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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: 2) by Anal Pumpernickel on Thursday January 12 2017, @09:51PM

    by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Thursday January 12 2017, @09:51PM (#453082)

    It's probably the 'right thing to do' but its not going to really change anything.

    It's not even the right thing to do; these people are just thugs and bullies.

    Really? I don't really see it in the news nearly that much at all. i find it kind of... hyper-cynical that you seem to imply that its not a real problem based on a sense that you hear about it 'too much'.

    The whole sex trafficking thing in general seems to be a popular excuse to curtail freedoms. Oftentimes they'll simply redefine the term so that it includes all prostitution in existence just so that they can make it appear as if there's more actual sex trafficking than there really is. It's an exaggerated problem that does exist to some extent, much like fears of terrorism.

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