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Author Topic: [2017-04-25]The Backpage Effect: Why the Sex Industry Thrives on Bitcoin  (Read 2800 times)
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April 25, 2017, 01:38:55 AM
 #1 is a website like Craigslist, although it is more scandalous and provocative. The site was well-known for allowing sex workers to post solicitations. In 2015, the site was alleged to be permitting prostitution and propping up a sex trafficking ring involving youths. These charges were never validated, but the fallout caused a shift in the way the peaceful sex industry uses money and does business. Bitcoin is now one of the main forms of currency fueling this enterprise. So how did this happen?
Following a several months of alleged Backpage solicitations, the U.S. government got a The Backpage Effect: Why the Sex Industry Thrives on Bitcoinwhiff of this supposed illegal activity. The government claimed they found evidence of a child sex trafficking conspiracy. They immediately took legal action against the website. They arrested the CEO and other executives, and leveled charges of pimping. After an ongoing legal battle, the charges were eventually dropped.

The judge said, “Congress has precluded liability for online publishers for the action of publishing third party speech and thus provided for both a foreclosure from prosecution and an affirmative defense at trial. Congress has spoken on this matter, and it is for Congress, not this Court, to revisit.”

For anyone unfamiliar, this occurrence is reminiscent of Ross Ulbricht’s story. Ulbricht supposedly ran the underground market called The Silk Road. He was condemned as the “Dread Pirate Roberts” and given to two consecutive life sentences, because people on the website allegedly sold drugs and other contraband. Why was Ulbricht sentenced and the Backpage CEO’s charges dismissed? This act was believed by many to be a grave miscarriage of justice.

Needless to say, the “adult” section of Backpage was promptly removed by the company, because they could not combat the State’s extralegal action against them. For clarification, Backpage removed their adult section not because of any wrongdoing, but because government agencies kept bullying and harassing them. It is obvious the voluntary sex workers still use the page under the dating section, but that is part of a broader, evolving story.
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