30 Facts About Backpage


Similar to Craigslist, Backpage let users post ads to categories such as personals, automotive, rentals, jobs and adult services.

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Craigslist's former critics focused on Backpage, which resisted moves to censor the site until January 2017; Backpage closed their adult section prior to a Congressional hearing.

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Craigslist and Backpage had listings for a variety of goods and services, such as real estate, yard sales, personals, work wanted and jobs offered, and adult-themed advertising.

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Month after the suit was filed, Backpage hired former federal prosecutor and NCMEC board member Hemanshu Nigam to come up with a strategic plan to combat the misuse of the site for trafficking.

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Backpage supporters claimed that by providing prompt and detailed information about suspicious postings to law enforcement, including phone numbers, credit card numbers and IP addresses, the website helped protect minors from trafficking.

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Backpage urged mainstream advertisers to boycott Village Voice Media and linked to a Change.

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The unsigned Voice article contended that Backpage dedicated "hundreds of staff to screen adult classifieds in order to keep juveniles off the site and to work proactively with law enforcement in their efforts to locate victims".

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In 2012, Village Voice Media separated its newspaper company, which then consisted of 13 weekly alternative newspapers and their affiliated web properties, from Backpage, leaving Backpage in control of shareholders Mike Lacey and Jim Larkin.

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In interviews with Phoenix media, Lacey explained that the controversies over Backpage had become "a distraction" for the editors of VVM's papers and that Backpage had come to monopolize his and Larkin's time.

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Backpage successfully argued that the First Amendment protections of free speech would be compromised by any restriction on postings by individuals on the Backpage website.

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In 2011, the court ruled that CDA Section 230 still applied and "even if Backpage knows that third parties are posting illegal content, 'the service providers' failure to intervene is immunized'".

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Backpage, joined by the Internet Archive, sued in federal court to stop the law from going into effect.

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Backpage then sued Dart in federal court, arguing he had used the power of his office to violate Backpage's First Amendment rights.

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Posner pointed out that Dart's claim that "everything in the adult section of Backpage's website is criminal, violent, or exploitive, " was inaccurate.

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The complaint alleged that Backpage substantially changed the ads connected to the three Jane Does, thereby losing its Section 230 protection.

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Backpage counsel argued that the ad's poster actually made the change, but the court said this was a fact to be determined at trial and allowed Jane Doe 3's case to continue.

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In October 2016, the U S District Court for the District of Columbia found that the law did not criminalize protected speech, and that because Backpage took steps to avoid having illegal content on its site, it arguably was not in imminent danger of prosecution.

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Backpage ruled that the many of Backpage's decisions regarding third-party content were "all traditional publishing decisions", which are "generally immunized under" Section 230.

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Lawyers for Backpage responded that the new charges rehashed the earlier case, which had been dismissed.

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The state alleges that Backpage illegally set up separate accounts to accept payments for ads from credit card companies that refused to do business with them after Sheriff Dart threatened them.

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Backpage immediately filed an appeal and sought a stay, which the district court denied, then filed emergency stay petitions with the U S Court of Appeals for the D C Circuit, and the U S Supreme Court.

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Backpage has continued to pursue its appeal despite producing thousands of documents to PSI pursuant to the District Court order.

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Backpage said it took the action due to the government's harassment and extra-legal tactics, which made it too costly for Backpage to continue hosting adult ads.

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Claire McCaskill, issued statement denying that Backpage's move was in response to censorship, saying the site's shutdown of its adult ad section was a "validation of our findings".

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The latter ruling argued that because Backpage "materially contributed to the content of the advertisement" by censoring specific keywords, it became a publisher of content and thus no longer protected.

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Backpage agreed to testify against other alleged co-conspirators, such as but not limited to founders Michael Lacey and James Larkin.

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The new indictment focused on 50 distinct adult ads culled from the millions of adult and non-adult ads that ran on the site daily, and the indictment used the fact that Backpage had worked with law enforcement to show that Backpage's executives were aware of illegal content on the site.

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Backpage was launched in 2004 by New Times Media, a publisher of 11 alternative newsweeklies, as a free classified advertising website.

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In 2015 Backpage lost all credit card processing agreements as banks came under pressure from law enforcement, leaving Bitcoin as the remaining option for paid ads.

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Law enforcement was able to "contact Backpage and obtain immediate removal of certain posts" suspected of involving juveniles.

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