Fifty women sue company that helped Backpage out of slump

Fifty women sue company that helped Backpage out of slump

Backpage is no stranger to lawsuits. Currently, they’re being sued by numerous women and girls who were sold into sexual slavery on their website while Backpage reaped the rewards. The most prominent of these lawsuits is the one filed by the family of Desiree Robinson. Desiree was only 16 when a Backpage john murdered her rather than pay her. Meanwhile, her pimp, who could be sentenced to life for human trafficking, was more concerned about finding a replacement for her. Dozens of other Backpage victims have since come forward and are currently suing Backpage damages sustained while being trafficked. Now, dozens more are suing a company who allegedly assisted Backpage while at the same time claimed to fight human trafficking.

The 50 women are former trafficking victims who had been forcibly sold for sex on Backpage. They contend that software giant Salesforce

… designed and implemented a heavily customized enterprise database tailored for Backpage’s operations, both locally and internationally. With Salesforce’s guidance, Backpage was able to use Salesforce’s tools to market to new ‘users’ — that is, pimps, johns, and traffickers — on three continents.”

When Backpage sales were slumping in 2013, Backpge enlisted the help of Salesforce to get Backpage back in business. And let’s not forget what Backpage’s business was. Some people may not see what the problem is. Salesforce was just a business providing a service to another business. Let’s not kid ourselves. By 2013, everyone knew what Backpage’s business was and it wasn’t trying to help you sell your old couch. The people at Salesforce are obviously not stupid, so they had to have known who they were getting into bed with, so to speak.

The worst part is that Salesforce once bragged about how their software was being used to combat human trafficking.

Craigslist and Backpage made similar claims back in the day too. They claimed that they were actually helping police fight human trafficking while being the main platforms for it. Back then we coined the terms ‘craigslist conundrum’ and ‘Backpage paradox’ to show how their statements and actions were at odds with each other. Now with more companies getting into the same argument, we may just add them all together under the classification of ‘Schrödinger’s Pimp‘.

The question that remains to be seen is will the lawsuit hold up under scrutiny? While it can be argued that Salesforce made money off the suffering of others through Backpage, it can also be argued that, at the time, there was no concrete evidence that’s where Backpage’s money was coming from.

So what do you think? Is Salesforce complicit in the trafficking of these women or were they just doing a job for a website that paid them?