July 27, 2015

Backpage.com Files Suit Against Sheriff Instead of Seeking Justice for Trafficking Victims

NCSE denounces Backpage for prizing profits over victims’ safety

Washington, DC – Tuesday, Backpage.com filed a lawsuit against the Cook County Sheriff, Tom Dart, for his successful request to major credit cards that they cut off the website. Backpage.com is known for regularly featuring prostituted women and sex trafficking victims on its “adult” services page. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCSE) has been a long time critic of Backpage, which is the leading online site for prostitution and trafficking, garnering over 80% of online prostitution advertising revenue.

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation denounces Backpage’s choice to file suit against the Cook County Sheriff as a deliberate decision to spend resources on lawyers and public image instead of working with law enforcement to protect those who are victimized on their website. Rather than reevaluating the practices that make major credit card companies uncomfortable doing business with them, Backpage continues to prioritize their own profits over the safety of the men, women, and sometimes children, whose sale they facilitate online.

Backpage’s unapologetic profiteering from exploitation and trafficking is the reason that the National Center on Sexual Exploitation placed this website on its annual Dirty Dozen List, which names the top twelve companies contributing to sexual exploitation in America. To learn more, visit: http://endsexualexploitation.org/dirty-dozen/.

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