(KMSP) - The classifieds website Backpage.com has removed its adult services section. Under the adult section, the website has placed a “censored” tab. The website cites the U.S. permanent subcommittee investigations on censorship of adult classified advertisements as the reason.
“The decision of Backpage.com today to remove its adult section in the United States will no doubt be heralded as a victory to those seeking to shutter the site, but it should be understood for what it is: an accumulation of acts of government censorship using extra-legal tactics.
Like the decision by Craigslist to remove its adult category in 2010, this announcement is the culmination of years if effort by government at various levels to exert pressure on Backpage.com and to make it too costly to continue.”
Backpage.com also says this act of censorship by federal officials will not reduce the problem of human trafficking and it will not end the fight for online freedom of speech.
Senator Amy Klobuchar has been a national leader in the fight against human trafficking. Senator Klobuchar released this statement,
“Websites like Backpage.com facilitate sex trafficking across Minnesota and our country. In fact, in southern Minnesota, an operation involving Backpage.com resulted in 48 arrests around the towns of New Ulm and Mankato,” said Klobuchar. “Backpage.com’s announcement that it will be shutting down its adult services section is long overdue, but another positive step forward in our fight against human trafficking. We need to keep working together to bring perpetrators to justice and get victims the support they deserve."
Last October, Backpage.com CEO Carl Ferrer was arrested after federal officials in Texas said that adult and child sex-trafficking victims had been forced into prostitution through escort ads posted on the website.