Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

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


Original Submission

 
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 3, Informative) by takyon on Thursday January 12 2017, @04:07AM

    by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Thursday January 12 2017, @04:07AM (#452838) Journal

    When Congress produces a report that says they might be complicit in child prostitution, they shut down rather than defend against the accusation. I'm all in favor of innocent until proven guilty, but this seems more like cockroaches scurrying away from the light.

    They are continuing to fight various legal battles related to the adult section and they have won numerous times (see Supreme Court note in summary and on this story [soylentnews.org]). For all we know, the shutdown was done on the advice of their lawyers and is temporary (or they intend it to be temporary):

    The company vowed to continue its legal battles, which have become an important test for the entire internet industry of whether online platforms can be held liable for the content posted on their sites.

    [...] In its announcement on Monday, Backpage cited praise from law enforcement agencies and child-protection organizations who said the site had been helpful in rooting out human trafficking.

    "Like the decision by Craigslist to remove its adult category in 2010, this announcement is the culmination of years of effort by government at various levels to exert pressure on Backpage.com and to make it too costly to continue," it said.

    --
    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    Starting Score:    1  point
    Moderation   +1  
       Informative=1, Total=1
    Extra 'Informative' Modifier   0  
    Karma-Bonus Modifier   +1  

    Total Score:   3