Human Traffic Watch

Posts Tagged ‘backpage.com’

After sex-trafficking arrests, Backpage.com under fire

In Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on May 25, 2013 at 2:54 pm

It was the third bust of a Central Florida sex-trafficking ring in as many days. Fed up, the leader of one law enforcement agency looked into television cameras and issued not a warning, but a promise.

“Backpage,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said, referring to the web-based classified ad service Backpage.com implicated in all three cases, “you’re going to be criminally investigated and so are the people that are in charge of the organization.

“It’s abundantly clear to us that they are facilitating organized prostitution. They are facilitating human trafficking,” he said, adding, “We’re not going to have that.”

Source: Tampa Bay Times

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ASU and Phoenix Police Department complete study on human trafficking and Backpage.com

In Child Sex Trafficking, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on December 27, 2012 at 9:30 am

A study conducted by ASU’s School of Social Work and the Phoenix Police Department exposes shocking new statistics in the number of people forced into the sex business online.

The study looked at the site Backpage.com for a 12-hour period in five different cities: Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Salt Lake City, and Philadelphia. It found about 20 percent of the sex ads on the site showed signs that they were linked to human trafficking. Ten percent of those ads showed signs that minors were involved.

“You can tell because you’d see a switch in the pronouns used. That would tell you that someone else was involved in the ad,” said Dominique Roe-Sepowitz with ASU.

Source: ABC 15

Village Voice: OUR BODIES, OURSELVES

In Awareness, Child Sex Trafficking, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Prostitution, Sex Trafficking on December 25, 2012 at 1:09 pm

We don’t know if the trafficking charges against Somad are true, but if they are, then the safeguards we had established were not good enough. Because it is most certainly our place, and our duty, to refuse to be a party to what is altogether different from erotica or even consensual sex work. The Village Voice‘s editorial staff will take every step we can to ensure that no one uses our pages to profit from the physical or economic coercion, sexual or otherwise, of any human being. Similarly, and at no small cost to the bottom line of our young enterprise, our publishers are implementing stricter standards across the entire Voice Media Group chain, to make sure that our advertising is as ethical as possible.

Specifically, in our “adult” ad pages:

All direct advertisers must provide a government-issued ID proving that they are over the age of 18.

All agency advertisers must contract that every client in their ads is over the age of 18 and that all photos are of actual clients.

All advertisers must submit to us that they do not conduct illegal activity.

Any customer known to operate or engage in illegal activities will be blacklisted for life from doing business with us.

Headshots only in the adult ads

No suggestive language in the adult ads

Source: Village Voice

12 arrested in sex trafficking ring that involved minors

In Child Sex Trafficking, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Prostitution, Sex Trafficking on December 12, 2012 at 9:32 am

 A dozen people have been arrested in a Front Range sex trafficking ring that involved minors whose services were advertised on an Internet classified ad site.

Attorney General John Suthers announced Monday that four of those arrested are accused of paying to have sex with underage girls. Suthers says three people accused of offering juvenile girls up for sex on Backpage.com are self-described members of the Crips gang.

The girls are receiving treatment at undisclosed locations.

Suthers says the sex trafficking ring operated in Denver, Aurora, Commerce City, Lakewood, Parker and Colorado Springs.

Source: Coloradoan

Washington’s online sex-trafficking law struck down in federal court

In Child Sex Trafficking, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Prostitution, Sex Trafficking on December 11, 2012 at 8:56 pm

A federal judge on Thursday struck down a Washington state law aimed at battling online sex trafficking after an Internet advocacy group filed a lawsuit challenging the measure’s constitutionality.

Judge Ricardo Martinez’s order was filed Thursday in Seattle after the state declined to continue arguing in U.S. District Court over Engrossed Senate Bill 6252, one of several measures written by lawmakers earlier this year to combat online sex trafficking. Gov. Chris Gregoire signed the bill, aimed at online classified site Backpage.com, into law in March.

Source: Seattle Times

City Pages Faces Boycott For Sex Trafficking Allegations

In Awareness, Child Sex Trafficking, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Prostitution, Sex Trafficking on September 13, 2012 at 2:28 pm

A national movement is calling for advertisers to boycott City Pages in response to adult classifieds.

