Backpage.com, one of the biggest classified ad websites in the world, announced last night that it shut down its adult ads section, claiming the shutdown is the result of increasing government pressure. Backpage has been a frequent target of the government's campaign to end sex trafficking. Backpage's CEO was arrested this past October on pimping charges.
The adult section shut down came just after the U.S. Senate released a report that accused Backpage of hiding criminal activity, like sex trafficking, prostitution, and child prostitution, in its ads.
The Senate report capped off a long investigation into the site. Backpage at first refused to turn company information over to the government, but eventually the Senate secured a federal court order that forced the company to comply. The report concluded that Backpage knowingly allowed prostitution and sex trafficking on the site.
Backpage issued a full statement, part of which reads: "Like the decision by Craigslist to remove its adult category in 2010, this announcement is the culmination of years of effort by government at various levels to exert pressure on Backpage and to make it too costly to continue."
The website also made it clear that the government shutdown of their adult section would do little to stop human trafficking worldwide. -vladtv