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posted by on Thursday January 12 2017, @12:31AM   Printer-friendly
from the is-he-a-pimp-or-not? dept.

Hours after the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations released a report claiming that online classifieds website Backpage "knowingly concealed evidence of criminality by systematically editing its adult ads", Backpage shut down the U.S. adult advertising section of its site:

The online classified advertising site Backpage.com abruptly shut its "adult" section on Monday, yielding to a campaign by state and federal government officials to close a service they contend promotes prostitution and human trafficking. The unexpected move came hours after a U.S. Senate subcommittee released a report accusing Backpage of actively editing posts on the site to remove evidence of child sex trafficking.

In announcing its decision, Backpage said it was the victim of government censorship. Backpage attorneys said executives would appear at a subcommittee hearing on Tuesday, but would not testify.

U.S. Senators Rob Portman and Claire McCaskill, however, said their subcommittee found Backpage had been far more complicit in sex trafficking than previously known. "Backpage's response wasn't to deny what we said. It was to shut down their site," they said in a statement. "That's not 'censorship' — it's validation of our findings."

On the same day, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from three sex trafficking victims accusing Backpage of facilitating the exploitation of children. The Supreme Court let stand a lower court ruling that said Backpage is shielded from liability by federal law since the site's classified ads are posted by users.

Also at Washington Post, NBC, and USA Today.

Previously: Backpage's Dallas Offices Raided, CEO Charged With "Pimping"
"Pimping" Charges Against Backpage Executives Dismissed
California Attorney General Pursues New Charges Against Backpage CEO


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  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @01:30AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @01:30AM (#452804)

    How about, we all just go out and get beer and not say anything on this topic instead? Would be about as effective as actual discussion and would create less animosity between 'lentals.

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  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Thursday January 12 2017, @01:33AM

    by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Thursday January 12 2017, @01:33AM (#452806) Journal

    I haven't seen that much animosity in the previous discussions about Backpage. Most lentils seem to be pro-Backpage.

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    • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Thursday January 12 2017, @01:42AM

      by bob_super (1357) on Thursday January 12 2017, @01:42AM (#452809)

      I can fix that: "Should the backpage CEO and users be allowed to carry a 3D-printed concealed weapon to watch the Trump inauguration in their electric cars in the parking lot of a black church powered by Russian renewable energy?"

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @05:11AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @05:11AM (#452844)

        The second amendment says yes.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @03:12AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @03:12AM (#452825)

      That's because there's a lot of Libertarians here. And others who lack any concept of unintended consequences.

      • (Score: 2) by takyon on Thursday January 12 2017, @03:22AM

        by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Thursday January 12 2017, @03:22AM (#452829) Journal

        Legal or illegal, it seems like this activity is likely to continue. The Web and ***coin have made it even easier to get away with.

        If Congress is targeting Backpage, it probably has more to do with the fact that it is untaxed rather than helping teh childrenz. Other forms of illicit sex involve some tax being paid (massage parlors, for example).

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      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @04:49AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12 2017, @04:49AM (#452843)
        Libertarianism is based on the awareness of unintended consequences. You're clearly an idiot.
        • (Score: 2, Troll) by aristarchus on Thursday January 12 2017, @06:57AM

          by aristarchus (2645) on Thursday January 12 2017, @06:57AM (#452863) Journal

          Libertarianism is based on the awareness of unintended consequences. You're clearly an idiot.

          Oh, please! Libertarians could not consequence themselves out of a wet paper bag! And you know why the bag is wet, right? In my vast and extensive experience, libertarians by and large are persons that no other person would ever want to have sex with. Now this might be because they are internet trolls, and trolls like ogres have layers. Or it may be that they are just so fricking self centered and egotistical that they could never every conceive [see what I did there? jdavidb only manages 'cause he's sky fairy before Ayn fairy!] of sharing a sexual encounter with another human being. For these poor radical individualists sovereign individual egoists, they can only get pleasure if they pay for it. In fact, more often than not, or so I am told by some professionals who cater to this crowd, just paying is enough to end the transaction right there.

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      • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by Anal Pumpernickel on Thursday January 12 2017, @09:48PM

        by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Thursday January 12 2017, @09:48PM (#453080)

        So people who actually care about freedom and the Constitution lack any concept of unintended consequences? It's possible to be fully aware of the consequences of something and yet still accept them in the name of freedom.

        And what unintended consequences, exactly? I'm not seeing any huge negative consequences in this case, but even if you do, there's a chance that I won't consider to be a big deal what you consider to be a big deal.