In 2004, the website backpage.com was launched. It was an immediate success with users spanning the country almost from day one. The premise of the site was just the same as the classified section of any newspaper. People were able to easily list ads for everything from help wanted to selling furniture and cars. It didn’t take long before more illicit ads popped up. Escorts, massage, prostitution, and any other sexual desire was listed in thinly veiled terms and descriptions. Within months, it was the place to go to find an escort ad in any town in the country. It was the 2nd largest website of its kind in 2011, right behind Craigslist. Just when it seemed there would never be a need to go anywhere else for such listings, they abruptly stopped. So what happened to the escort ads on Backpage?
Escort Ads on Backpage Were Not Popular with Authorities
It did not take long for the government to figure out exactly what was going on. Even though the ads were in a separate section for adults only, they were relentless in pursuing every avenue possible to stop the escort ads from appearing – Read all about it -The reasoning was that besides prostitution being illegal, it contributes to the mental and physical abuse of women. They entail the exploitation of women, including minor female children. While trying everything possible to shut the escort ads down on Backpage, they would investigate the ads and set up sting operations to arrest the people who placed the ads.
The Senate Took Action Against Escort Ads on Backpage
In 2017, a panel organized by the United States senate dove into the escort ads on Backpage and released a report on their findings. They claimed that Backpage removed certain words and phrases from escort ads that would have revealed the identities of child sex traffic rings and prostitution. They removed the words before the public saw them. Words like “rape”, “lolita”,”Amber Alert” and others that would have alerted the users that it was most likely a stolen child they would be dating. They are also accused of coaching those who placed the ads on how to word their escort ads so as not to be flagged by authorities. A hearing was held on the report by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. When called upon to testify, the top executives and the Backpage’s attorney told the senate subcommittee they were invoking their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination and would not be testifying. A short time later they stated the government scrutiny was too costly to keep the adult section of classified up and running and they were closing it down.
Have the Escort Ads on Backpage Really Been Removed?
The government censorship of the escort ads on Backpage seemed to be working. On January 10th, 2017, users logged on to find the adult section blank. All they could see was a white page saying the government had unconstitutionally censored the content. In addition, there was a suggestion to complain on social media using the hashtag #freespeech. Links to the Center for Democracy and Technology, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the Cato Institute were provided for information on protecting Internet free speech. They also provided a link to donate to a fund to protect child from sex rings, Children of the Night, but that was all to see in the adult section. Browsing the site, one could find the dating section quite easily. Among the ads for men seeking women, women seeking men, and all other date seekers, strangely worded ads for dates began to slowly appear.
Escort Ads on Backpage Are Still There
Just look in the dating section on Backpage to find a date. Simple enough. That is also the section where you’ll find the real escort ads. While the government is ruthlessly pursuing any way possible to shut down the child sex trafficking ads, you can still find a regular decent escort add if you are diligent. The best way is to do a little research into the ad before calling. Look for an agency name or ask for one when contacting the person who placed the ad. It is possible to find escort ads on Backpage if you know what your doing.Tags: Amber Alert, Backpage, Backpage Escort Ads, Backpage.com, Escort ads