CEO Of Backpage com Arrested, Charged With Pimping : The Two-Way : NPR
Through a fascinating combination of memoir and legal insight, Krell reveals how she and her team started with the prosecution of street pimps and ultimately ended with the takedown of the largest purveyor of human trafficking in the world. She shares powerful stories of interviews with survivors, sting operations, court cases, and the personal struggles that were necessary to bring Backpage executives to justice. Finally, Krell examines the state of sex trafficking after Backpage and the crucial work that still remains.
In this case, New Jersey enacted a statute, referred to by the court as 121, which largely echoed the language of the Washington state and Tennessee laws. Again, a federal judge enjoined the law, finding it preempted by CDA Section 230, and in violation of the First Amendment and the Commerce Clause. The act is “hopelessly vague and overbroad” and “impermissibly chills protected speech,” the judge wrote, ridiculing NJ’s Attorney General for ignoring the statute’s plain language in his defense of it. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of served as an additional cornerstone in the defense. The enactment of this portion of the CDA overturned the decision in Stratton Oakmont, Inc. v. Prodigy Services Co. in which Prodigy was deemed by the court to be a publisher and therefore liable for content posted on its site.
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Activists argued that the move would force some of the site’s users to work on the street. In August 2018, Backpage sales Dan Hyer pleaded guilty to conspiracy to facilitate prostitution, all other charges against him were dropped; the remaining six defendants pled not guilty to all charges. The Electronic Frontier Foundation weighed in, stating that the site was succumbing to “years of government pressure”; as a result, both the First Amendment and CDA Section 230 were imperiled. Lois Lee, founder of the anti-trafficking organization, Children of the Night, bemoaned the loss of Backpage as an investigative tool, saying that child prostitution “existed long before Backpage or the Internet” and that Backpage is “not the cause or even a cause”.
- This gives you a load of other sections to explore if you want to venture onto another path altogether.
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- Published in January 2020, a survey of sex workers by the sex-worker-rights group Hacking/Hustling indicated that sex workers suffered in the wake of SESTA/FOSTA’s passage and the federal government’s seizure of Backpage.
- Backpage was started by Village Voice Media and is now owned by a Dutch company.
On October 20, 2009, Craigslist scored a legal win in Dart v. Craigslist, Inc., with federal Judge John F. Grady denying Dart’s attempt to censor the site. Grady rejected the notion that the listings in Craigslist’s adult category were obviously illegal, noting that a striptease artist advertising on the site was “not prostitution.” In November 2008, Craigslist entered into an agreement with Blumenthal and Attorneys General from 39 other states, agreeing to charge customers $5-$10 to post adult ads. Craigslist also agreed to require a working phone number, and that payments be made by credit card, making the ads traceable.
Online Classified Advertising
As with other outlets in the alternative press, New Times’ papers were free, relying on advertising, especially classified advertising to earn money. To counter Craigslist’s influence on a vital revenue stream, Lacey and Larkin in 2004 founded Backpage.com, which WIRED magazine described as “a bare-bones inter-face wrapped in Facebooky blue, similar to Craigslist in form and function.” Backpage.com was a classified advertising website founded in 2004 by the alternative newspaper chain New Times Inc./New Times Media as a rival to Craigslist.
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