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10th January

 Update: Escorted off site...


Nice 'n' Naughty

Sex worker small ads on Backpage.com are censored by the US authorities via a campaign of persecution and harassment
Link Here  full story: Advertising for Adult Services...US censors advertising for adult sex services
backpage censored noticeBackpage.com, one of the world's largest classified ad websites and a frequent target in the political battle against sex work, closed its adult ads section Monday in the United States after becoming the victim of a government witch hunt.

The move came shortly after the release of a U.S. Senate report that accused Backpage of hiding criminal activity by deleting terms from ads that indicated prostitution.

The abrupt closure came on the eve of the scheduled testimony of Backpage's founders, Michael Lacey and James Larkin, and the site's CEO, Carl Ferrer, before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs' subcommittee on investigations.

To keep problematic ads online, the company edited them. One moderator said he removed material that was obviously indicative of prostitution but the post remained published. According to the Senate report, the moderator testified under oath: [M]y responsibility was to make the ads OK to run live on the site, because having to get rid of the ad altogether was bad for business.

By late Monday, visitors to Backpage saw censored tags in red font under the adult section's menu of escorts, body rubs and strippers. Other sections remained operative, including for cars, real estate and childcare. Backpage said:

Like the decision by Craigslist to remove its adult category in 2010, this announcement is the culmination of years of effort by government at various levels to exert pressure on Backpage.com and to make it too costly to continue.

 

21st November

 Update: Citing a long forgotten back page of the US Constitution detailing free speech...


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Judge provisionally dismisses charges against backpage.com website for its small ads for adult services
Link Here  full story: Adult Services Ads in the US...US politicians target small ads for sex workers
backpage com logoA California judge has tentatively rejected supposed pimping charges against the operators of Backpage.com, a major international website that advertises escort services. However the judge gave both sides more time to submit briefs before issuing a final ruling next month.

Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Michael Bowman cited a federal law involving freedom of speech while ruling that the state attorney general's office cannot continue prosecuting Backpage.com's CEO Carl Ferrer and former owners Michael Lacey and James Larkin.

The men were charged by California Attorney General Kamala Harris, who ludicrously referred to Backpage.com as an online brothel.

The judge, however, said Harris lacked authority to bring the charges because the federal Communications Decency Act, as a way of promoting free speech, grants immunity to website operators for content posted by users. Bowman wrote:

Congress has spoken on this matter and it is for Congress, not this court, to revisit.

 

9th October

 Update: 'Many of its adult escort adverts involved prostitutes'...


Nice 'n' Naughty

Head of backpage.com, a major small ads website, arrested over adverts for prostitutes
Link Here  full story: Adult Services Ads in the US...US politicians target small ads for sex workers
backpage com logoCarl Ferrer, head of small ads website Backpage.com has been arrested on allegations of pimping, the California Attorney General has announced .

In a rather blatant conflating of trafficking with adult consensual sex work, the department said that a three-year investigation concluded that many of its adult escort adverts involved prostitutes and victims of sex trafficking, including children. Warrants have also been issued for two controlling shareholders.

The site, which operates around the world, is still online.

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