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There has been significant public controversy and discourse regarding the adult section of Most of the criticism has centered on the charge that Backpage is used to market minors (i.e.They say Backpage is much slower in removing ads that advertise children than ads placed by authorities aimed at trapping traffickers, guides traffickers in creating false pages for underage children, instructs traffickers and buyers on how to pay anonymously, and makes it easier to make adult posts than other posts.They said "To all intents and purposes, Backpage has instituted no effective procedures to prevent child sex trafficking ads from being created on its site." They say that they do not use obvious techniques to identify traffickers, such as using the same phone number, email address or credit card of a known trafficker, or reusing the same picture of known victim of human trafficking.After accusations from the United States Senate of being directly involved with sex-trafficking and the sexual exploitation of minors, the company suspended its adult listings, describing the move as "the direct result of unconstitutional government censorship".Prostitution is illegal throughout the United States, except for some counties in Nevada.Backpage came under fire starting in 2011 for allegations that their adult services subsection was used for prostitution and human trafficking, particularly involving minors, and that the company took insufficient steps to prevent these practices.After a series of court cases and the arrest of the company's CEO and other officials, in early 2017 Backpage removed the adult services subsection from their website in the United States, though said adult services simply moved to both the dating and massage sections of the site.
They enlisted support from musicians, politicians, journalists, media companies and retailers.Mc Dougall said that shutting down the service on a cooperative United States–based website would only drive trafficking to underground and international websites that are more difficult to monitor, and are often outside the jurisdiction of U. They cite both First Amendment rights of free speech guaranteed in the Constitution as well as Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.Numerous NGOs and others contend that the potential harm done by a website that features a section for adult posting is far greater than any actions the site may take to aid law enforcement.Near the turn of the 21st century, Internet-based classified advertising, particularly the website Craigslist, was having a significant impact on the classified advertising business in newspapers nationwide.Classified advertising in daily newspapers as well as weekly alternatives, suburban papers and community papers was moving to the free advertising model of Craigslist and other smaller websites.
The Chicago Reader and the Phoenix New Times were pioneers in these operating philosophies.