ADOTAS – AG Mike Delaney is pissed. He and 46 other state attorneys general requested information this week about how site Backpage.com attempts to remove advertising for sex trafficking that could involve minors. The website is the largest for ‘adult service’ advertising and is owned by, who else, Village Voice Media, LLC. The company makes about $22.7 million in the sale of adult service related advertising. The company claims it is very difficult to verify the ages of the people in the advertisements and therefore they cannot know for sure that any are minors.
The AGs believe the site downplays the seriousness of the trafficking of minors because it does not want to draw attention to other elicit services it knowingly allows advertisements for including the sale of illegal drugs, prostitution and at least one proven case of the sale of a minor for prostitution. The attorneys general are requesting the complete shutdown of the adult services section of Backpage.com in the same fashion that Craigslist was required to take down its Erotic Services section.