THE FALL OF BACKPAGE
What You Need to Know
Backpage.com was a classified advertising website that launched in 2004 from Dallas, Texas and remained online until April 2018. Similarly to other sites such as Craigslist, users could post ads for items, job listings, real estate, and personal services. While some of these services were innocent, Backpage was known for facilitating a huge number of sex trafficking advertisements, including postings of child sex slaves.
On January 9, 2017, the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, a subcommittee of the United States Senate, published a report condemning Backpage for knowingly allowing trafficking to continue under its domain (see “BACKPAGE.COM’S KNOWING FACILITATION OF ONLINE SEX TRAFFICKING” https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Backpage%20Report%202017.01.10%20FINAL.pdf). The report came to several important conclusions.