is idiocy.

  17. Hmmm… can you point me to a single instance of my “old APAC pals” saying they don’t want this? You say this as though I don’t still communicate with any of these people. True, I’ve seen Riley Reyes expressing disappointment about the ruling, then admitting that this can be a positive step for the industry. Riley is not my “old pal at APAC,” though I have considered her a friend in the past. But I’ve learned a lot about friendship from this industry.

    Half of the original petition is copied directly from the APAC website, how has NO ONE noticed that?

    Yeah, performers don’t want interracial to be viewed as a sex act anymore, like anal or gangbangs. It’s 2019; they don’t want the racial divide of people getting paid more money to have sex with black men. I’m going to assume you’re about 60 years-old and can’t keep up with the times.

    Again, people had no idea what was going on because no one was attending Cal-OSHA meetings. I did. They were not ever planning to drop this and not enforce the current regulations – regarding bloodborne pathogens – that are still listed on their website.

    A former Cal-OSHA standards board member helped me revise the first draft of my petition- the copy I sent to performers and the labour board- to keep only what fell into Cal-OSHA’s purview. The original people assigned to evaluate my petition emailed that I must revise the language to focus on condoms or it would be dismissed. I fought this and I am ETERNALLY GRATEFUL Eric Berg was assigned to evaluate in their place, and actually did the work to unravel the many facets of the petition I submitted.

    But thank YOU for proving MY point, thank you for admitting this is merely about not wanting the industry to be regulated. What fantasy world do you live in that this was ever an option? Merely because regulations hadn’t been enforced in the past? I’m going to guess you’ve never done a single porn scene and you’ve never actually attended a Cal-OSHA meeting. You’re irrelevant, making your money off the suffering and drama of the people in the industry. Of course when someone attempts to diminish that drama, you’re going to throw a fit about it. Honestly, too bad. SINS.

  18. @Sam

    Trump has nothing to do with BBP regulations. Trust me when I say he had no say in Cal/OSHA deciding they could use existing regulations without spending another five or ten years arguing semantics with the industry.

    The only reason Cal/OSHA and other states were considering industry specific regulations was concern they couldn’t effectively enforce existing regs. Now they know they can and that should be a bigger concern than anything in this petition.

    Your petition included so many demands that are outside the role of what OSHA does that I have to wonder if you understood exactly what they do. Even more concerning is that you say much of it was copy/pasted from APAC. The petition is loaded with too many should and oughta expectations and not enough research into the limitations of what state & federal agencies are limited to.

    OSHA is not going to come in to the industry like some white knight. That is not how they work. They act on complaints from a specific employer against a specific employer. In a way it is playing whack a mole.

    The staff & DOSH evaluations outline all ideas from the petition that are handled by other agencies or beyond the scope of what OSHA is authorized to do.

    To me the big risk of this petition demanding Mindgeek and tube sites pay for performers tests etc is that it annoys them to the point they discontinue their voluntary subsidy checks issued via FSC PASS.

    Another was the IR stuff. OSHA can’t get into content beyond the health and safety aspects. That’s why they’re all over the employer has to provide lube and won’t go near how many or what color dicks can go where. That is the beauty and catch 22 of the First Amendment.

    Kudos for wanting a safe(r) work environment. It’s a long road to learn what Government agencies can/can’t do and more importantly how they do it. You’re right OSHA isn’t going to ignore the industry but naive to hope or expect your petition will lead to industry specific regulations.

  19. @LurkingReader
    The original copy of my petition – the first draft – was far more “fanatical,” and contained a lot of details that could not even be argued to fall under OSHA’s purview. As I stated, a former Cal-OSHA standards board member helped me remove everything that OSHA clearly legally did not have the right to regulate. The advisory committee will work out the cost and whether or not they can arguably enforce the points that /may/ not fall under their jurisdiction. This is why I also sent a copy of the first draft to the labour board. I covered all of my bases, and I’ll say this much: practically anything that can be argued as workplace violence absolutely /can/ be regulated by OSHA.

    I spent months on this and was in direct contact with current and former standards board members – the people who actually vote on these regulations – the entire time. I owe them a lot, and they really worked with and listened to me. And if they would listen to one person, I completely have faith that, if performers actually showed up and explained their position and what it is like to work on a porn set, they would have industry-specific regulations.

