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Everybody knows they’re doing it, and they’re not being held accountable.” Backpage has not responded to the suit, which was filed in May.In late June, federal agents arrested the man who allegedly had been posting Backpage ads for Desiree, which described her as “Nicki,” who was “new in town” and “looking for upscale Gentlemen to have a great time with.” The FBI alleged that Joseph Hazley, 33, would drive her to appointments for “commercial sex” and collected some or all of the money she was paid.Workers in the Philippine call center scoured the Internet for newly listed sex ads, then contacted the people who posted them and offered a free ad on Backpage.com, the documents show.The contractor’s workers even created each new ad so it could be activated with one click.The National Association of Attorneys General has described Backpage as a “hub” of human trafficking, which involves children or adults who are forced or coerced into prostitution.The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children said that 73 percent of the 10,000 child sex trafficking reports it receives from the public each year involve ads on Backpage.Ferrer, Lacey and Larkin are facing criminal charges in California for pimping and money laundering, though a court there threw out similar pimping charges last year.
“But that’s nothing compared to this” new information, Mc Caskill said after The Post described the data. Backpage has said that content is protected by the First Amendment, a view which has been endorsed by the courts. But ads in the “dating” section cost at least , and they cost more for posting in more than one city or for periodically moving the ad to the top of the list.The discovery could be a turning point in the years-long campaign by anti-human trafficking groups, and Congress, to persuade Backpage to stop hosting prostitution ads, which many teenage girls have claimed were used to sell them for sexual exploitation. So I hope this opens the floodgates of liability for Backpage.Lawsuits and criminal prosecutions of Backpage in the United States have nearly all failed because Backpage cites in its defense the federal Communications Decency Act, which grants immunity to websites that merely host or screen content posted by others. Nobody deserves it more.” [shuts down adult services ads after relentless pressure from authorities] The Post provided parts of the seized data to Backpage general counsel Liz Mc Dougall for her review. Backpage has frequently noted that it cooperates with and has been thanked by numerous law enforcement agencies for providing investigators with connections to pimps and other criminals.This is a traditional business model, but here the transaction too often is selling children for sex online.” In January, Backpage’s top officials appeared before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.Chief executive Carl Ferrer, co-founders Michael Lacey and James Larkin and general counsel Mc Dougall all invoked their Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate themselves and declined to answer any questions.
The documents show that Backpage hired a company in the Philippines to lure advertisers — and customers seeking sex — from sites run by its competitors.