Their Excuses

Backpage General Counsel writes op-ed defending them as an ally to combatting sex trafficking (Seattle Times)

The online classifieds service,, is a critical ally in stopping human trafficking online; shutting its closely-monitored “adult” category would simply drive the trafficking underground, writes Liz McDougall, general counsel of Village Voice Media Holdings….Critics who instead call for to eliminate an “adult” category as the only solution to online trafficking miss the proven effect such measures have on online crime — they just drive it elsewhere….I believe Village Voice Media is committed to fighting human trafficking online intelligently and practically until it is stopped. So when they asked me to lead this fight, how could I say no?”


Girls Sold for Sex Online, Backpage Defends Decision to Keep Ads Up (ABC News)

“I don’t believe Craigslist did the right thing,” she said. “And it would be the wrong thing for Backpage to take down its adult category. Because you are losing a key tool for law enforcement to get insights into this illicit activity, to get data, greater data than it’s ever existed before, to locate, to identify the perpetrators, and to rescue victims.”…”I think the company currently is better than anyone else out there. Our goal is to stay the industry leader, and to set the standard for everyone else to meet,” she pledged.


Here’s A Heartbreaking Look At Child Sex Slavery In America (Business Insider)

“Backpage says it does a lot to try to stop child sex traffickers from using its website…”We vigorously dispute those allegations,” Backpage General Counsel Elizabeth McDougall told the Boston Globe, in response to the lawsuit. “We do more, to my knowledge, than any other online service provider to try to prevent the use of our service” for child sex trafficking…We work extremely closely with law enforcement to find and to help rescue victims and to collaborate in facilitating arrests and prosecutions of perpetrators.” We didn’t write the ads selling children for sex, so we aren’t liable (Christian Science Monitor)

“A lawyer for told the Washington Supreme Court on Tuesday that a lawsuit filed by three young girls who were sold as prostitutes on the website should be thrown out because the company didn’t write the ads, so it’s not liable.”


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