The Problem

Backpage.com is a classified advertising website that serves as “the hub” for prostitution advertising through its “adult entertainment” section and provision of free basic posting of such ads. Facilitating such advertising enables sex traffickers to remain anonymous, while simultaneously granting them access to a wide audience to market adults and children for illegal commercial sex acts. According to 51 state Attorneys General (including Guam and American Samoa) many cases of sexual trafficking involving children are directly related to the posting of these ads.

We are demanding Backpage.com stop promoting and profiting from sexual exploitation. They must stop facilitating sex trafficking, prostitution, and the exchange of pornographic (sometimes child sexual abuse images) photos by eliminating the “adult services” section of their website.

A quick scan of the adult services section on Backpage.com shows pornographic photo after pornographic photo used as advertising to buy and sell women and children. Backpage earned 82.3% of the revenue generated from online advertising from June 2012-May 2013 (at least $39 million 2012-2013) from its prostitution ads and they post around 1 million prostitution ads a day. No wonder they don’t want to put a stop to the buying and selling of women on their site! 

According to AIM Group, Backpage.com is the leading United States website for prostitution advertising, generating nearly 80 percent of the online prostitution advertising revenue. In fact, the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) found more than 50 cases in 22 states that tied child prostitution crimes to ads posted on Backpage. Similar classified advertising websites, such as Craigslist.com, have taken down their adult services ads after being petitioned to eliminate the section. Backpage continues to ignore the evidence, putting profit above children’s safety. (From here.)

Some may scoff that this asking Backpage to change course is about censorship of free speech. No, it’s about human rights — because one of the most searing rights abuses in America is the sexual exploitation of women and children.

We are calling on Backpage.com to eliminate their “adult services” section and to stop seeking profits from sexual exploitation. We join policy makers, feminists, religious groups, many celebrities, anti-trafficking organizations and thousands of concerned citizens in making this request.

Read our letter to Backpage.com

Proof

**Trigger Warning: some of the verbal descriptions in this area may be a trigger for some individuals who are recovering from trauma or addiction.



Take Action

Thank Government Officials Investigating Backpage.com

Ask Elected Officials to Amend Communications Decency Act

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Updates

Women and Children for Sale: Brought to You by Backpage.com

For those unfamiliar with Backpage.com, it is a classified advertising website offering a variety of listings including everything from used cars and real estate to job openings. In fact, it is the second largest classified ads website on the Internet, just behind Craigslist. However, many have never even heard of Backpage.com. This is surprising and […]

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STATEMENT: Senate Holds Backpage CEO in Contempt; NCOSE Compares Backpage to African Slave Trade Company

Statement by Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of NCOSE   Washington, DC – Led by Senators Rob Portman and Claire McCaskill, the Senate voted today to hold Backpage.com’s CEO in contempt of Congress. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) applauds this decision and insists that Backpage be held accountable for its role in facilitating sex […]

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Proof: Sex Trafficking on Backpage

Backpage.com is the leading U.S. website for prostitution advertising, generating nearly 80% of all the online prostitution advertising revenue. Law enforcement officials say trafficked women and children are sold on Backpage daily. The site is even actively opposing laws that make it a felony to advertise sexual services of children. For this reason, NCOSE has […]

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STATEMENT: Law Enforcement Must Monitor Backpage.com for Sex Trafficking During the Super Bowl

Statement by Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of NCOSE   Washington, DC – As the Super Bowl approaches, authorities are preemptively working to ensure the safety and security of the many thousands of men and women that will be pouring into the San Francisco Bay Area. This annual sporting event shines a light on the tragedy […]

National Center on Sexual Exploitation

STATEMENT: Broncos Prostitution Sting Reveals the Super Bowl Culture that Enables Sex Trafficking

Statement by Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of NCOSE The Denver Broncos have sent rookie safety Ryan Murphy home after he was detained and questioned Tuesday as part of a prostitution sting in San Jose, California. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) reports that the normalized culture of commercial sex is a leading contributor to […]

Tools

Please use this material to spread the word and educate others. They are especially helpful to use on social media with hashtags #endexploitation, #noadultads, #backpage, #stoptrafficking

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2015 DD Flyer Updated Screenshot
Letter sent to Backpage.com about being included on Dirty Dozen List.

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Backpage.com is a top contributor to sexual exploitation. 

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