It was regularly used by law enforcement to search for and contact those they suspected were being trafficked. She says the move will drive activity further underground, making it much more difficult to screen clients.
You begin working in out-of-the-way, dark areas. The client is in control: Others, such as Cynthia Bland, founder and CEO of Ottawa-based Voicefound, an organization that works to prevent commercial sexual exploitation, applauded the shutdown. Bland, who is a survivor of child sexual abuse.
In Canada, an average of 1, new adult-services ads which include female escorts and body rubs were posted on Backpage every day, according to an estimate last year by Uncharted Software, a Toronto-based data visualization firm.
By its count, Backpage hosted about 60 per cent of all the online adult ads in Canada, making it the largest provider in the country.
Online sex ads have already migrated to other sites, which Toronto police are monitoring. Backpage stood out for how overt the ads were, she added. And that unto itself is an enormous problem. Still, some say the crackdown will make conditions less safe for self-employed sex workers who are there of their own volition. Backpage is just a platform, Ms.
We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons or for abuse. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions. African and Mideast Business. ETFs Up and Down. Letters to the Editor. Senate report that blasted the site for facilitating criminal activity, Backpage shut down the adult content portion of its website.
Classified websites such as Backpage and Craigslist, which allow users to hawk everything from real estate to used cars, have long been targeted by police for facilitating the sex trade. Last fall, prosecutors accused a Miami preacher of trafficking young boys through Craigslist, as well as Backpage; he is awaiting trial.
But Dallas-based Backpage, founded in as an off-shoot of classified sections for alternative weekly newspapers, remains one of the most popular websites for hooking up prostitutes with johns, according to law enforcement.
In Miami-Dade, posts on the website have resulted in many high-profile human trafficking cases. In recent years, those charged include a local Spanish-language singer , a man who forced a runaway teen to tattoo his street name on her eyelids and a businessman who lured girls from Kazakhstan with the false promise of working at a yoga studio. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimates that 73 percent of all its child trafficking report stem from Backpage.
In Cook County, Illinois, Sheriff Thomas Dart waged a public campaign against Backpage in , posting a letter to credit-card companies asking they stop accepting financial transactions from the site.
Visa, Mastercard and American Express all voluntarily stopped accepting business from Backpage. The website sued, arguing Dart was infringing on its right to free speech — and won. A federal appeals court upheld the ruling ordering Dart to stop publicly pressing the issue. Supreme Court in December refused to take up the issue.
In December, California filed new charges against the men, this time charging them with money laundering. The trial is still pending. The best we can do is facilitate the capabilities of police to investigate. At least until recently, Backpage was generally fast to respond to government subpoenas and request for customer information, even the credit-card info used by those posting to the adult section, according to Florida police agencies. Subpoenas revealed that someone posted the ads for the girl using a pre-paid Visa card.
Digging further, investigators found that Chamah used the same card to rent a scooter — the same one he used to drop off the teen for a rendezvous with an undercover Miami Beach detective posing as a john.
Confronted with the financial records, Chamah pleaded guilty last fall and is now behind bars. Prostitutes and escorts have certainly adjusted to the changes at Backpage. On post after post, they offer their services in less-than-subtle ways.
One girl named Brown Sugar notes:..