On Monday, the worlds largest classified ads website, was forced to shut down its adult section in the United States, due to the number of escorts that used the platform to advertise their services.
“Websites like Backpage.com facilitate sex trafficking across Minnesota and our country,” Senator Amy Klobuchar said in a statement. “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.”
Shuttering Backpage does not stop pimping, but it does make it harder for authorities and for sex workers to detect that kind of dangerous activity, said Maxine Doogan, president of the Erotic Service Provider Legal, Educational and Research Project.
“There’s no research that says removing advertising sites reduces trafficking,” said Doogan, noting that women used the site to carefully screen clients, who could provide references to other Backpage workers. “Everybody is scrambling.”
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