Then, when a potential customer expressed interest, an email directed that person to Backpage.com, where they would find authentic ads, spreadsheets used to track the process show.
For years, Backpage executives have adamantly denied claims made by members of Congress, state attorneys general, law enforcement and sex-abuse victims that the site has facilitated prostitution and child sex trafficking.
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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.
The documents show that Backpage hired a company in the Philippines to lure advertisers — and customers seeking sex — from sites run by its competitors.
The spreadsheets, emails, audio files and employee manuals were revealed in an unrelated legal dispute and provided to The Washington Post.
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.
An investigation by a Senate subcommittee revealed earlier this year found that Backpage was editing ads to remove language indicating underage girls were available, rather than removing the ads. Mc Dougall has said that Backpage acts as “the sheriff of the Internet” and that sex ads would be dispersed among sites in other countries if Backpage stopped posting them.