Despite these facts, Backpage has escaped legal justice in countless lawsuits brought by sex trafficking victims and prosecutors.
The company has been shielded by a 1996 law called the Communications Decency Act because courts have ruled that that the law protects companies like Backpage from liability for illicit content that third-party users post on its website, even if it facilitates criminal conduct like illegal sex trafficking.
This narrowly crafted legislation has the support of numerous anti-human trafficking advocacy groups and law enforcement organizations around the country.
It makes three common-sense reforms to the Communications Decency Act.
“A number of these communications were explicitly sexual in nature,” prosecutor Kimberly Schwartz wrote in a court motion, adding the messages outlined a plan for the Alabama man to come to Columbus, pick the girl up and take her back across the state border.
When the guy got to Columbus and rented a motel room, police posing online as the teenager started exchanging messages with him.
As the Internet has grown, sex trafficking has increased substantially.
The morning the girl’s mother came downstairs and caught him on the couch with her daughter, Moose grabbed his clothes and ran, but he soon was identified through his online communications.Your access to the NCBI website at gov has been temporarily blocked due to a possible misuse/abuse situation involving your site.This is not an indication of a security issue such as a virus or attack.According to the court, Congress intended to protect websites from being held liable for publishing content produced by others – a level of protection enjoyed by no other publishers – even when the result is denying “relief to plaintiffs whose circumstances evoke outrage.” No matter how much harm websites like Backpage inflict and no matter how aware they are of the harm they are causing, these websites cannot be held accountable by their victims for publishing, and profiting from, advertisements for sex trafficking.The court opinion further stated that, in order to hold websites like Backpage accountable, “the remedy is through legislation, not litigation.” In 2013, 47 state attorneys general called for a change in the Communications Decency Act to hold knowing facilitators of online sex trafficking accountable.