(CNN)On January 9, after an investigation lasting over 21 months, a Senate subcommittee published a scathing report, finding that classified ads website Backpage.com knowingly facilitated online child sex trafficking on the “adult” section of its website.
According to the report, Backpage did so by, among other things, filtering the text of advertisements to screen out words like “rape,” “schoolgirl” and “lolita” before posting them, to conceal the intent of the ads. Backpage also did not remove these advertisements or report them to law enforcement.
These findings are no surprise to FAIR Girls, where approximately 90% of the young women and girls we serve — some as young as 14 — were sold by their traffickers on Backpage.
Shutting down the adult section of Backpage and holding its executives accountable won’t end all sex trafficking.
However, perhaps future websites will heed the lessons of Backpage and actually help sex trafficking victims rather than profit off of them.
And hopefully we will provide the support that those victims need, even after their traffickers are held responsible.
Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/18/opinions/backpage-sex-trafficking/index.html