Backpage shuts down adult section after Senate scolding

Backpage shuts down adult section after Senate scolding has shuttered the adult section of its site after a Senate subcommittee released a report in which they said Backpage was willingly editing ads to hide the fact that they were promoting child prostitution. That means that according to the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Backpage was knowingly editing the ads that appeared to have someone underage in them but still letting the advertisement be displayed on their site. According to the report Backpage’s own moderators knew that the adult ads were for prostitution but were instructed to sanitize the ads as much as possible.

Meanwhile Backpage is once again claiming that this a First Amendment issue that somehow the Constitution guarantees them the right to make money from human trafficking. child prostitution and sexual slavery. While throwing what can be best described as a hissy fit on the front page of their website claiming government censorship, Backpage is willingly shutting down the adult section of their site. Senators Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo, put it best in their joint statement to the press.

“Yesterday we reported the evidence that Backpage has been far more complicit in online sex trafficking than anyone previously knew. Backpage’s response wasn’t to deny what we said. It was to shut down their site. That’s not ‘censorship’—it’s validation of our findings.”

Since Backpage reportedly receives the majority of their profits from their adult ads, and that their founders are still facing criminal charges, it remains to be seen if Backpage will try to survive as a ‘normal’ classifieds site. However, if one had to hazard a guess on Backpage’s future one might speculate that it would be bleak at best.

Make no mistake that this isn’t a blow to free speech but a victory for all the women and girls that have been trafficked on Backpage for the past 12 years.