Full disclaimer: I worked for the Phoenix New Times when they still owned Backpage.com
I’ve never been us a fan of Internet classified websites like Backpage.com. My main issue has always been the hooker advertisements disguised as entertainment ads. Everyone knows they were offers for illegal services but nobody took action. The main reason for this is they were the most expensive ads to place and were very popular. Most of these “Escorts” found placing a classified ad was a lot easier and safer than walking the streets.
I was happy to read in the news that the FBI seized Backpage.com and posted the following notice:
Backpage.com and affiliated websites have been seized as part of an enforcement action by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, with analytical assistance from the Joint Regional Intelligence Center.
There is no way they did not know about the sex trafficking going on. When I worked at the Phoenix New Times they owned Backpage.com and adult ads were always rewritten. We had one person in the office that handled these ads. She would phone the person placing the ad and tell them what terminology or photos needed to change. For example, she had them to use words like 150 roses per hour instead of actually using a dollar amount. Anal sex was a trip to Greece. There were many other code words to make the illegal activities less obvious. Many ads were also edited because of photos. Many times it was clear the person in the photo was a minor. For those ads, they had to send another photo or allow the in-house graphics department to touch it up a bit for a fee.
Its sick people would want to profit from human trafficking and child sex services. I hope anyone affected by the actions of the owners of Backpage sues them. The should lose every penny they have and will ever have. In my opinion, Mike Lacey and Jim Larkin are scum and deserve to spend a very long time in prison.
For more information about Backpage.com visit Backpage Wikipedia page.
If you would like any more information about my time working here please use my contact page to reach out.