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Backpage.com is under fire in the US now, will the UK be next?

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It was bound to happen, and claims of trafficking and pimping underaged girls abound, but most of the criticism comes from 'the usual suspects' so it is hard to determine where the truth lies.  I am not familiar with their US postings but their UK and Thailand postings seem to be pretty innocuous.  In any case, here is the article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/07/us/carl-ferrer-backpage-ceo-is-arrested.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=second-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

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Before these happenings, there was a live thread on another forum started by an escort who had lost £3000 to them a while ago and was now having a similar thing happen again. (She said BP was by far the most effective advertising for her so went back to using it)

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Interesting article at http://reason.com/blog/2016/10/06/backpagecom-ceo-carl-ferrer-arrested commenting on the arrest of Backpage's CEO, Carl Ferrer. Here's a key extract:

children are actually being harmed by actions like Ferrer's arrest. I've written extensively about Backpage over the past few years, as well as about U.S. sex-trafficking investigations. While Backpage doesn't screen all its ads, it does employ people to monitor the adult section. And any ads suspected of containing anyone under 18 are reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Countless investigations into child sex-trafficking in the U.S. have been solved with Backpage's help, as investigators all over the country have openly attested.

Political opponents of the site like to imagine that without it, sex trafficking and the sexual exploitation of minors would simply cease. But the closure of sites like Backpage , where ads for adult sex workers and adults selling totally non-sex related things far outnumber any ads for illegal activity, wind up sending both independent sex workers and sexual exploiters to more underground venues or out onto the streets—places where there's no paper trail and no one screening anything or reporting any suspicious activity to the government.

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In an article in yesteday's Guardian entitled  Backpage CEO's arrest hurts free speech and sex workers' rights, advocates say, Sam Levin gives a voice to people who will be adversely affected by the war on Backpage and who believe that:

  • Backpage is a safe way for sex workers to advertise services and vet clients, and that without it, some would be working on the streets, which can be significantly more dangerous
  • This has nothing to do with people being exploited. It’s a political ploy.  The arrest is an election-year stunt, not a good-faith action by law enforcement. 
  • Backpage has policies against “illegal content” and removes ads when contacted by police.
  • Targeting Backpage is a misguided approach that conflates trafficking with adult sex work.
  • Closing the site won’t eliminate any exploitation, but simply move it further to the margins.
  • Backpage allows sex workers to control their own businesses online without having to rely on pimps or work in the streets.
  • Workers also use the site to warn each other about dangerous or violent clients. Often that can be the only way for workers to protect themselves since reporting to police can get them arrested for prostitution. One woman who was robbed by a man, posted his name and photo on the site.  Kimberlee Cline, a sex worker based in Sacramento, said Backpage allows her to get references from other workers about whether a certain client is safe, she said. “It’s absolutely vital.”
  • The saddest part of all of this is the amount of time and energy and resources they are spending that are supposedly intended to protect real victims of sexual exploitation. These efforts are only about arresting sex workers, not stopping human trafficking
  • Sometimes traffickers can be exposed and arrested through Backpage. “Why would the government want to shut down a resource that they can use to actually go after people who are selling minors?” said Norma Jean Almodovar, a California sex worker activist.
  • if California prosecutors were serious about supporting victims, they would have done a much better job handling the recent scandal in which more than a dozen police officers throughout the Bay Area have been accused of exploiting and paying a teenager for sex. While the state has aggressively targeted the Backpage CEO, many of the officers in the Bay Area case have avoided serious consequences. “You’ve got cops that are wildly abusing sex workers and nothing happens to them,” Norma Jean Almodovar, a California sex worker activist said. “That says you really don’t care about us at all.”

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According to this article in USA Today:

....authorities interviewed more than a half dozen sex trafficking victims who confirmed they paid Backpage to post ads on the web site promoting prostitution.

So the women paid for ads on Backpage for themselves, and that means they're trafficked?

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Sorry, I am not well informed on this, but isn't California in USA? And is that the same USA that takes Donald Trump seriously. And would that be the same California that is the world's largest porn movie centre (sorry, center!)?

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Regular LA Vlogger Nicole Lynn makes a good defence of Backpage in this video.

.

Edited by Carnival

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Backpage's owners have been released on bail.

http://www.mercurynews.com/2016/10/14/backpage-com-owners-post-bail-in-california-pimping-case/

All three men appeared in court Wednesday, but they did not enter a plea. They also are scheduled for a November 16 hearing where defense attorneys plan to argue against the complaint, saying it violates their clients’ First Amendment rights.

http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/crime/article108074342.html

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On 16/10/2016 at 9:49 PM, Carnival said:

Backpage's owners have been released on bail.

http://www.mercurynews.com/2016/10/14/backpage-com-owners-post-bail-in-california-pimping-case/

All three men appeared in court Wednesday, but they did not enter a plea. They also are scheduled for a November 16 hearing where defense attorneys plan to argue against the complaint, saying it violates their clients’ First Amendment rights.

http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/crime/article108074342.html

On that day next week there will be a rally outside the courthouse in solidarity with all who depend on BackPage and other online advertising vehicles for survival, followed by a press conference with BackPage advertisers who, in their own words, will explain how BackPage helps to keep them safe. Featured speakers will be BackPage advertisers from Los Angeles to Seattle and beyond.

More details at http://www.swopsacramento.org/call-to-action/

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On 09/10/2016 at 8:51 PM, Dave451 said:

Sorry, I am not well informed on this, but isn't California in USA? And is that the same USA that takes Donald Trump seriously. And would that be the same California that is the world's largest porn movie centre (sorry, center!)?

Well, at least it is the same California that resoundingly voted down Proposition 60, which would have driven Porn Producers and performers out of the state!

Edited by Irgendeiner
typos!

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California Judge Issues Tentative Ruling, Throws Out Criminal Charges Against CEO and Former Owners of Backpage.com

In an apparent rebuke of California Attorney General and U.S. Senator-elect Kamala Harris, a Sacramento judge has found in favor of the current CEO and two former owners of online classified site Backpage.com, granting a tentative ruling dismissing criminal charges against the three men on Wednesday, hours before oral arguments are to occur.

More at http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/california-judge-issues-tentative-ruling-throws-out-criminal-charges-against-ceo-and-former-owners-of-backpagecom-8833518

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