The controversy is over the website Backpage.com, which, along with City Pages, is owned by Village Voice Media.

Some say the adult classifieds on the site promote sex trafficking and underage prostitution. But City Pages says it’s not the problem.

For 26 years, Adele’s Frozen Custard in Excelsior has been a community favorite. Recently, owner Jai Buikema advertised in City Pages to pull in some back to school business.

“It’s a community-based magazine that people pick up everywhere. And so I think we felt that it would reach out to most people,” Buikema said.

The advertisement did help, but after learning about the controversy over adult ads on City Pages sister website Backstage.com, managers say they might advertise somewhere else.

Source: CBS Minnesota 

Fair Girls: Sign the petition to stop sex trafficking

In Awareness, Child Sex Trafficking, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on July 11, 2012 at 1:35 pm

I THOUGHT HE WAS MY BOYFRIEND, I THOUGHT HE LOVED ME FOR REAL, BUT HE MADE ME WORK EVERY DAY. HE THREATENED ME, HE MADE ME TAKE DRUGS, HERAPED ME A BUNCH OF TIMES, AND THEN HE SOLD ME TO 4 SOMETIMES 5 MEN A DAY FOR $100/HOUR. ONE TIME THERE WAS 10 MEN IN 1 DAY. I THOUGHT THEYWOULD KILL ME, I THOUGHT I’D NEVER GET AWAY. MY PIMP ADVERTISED ME ONLINE AT BACKPAGE.COM. THAT’S HOW THESE GUYS BUY ME… I’M 13

Sign the Petition

Source: Fair Girls

Former congresswoman joins sex ads protest

In Child Sex Trafficking, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on June 30, 2012 at 9:14 am

Backpage is at the center of a Washington lawsuit over the ads. It has argued that online service providers are not culpable for advertising placed by third parties, according to ABC 15.

“They have children for sale; they know it,” Smith was quoted as saying on http://villagevoicepimp.com. “They’re trying to keep it as clean as they can, but the 23 million is more important than our children. We’re simply saying: ‘Start a legitimate business; this is America.'” Phoenix New Times is part of Village Voice Media.

Smith is founder of Shared Hope International, which seeks to stop child sex trafficking, and a member of War Against Trafficking Alliance. She was a Republican congresswoman from 1995 to 1999 and grew up in Vancouver.

 Source: Columbian

Backpage.com Obtains Order Blocking Sex Trafficking Law

In Awareness, Child Sex Trafficking, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on June 15, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Siding with Backpage.com, a federal judge in Washington has blocked a new criminal law aimed at curbing sex trafficking of minors.

The law, which had been slated to take effect on Thursday, makes it a felony for Web site operators to allow users to post ads for “commercial sexual acts,” when those ads contain images of minors. The Village Voice Media’s Backpage.com filed papers earlier this week asking the federal court to declare the law invalid.

“Although its ostensible motivation — to prevent the sex trafficking of children — is laudable, the law is not,” the company argued in its application for a temporary restraining order.

Backpage argued that the law, SB 6251, potentially affects every site that accepts user-generated content by imposing new policing duties on Web sites. The Washington statute says Web site operators are liable if they allow users to post explicit or “implicit” prostitution ads, unless the site operators obtain drivers’ licenses or other identification of individuals depicted. “These obligations would bring the practice of hosting third-party content to a grinding halt,” Backpage argues.

Source: Media Post

Mayors urge online escort service to check ages

In Awareness, Child Sex Trafficking, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on May 18, 2012 at 1:27 pm

Mayors of nearly 50 cities across the country are urging Village Voice Media to require identification for people posting escort ads on Backpage.com — its online ad service that has come under scrutiny from authorities for allegations that it’s used to promote child prostitution.

“There is an urgent need to act quickly, as cities continue to find advertisements on your site that reflect underage sex trafficking,” the letter by the United States Conference of Mayors said Monday. “We are making every effort to stop the ongoing trafficking of underage individuals, but these efforts are made more difficult by the inadequate safeguards of your website, Backpage.com, to prevent underage sex trafficking.”

The leaders criticizing the ads include the mayors of New York, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Philadelphia, Austin, Texas, and Laredo, Texas.

Source: Fox News

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