This whole Backpage.com saga just won’t quit. I’ve already written a few Newswires about the woes of Backpage.com…here’s one and here’s another. Now it looks like things have escalated to the point where the company is being run off the road by the government through more illicit means than just, you know, due process and all that.
If you’re not aware, Backpage.com is one of the world’s largest online classified ads websites. Their bread-and-butter is the “adult” section of their site where the bulk of ads are made by sex workers looking for clients. Prostitution is illegal so these sex workers are criminals (woefully so) but Backpage.com has been attacked numerous times by the government in an effort to shut them down. Backpage.com responds by stating that they are merely a platform, and if sex workers use their platform for sex work they can’t be held liable anymore than a hotel can be held liable for hosting that sex worker while they fuck their client.
The CEO of Backpage.com was arrested, which I wrote about on this site. Then the case was summarily thrown out, which I accurately predicted and also wrote about on Sexpressed. Well, it seems that once the government realized they weren’t going to be able to shut them down through good ol’ legal means, they decided to take a new approach: kill the business.
According to Backpage.com, the company has been pressured to close by their business partners, specifically credit card merchants, who refuse to work with them under pressure from the government. So instead of trying to squeeze Backpage.com into submission using lawyers, the feds are squeezing their business partners instead, which will inevitably lead to Backpage.com having to shut itself down.
In response, Backpage.com has turned it’s “adult” section into a simply white page with the word “CENSORED” in red at the top.
Folks, this is abhorrent. Backpage.com is just a platform for people to conduct their business online. If you take away that platform, a new one will pop up. Backpage.com runs its business ethically (as far as I know) and takes all the necessary precautions they possibly can to prevent things like human trafficking business being conducted on their site. You want to stop human trafficking? Go after the human traffickers. Not Backpage.com.