Ferrer and two other operators of an international website, Backpage. Larkin and two other operators of an international website, Backpage. Lacey and two other operators of an international website, Backpage. Like the old classified sections in the back pages of their newspapers, Backpage. A judge in December rejected initial pimping conspiracy charges filed against Lacey and Larkin and site chief executive Carl Ferrer, citing a federal law designed to protect free speech online by granting immunity to websites that post content created by others.
The adult section still exists without content and has a Backpage saying it was censored. Police nationwide used Backpage ads to lure sex buyers or sellers to hotel rooms for easy arrests. And Hardiman said vice officers could plug the ads into a search engine to track telephone numbers used in suspected prostitution ads. If an ad by the same woman popped up in a variety of cities, police knew there was a strong indication she could be the victim of human trafficking, he said.
The site provided quick but limited cooperation with law enforcement, California Department of Justice Special Agent Brian Fichtner said in court documents supporting the criminal charges. As its name indicates, SESTA was promoted as a means to combat online sex trafficking, a term referring to forced prostitution that automatically includes minors.
Backpage was a leading impetus for the new regulation. According to a scathing U. Senate report released in , the site systematically turned a blind eye to possible cases of child prostitution. Internal emails showed the site intentionally allowed posts advertising underage prostitutes to remain active, only removing certain keywords. After the Backpage website was seized , seven Backpage executives were indicted on charges relating to prostitution and money laundering, but not sex trafficking NPR.
Several groups that work on the front lines of the sex trade are not convinced SESTA will curb the most egregious cases of sexual abuse and violence. Sex workers themselves say they use the service to screen clients before meeting them. Fear of being arrested, and generally precarious lifestyles, make outreach a difficult task for sex worker activists.
For Erika Gonzalez, a lawyer for trafficked victims, Backpage was a last-ditch resource to contact clients who had disappeared on her. She explained the situation on Twitter , the main platform the sex work community uses to reach an audience. Sometimes the only way I could get ahold of her was by finding her through Backpage so that I could get her most recent number. Christina Parreira , a Las Vegas-based dominatrix, says online forums made interactions with clients a vastly safer experience than the pre-Backpage alternative.
With their phone number, she could look them up online. With a few discrete questions, she says she could gauge a client before agreeing on a meeting place. She even began asking for personal references and deposits.
Her occupation, therefore, is not based on a lack of options. Not every sex worker can ask a client for references and expect to stay in business.
With the passage of SESTA, legal sex workers such as Parreira are faced with the same worries as the average sex worker — loss of income and safety. She plans on leaving Las Vegas to join one of the few legal brothels in the country, all of which are located in the Nevada desert. Sex trafficking predates Backpage, but online forums certainly make child prostitution more accessible. But the ads themselves were not taken down, meaning customers could still set up a time to have sex with someone who could be under The Senate report added to the narrative of Backpage as a knowing participant in trafficking.
In , he reported on a year-old runaway girl who slept with a staggering number of men, all arranged by a pimp who advertised on Backpage. The same horror story, however, is used as an example how Backpage can be used to combat trafficking. The family of the teenage girl in question was unable to find her until Kristoff recommended checking Backpage listings. They were able to locate her ad in less than two minutes and quickly alerted authorities... Sex workers are considering using offshore ad websites, personal offshore websites, encrypted emails, relying on their online brothel backpage escourts clients, sharing lists of safe clients privately with the community, or even doing street work, Mandie says. The Red Umbrella Projecta nonprofit that advocates for sex workers, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The federal plea deal says any prison sentence Ferrer would face would run concurrent with his 5-year terms in Texas and California. At least five dead in Annapolis newsroom shooting; gunman in custody A gunman killed at least five people and "gravely injured" at least three others when he sprayed a newsroom in the Private girls one night stand dating Perth capital of Annapolis with gunfire on Thursday, authorities said. The organizers of the Women's March on Washington expressed dismay over the shutdown as well, tweeting that "sex workers rights are women's rights.