Digital Pimps or Fearless Publishers?
The owners of Village Voice Media gamed the online classified business with Backpage.com and made millions. But when it became a breeding ground for child rape, the publishers became something else: defendants. by Kate Knibbs
"Backpage is the most prominent online destination for on-demand paid sex in the United States, and according to the arrest warrant for Ferrer and others, it made nearly 99 percent of its over $50 million revenue in California from January 2013 to March 2015 from charging for erotic classified ads. It is, in essence, an escort advertising network nestled in a Craigslist knockoff.
"“Backpage and its executives purposefully and unlawfully designed Backpage to be the world’s top online brothel,” California Attorney General Kamala Harris said in a statement in October. Her office had brought the charges against the men in the middle of what would turn out to be her successful campaign for U.S. Senate.
HT: Scott Cunningham