Discussion: Backpage.com CEO Arrested For Sex-Trafficking

I think a week or two ago there was a court decision affirming that Yelp is not responsible for user content (someone sued Yelp because a user gave their business a negative rating).

I wonder if the same defense is applicable here. Particularly if they had one of those “You must be 18 yo to enter” pages some sites use.

Man, I saw backpage.com and thought of My Back Pages, I song I love, and it turns out to be a story about someone charged with pimping. This story just bums me out.

Here’s a lovely version of the song to get one’s mind off of this.

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It’s sad that a great tradition of alternative media comes to this. The Village Voice, which had a long history of scrappy reporting and commentary, merged with and was absorbed into the New Times chain of metropolitan weeklies several years ago.

In my South Florida area, New Times had also done some solid reporting. In the early 1990s, they broke coverage of massive corruption at the Port of Miami when the dominant daily newspaper was providing only sketchy coverage. Several years ago, the Broward County edition of New Times – greater Fort Lauderdale – did extensive coverage of ongoing corruption in the Broward County School District’s school construction division.

Some New Times reporters went on to careers as investigative journalists on local network TV news programs.

However, in recent years, there has been a lot of questioning about the large number of personal ads in the back pages, and many suspected these to be fronts for prostitution or sex trafficking. And while I hate to sound like an Old Left scold in bemoaning the co-opting of alternative media by ongoing criminal operations promoting decadence, apathy and mindless escapism, it seems that “sex, drugs and rock and roll” have become the profit centers and maybe the drivers of what were once hoped to serve as a true alternative to the captured corporate media. I don’t think Norman Mailer would be associated with the New Times of today.

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Any early Dylan song does that for me.

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Is Devil’s Island still being used as a penal colony?

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Too vile for the basket. These guys belong in a sack, with some bricks to keep them company.

I wonder what proofs the investigators have of guilty knowledge. The fact that Backpage.com was being used to post ads for prostitution or even for trafficking doesn’t get you to a pimping conviction. Of course, the arrest and the seizure of assets and files will likely have the same effect as a conviction.

I’m not sure what to think about this. Is this just a service that people register on to find clients? If that’s the case, I think it’s a good thing, as it eliminates the pimp. There’s very few details in the story.

Don’t people use Craig’s List in a similar way?

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I’m going to use Trumps method of mentioning something by saying I’m not going to mention it.

I’d love to make a joke about the guy’s site should have been backdoor.com, but that would be in poor taste so I won’t do it.

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About fucking time.

“Making money off the backs of innocent human beings by allowing them to be exploited for modern-day slavery is not acceptable in Texas,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, said in a statement.

“Unless it’s migrant farm workers or day laborers” he added.

You have a conscience.

The Current Right has also been seized by the same bunch. Unfortunately, the Right seems to either not know or not care.

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“Or ‘proper respect’ is paid to the keepers of Texas’ moral standing.” (i.e. see Trump University)

You mean it’s not true that what happens on the Internet stays on the Internet?

Exactly, if you look on Twitter a lot of sex workers are complaining about this.