DOJ: News Release

Bullock: Attorneys General Give Backpage.com a Deadline to Back Up Claims it Limits Prostitution Ads

Bullock: Attorneys General Give Backpage.com a Deadline to Back Up Claims it Limits Prostitution Ads

HELENA – Attorney General Steve Bullock and 45 other attorneys general from around the nation have sent a joint letter to Backpage.com giving the company a Sept. 14 deadline to substantiate the company’s claims that it effectively limits prostitution and sexual trafficking activity on its website.

“We are especially concerned about ads that involve kids,” Bullock said. “Traffickers who exploit teenage runaways and other disadvantaged kids shouldn’t be provided with technology that makes that process a whole lot easier and more profitable.”

The Aug. 31 letter states: “While Backpage.com professes to have undertaken efforts to limit advertisements for prostitution on its website, particularly those soliciting sex with children, such efforts have proven ineffective.” The Attorneys General have tracked more than 50 instances, in 22 states over three years, of charges filed against those trafficking or attempting to traffic minors on Backpage.com.

“We believe Backpage.com sets a minimal bar for content review in an effort to temper public condemnation, while ensuring that the revenue spigot provided by prostitution advertising remains intact,” the letter says.

The letter also lists the information the Attorneys General are requesting from Backpage.com. A copy of the letter is online.

In September 2010, 21 Attorneys General wrote Backpage.com to request that the company immediately take down the adult services portion of its site.

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