    The regulations provide the grounds for specific employees to file complaints against specific employers. When I submitted the petition, I explained that it was incomplete and would require working directly with performers to flesh out. Here’s hoping that happens.

    Also, if tube sites are responsible for paying for the testing for a majority of performers, what would be the point of the subsidy checks? The subsidy checks only cover a small percentage of testing.

    I’m sure if this was “news” back when I submitted the proposal, people would have told me it was naive to expect them to hold an advisory committee based on this petition. Yet here we are.

  20. Although it is apparent from both Verta’s petition and her comments here that concerns rooted in reality do not register with her, I will raise another.

    Demanding that producers should have to provide health benefits to every performer they shoot would be be a very expensive commitment. If this plan (I use the word loosely) were adopted It would drastically reduce performer scene rates.

  21. …Providing health benefits for workers would reduce worker rates, ONCE AGAIN, from the pennies they rake in from a multi-billion dollar industry? This is what you choose to gloat about in an attempt to discredit me?

    Maybe that’s the conversation society needs to be having around porn and every other industry. That basic workers’ rights- for workplace safety and health benefits- would be burdened on the backs of the workers themselves. That this is a reason people would give not to fight for workers’ rights. The people who sit and benefit from their labour can count on other people who do nothing but sit and benefit from their labour to make workers FEAR fighting for BASIC RIGHTS.

    That the people who profit from the labour of others do not have to sacrifice a single penny to ensure workers have basic human rights because people will justify those workers being essentially used as slave labour for even WANTING rights.

    This is the reality you would have me live in? No thanks. I’m going to keep living in the reality where I chose to do something about it, and a regulatory bureau actually heard what workers had to say.

    Before I disappear back into deranged anonymity, where the people I meet have no idea I ever did porn and no idea that I submitted this petition, I’m going to ask once again if you have ever been talent on a porn set. If you have ever had a personal relationship with any of the people on this website whose deaths were exploited for clicks. If you have ever personally witnessed or experienced a situation like any of the complaints in your alleged trial-by-Twitter. If you have ever done anything in this industry besides be a vulture on the outskirts of others’ drama.

  22. @V

    “ Also, if tube sites are responsible for paying for the testing for a majority of performers, what would be the point of the subsidy checks? The subsidy checks only cover a small percentage of testing.”

    Tube sites are not direct employers, OSHA has no way to hold them accountable for cost of employee testing.

    Mindgeek is voluntarily donating money to the subsidy pool and can stop doing so any time it pleases them to do so.

    The industry and the labs it directs performers to have fought very hard against creating an equitable shared costing system that also protects performer medical privacy. For people as tech savvy as porn there is no excuse for PASS letting everyone with access see who is green and who has a scarlet x by their name. If a producer (or agent for privates) wants to book a performer they can pay a portion of the test with the same risk that performer takes if it’s not good.

    In any other industry the employer would be on the hook for entire test plus cost of treatment or workers compensation claim to cover treatment & lost wages.

    Key word is ‘employer’ which tube sites are not.

  23. I’m pretty sure these tube sites are only reporting a fraction of their income for IRS and documentation purposes. Lots of money is being made and not reported.

  24. Verta is well written indeed. She certainly is capable of accomplishing a great deal if she channeled her talents into a direction with a positive likely outcome in the realms of something reasonable for adult performers.

    Having Cal Osha dictate absurd policy and believe production will pay for talent testing is not likely or reasonable. Not going to happen.

    Major studios would have production conducted in other states immediately. I bet the two top studios would invest in political action committees drawing up Bills to be voted on and enact laws making porn without question legal in Las Vegas . Given Las Vegas locations are abundant and cheap . Cost of living superior to Los Angeles for talents flocking to a desirable and comfy spot relocation.

    Insurance companies paying for more than one test per year is even doubtful.

    I can only Imagine insurance carriers being alerted to adult performers actively trying to get this idea on a serious platform would react, Insurance carriers might even view this as a threat as they did Obama Care.

    Insurance companies would likely be predisposed this idea to being like, “Operation choke hold” where banks and cash application screwed the adult industry, the instagram selected mass banning, twitter shadow banning and worse drop an individual’s policy and coverage should individuals identify themselves as an adult performer only to later place them in a high risk group or on some watch list.

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