Earlier that day, she would soon find out, the Feds had raided the homes of Backpage co-founders Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin. According to documents unsealed on Monday, the two, along with five other Backpage employees, have been indicted on 93 charges, including conspiracy to commit money laundering and facilitate prostitution. Backpage says that the company blocks ads that involve minors and reports them to law enforcement, but the site has long been accused of enabling both prostitution and human trafficking.
Human trafficking, however, exists in far more industries than just sex: The International Labour Organization estimated that, as of , there were 4. Sex is just a part of the human trafficking problem, but it's the only part we hear about.
There is good reason for this: There has been a sustained effort on the part of anti-sex work campaigners to conflate human trafficking with sex work, despite the fact that not all sex workers are victims, and many sex workers are just like L, who chose to work in this trade. In fact, some sex workers say the ability to post their own ads on sites like Backpage actually helped them get out of trafficking. I didn't have to justify it to anyone. For the very first time, the oldest profession has transparency, record keeping, and safeguards.
Backpage did make their jobs safer. Online classified services give sex workers an opportunity to vet their clients first—and they allowed sex workers to trade information with each other about who to trust and who to avoid. People doing sex work because they need the money are no less desperate without Backpage. The data backs this up. As Angelina Chapin wrote in the Huffington Post , "A paper by Baylor University economics professor Scott Cunningham and colleagues found that after Craigslist created an 'erotic services' section, the rate of female homicides in U.
The researchers concluded that sex workers who advertised online spent less time on the streets, where they were more likely to face dangerous situations. Craigslist shuttered its "erotic services" section in in response to legal pressure but, as L told me, "Removing access to [sex workers] is about as effective as preaching abstinence. Her data, however, which was widely picked up by the media, turned out to be false. After a series of court cases and the arrest of the company's CEO last year, Backpage removed the adult services section of their website, which also included legal job listings as well as a large for-sale section, with everything from cars to clothes.
It was super crowded. That worked for a while. Despite this, the anti-trafficking bills passed in a rare bipartisan effort. Only two senators, the progressive Sen. And then, three weeks after the vote, Backpage was seized, indictments were filed, and L found herself out of work. There are other websites where L could advertise her services, but Backpage was the biggest, the best, and it's where her clients knew to find her. She could turn to the dark web or to international websites, but, with no reason or incentive to work with U.
You might also be interested in these: I was ghosted by ghosts. Newsletters Sign up for the latest news and to win free tickets to events. Stranger Tickets Buy tickets to events around Seattle. Certain to satisfy even the most selective of clientele. MasseurHi, my name is Oscar. He is quite attractive and masculine, just like his photos. However what sold it for me was his technique. I had seen other therapists prior to little success but walked away pain-free after one session with Tom.
He is friendly, knowledgea Good technique and strength. I was arrived little early and Dale is flexible let my booking start early. His massage style and technique are perfect - firm and therapeutic to start with and meltingly sensual to finish. I went with the optional body Near Me By City...
However what sold it for me was his technique. I had seen other therapists prior to little success but walked away pain-free after one session with Tom. He is friendly, knowledgea Good technique and strength.
I was arrived little early and Dale is flexible let my booking start early. His massage style and technique are perfect - firm and therapeutic to start with and meltingly sensual to finish. I went with the optional body Near Me By City. Stevest Sydney, NSW more. Rayson Cheltenham, VIC more. Important Notice Masseurs You must be 18 years or older register as a masseur.
A few hours after placing the ad, I would be leaving a house or a hotel room with slightly smudged lipstick and a week's rent in my pocket; as simple as that. This is sometimes referred to as "survival sex work": It's far more common than we imagine, but much like the thought of performing any other physical job out of an urgent need for money, it carries a heavy stigma. Not many people like to admit that they need money, and adding sex work to the mix makes it an admission that can often be dangerous.
I write this from a position of enormous privilege and fortune: My pantry is stocked, my bills are paid, and my Opal card is freshly topped up. But if an emergency should strike, the option of placing that quick ad on Backpage or a similar website is no longer available to me, or to any other worker. As of this weekend, Backpage has been taken offline after the website was seized by the United States Department of Justice. Seven individuals involved with the website have been charged in a count federal indictment.
The seizure of Backpage comes days ahead of US President Donald Trump signing the SESTA-FOSTA acts, two bills created with the intent of putting an end to sex trafficking that occurs online but that will, ultimately, have catastrophic results for sex workers of any kind who use the internet to find and screen clients, share resources, and communicate with other workers.
Despite some reports, not a single charge levelled against any of the individuals involved in Backpage was related to sex trafficking. In layperson's terms, if I use a website like Backpage, or Craigslist, or even Google Drive to advertise my services as a sex worker, or to share sexual content, the website itself can be held legally accountable for my behaviour.
Given that many large social networks are US-owned and -hosted, there has been a panicked rush to restrict the sharing and posting of any sexual content, regardless of its country of origin, lest website owners find themselves in trouble with the law upon the bill's passing. What this means for sex workers, even here in Australia where sex work is legal or decriminalised in some states, is that the rug has been pulled out from underneath us with little to no notice, leaving many panicked.