Anti-trafficking advocates say both online classified and social networking sites have made ordering sex with a minor as easy as ordering a pizza. The cyber world provides johns with round-the-clock accessibility and provides pimps with an efficient, low-risk and anonymous method by which to recruit and sell women and children.
Kyle Oki of the San Jose, Calif. Backpage is not the only website that sells classified escort ads; there are also Eros. But, according to AIM Group, when Craigslist famously shut down its escort ads in due to public pressure, Backpage quickly emerged as the market leader. Backpage often points to the work of one scholar, danah boyd, of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, who has written that the Internet provides new opportunities to intervene in the underground sex trade because it makes trafficking more visible than it once was.
McDougall lauded the systems Backpage already has in place to keep underage girls out of its adult ads. Our goal is to stay the industry leader, and to set the standard for everyone else to meet," she pledged. McDougall took "Nightline" inside one of their screening rooms, the first time they have ever let reporters see how their filters function. According to McDougall, first an automated system screens for key words.
Then, a real human being looks at each and every ad that goes up in the site's adult services section. Of course pimps and the underage girls they traffic often find ways to work around the safeguards, including using pre-paid gift cards instead of credit cards linked to an address. Backpage does work with law enforcement, responding to subpoenas and reporting about ads a month to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Law enforcement officials from across the country told "Nightline" that they'd rather work with Backpage than be at odds with them. But many said the inescapable fact is that Backpage and other sites like it have made the buying and selling of sex exponentially easier than it was in the pre-Internet era. You had to build up the courage to make contact with someone. You had to stop out in public view," Oki said.
And he objects to the profits that Backpage and other sites like it are making off prostitution ads. But Oki said he has mixed emotions on what the solution should be, noting that when Craigslist shut down its classified sex ads, the traffic moved to other sites. Like many exploited minors, Megan had a troubled childhood fraught with family dysfunction and a sense of abandonment. She said she spent her early years searching for a father figure, as she bounced from relative to relative trying to find a stable home.
I was used to being, like, the troubled child," she said with tears in her eyes. It all made her an easy and vulnerable target for the pimp who first approached her after she had spent the night sleeping at a bus stop. And so, you know, he was like, 'Take a shower. Get ready and stuff. And we can take some pictures of you. Megan said her pimp posted the provocative photos on Backpage.
She had never heard of the site before and did not know how to use it, but after two months, she said, she started posting the ads for herself. Megan said once an ad went up, the phone rang off the hook. She'd perform up to 20 or more tricks a night. I was in pain and I would just act like I didn't hear my phone ringing.
If she wanted something to eat, she had to ask her pimp for permission. Then one day, he kicked Megan out, leaving her on the street in only a trench coat and no shoes. Her family rejected her calls for help and eventually the police picked her up. StreetlightUSA, which is funded primarily by area churches, is one of the few facilities in the country where girls who have been sold for sex, ages 11 to 17, can come for rehabilitation.
In addition to food and shelter, the girls at StreetlightUSA receive counseling, mentorship, schooling and recreational activities like art classes and yoga.
But in most cities recovery centers like StreetlightUSA just don't exist, and most girls end up in juvenile detention facilities. Benson said that more than 50 percent of the girls at Streetlight had been trafficked on Backpage.
She acknowledged that rehabilitation of trafficked teens is extremely challenging, and it's not infrequent that girls run away. The center struggles with funding, but, she said, they never refuse to take in a new girl. Recovery, though, is possible. Jessica, now 23, said she was also pimped on Backpage when she was underage.
She described horrific physical and emotional abuse she endured under at the hands of a pimp when she was just My pimp decided to take a potato peeler He came, grabbed me by my throat, held me against the wall, took the potato peeler, carved it into my face. Jessica lives with the scar on her face, but has turned her experience into action, working with FAIR Girls, an advocacy group for victims of sex trafficking. Her pimp is now behind bars, due in part to her testimony against him. Jessica now has her sights set on becoming a lawyer, and is working to shut down online marketplaces that allow for adult advertisements.
But we can't allow this open casbah -- this market place to exist in such a high profile fashion because it encourages others to do even more of it.
McKenna and other attorneys general are somewhat bound by a law Congress passed in called the Communications Decency Act. The Act says that Internet service providers or "interactive computer services" like Backpage are merely hosts and not publishers in the traditional sense.
That means that the websites cannot be held liable for material posted on them by a third party, which is why, while the act of prostitution may be illegal, Backpage is not responsible for someone posting an ad for it on their site. McKenna said some in Congress are exploring how the law might be changed. In the meantime, he pointed to a recently passed law in his home state of Washington that would require sites like Backpage to obtain documentation that the escorts in posted ads are over McDougall said she expects that law to be challenged in court.
If you are a victim of human trafficking and need immediate help or if you suspect a trafficking situation, call the The National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline at or you can report a tip online HERE. Craigslist Founder 'Feels Bad'. Special counsel eyeing Russians granted unusual access to Trump inauguration parties.
OccupyICE tent encampment in Oregon being dismantled by federal authorities. Trump, Putin to meet in Finland in July. The fact that the founders of Backpage are being charged with "aiding and abetting prostitution", and not anything to do with sex trafficking is all the proof you need that this is about punishing consensual sex workers, not rescuing sex trafficking victims.
The ultimate fear of the sex workers I spoke to, either for their fellow workers or for themselves, was being forced into doing street work — the kind of hustling you see in movies like Taken, where scantily clad women proposition random drivers out in public.
Even the totally normal clients are more likely to try and push boundaries. The shutting down of Backpage is an absolute crisis for sex workers who rely on the site to safely get in touch with clients.
Lynn echoed that street work is incredibly dangerous. Once, Lynn said a gang kidnapped her friend and forced her to be a sex slave for a year — after they picked her up off of the streets. Even though SESTA-FOSTA itself only covers crime related to prostitution, sex workers and internet activists say it sets a precedent for the government to require platforms to police any and all content users post online, lest the platforms be held accountable.
Decriminalizing sex work does not help sex traffickers- it puts them out of business. This will endanger the lives of sex workers. Are the owners of YouTube criminally guilty of mass murder? They met as junior foot soldiers in the Hillary Clinton campaign. Both were gay students at major public universities in the South.
They spoke for months about the election. It was when they met in person that things went wrong. According to Blake Kitterman, 20, a student at the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga, when he woke….
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|Girls for casual sex backpages classified||Instead, he advertised her online in the adult services section of the nationwide classified website, Backpage. McDougall has made this case. Most of Megan's bedroom is filled with the paraphernalia of a typical teenage girl -- piles of T-shirts, posters of her favorite stars, some stuffed animals she hasn't quite outgrown. By personals sites we are not referring to social networking sites but rather websites that give you an opportunity to search for members outside your social circle. Sex workers were able to post their own ads and hand-screen respondents to make sure they were safe to take on as clients. They met as junior foot soldiers in the Hillary Clinton campaign.|
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