Backpage.com taken offline ‘as part of an enforcement action,’ federal officials say

The website Backpage.com was taken down Friday and seized by federal law enforcement authorities, according to a notice posted online.

The classifieds website has been the focus of intense scrutiny over the issue of its sex ads, which have included those involving children being trafficked by adults.. A Washington Post investigation last year found that Backpage was using a contractor in the Philippines to contact prostitutes on other websites, seeking to lure their ads to Backpage and creating the ads for those prostitutes in advance.

Visitors to the site on Friday were greeted with an announcement that said “backpage.com and affiliated websites have been seized as part of an enforcement action” by agencies including the FBI as well as the law enforcement wings of the U.S. Postal Service and the Internal Revenue Service.

[Backpage has always claimed it doesn’t control sex-related ads. New documents show otherwise.]

Numerous other state and federal authorities in Arizona, California and Texas were also “participating in and supporting the enforcement action,” the notice stated. It said more information would be released later Friday by the Justice Department; a spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Since Craigslist shut down its “Adult Services” section in 2010, Backpage has attracted greater prominence and income. Embedded within prostitution ads on websites are a certain number of solicitations for children, anti-sex trafficking groups have said.

In 2016, a Senate subcommittee launched an investigation into Backpage’s role in child sex trafficking and found that Backpage modified the wording of ads to delete references to children, while still allowing the ads to stand.

Backpage has denied knowingly facilitating sex trafficking, and has noted that it cooperates with requests from law enforcement to help track down advertisers and victims. Some in the sex worker community have said the site provides them a safe way to meet clients, and that removing the site will make their lives more difficult.

backpage-appears-to-have-been-taken-down-and-sex--2-2913-1523043960-0_dblbig

Advertisements

5 comments

  1. I think two consenting ADULTS should be able to do whatever they want. I think this is targeting underage girls being sex slaves and I support cracking down on that.
    If Butler has such a huge drug problem then expect in time to see more and more street walkers (hookers) on the streets putting their thumbs out for a ride or giving the guys a nice big smile as they drive by basically saying “here I am”.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Shit !!! What’s a pimp gotta do to keep his bitches employed in this digital age ?!?! Smoke signals ? Probably get caught in an urban fire ban next. The worlds oldest profession gets it again. Truth is that govt. isn’t getting their tax dollars from it . But like pot, when they make the almighty dollar from it, there will ads for hoe’s in your weekly junk mail and on the hoods of NASCAR cars. Just wait..

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s