Goldman Sachs

Village Voice Exposed – “Financiers and Sex Trafficking”

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By: NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF, The New York Times

THE biggest forum for sex trafficking of under-age girls in the United States appears to be a Web site called Backpage.com.

This emporium for girls and women — some under age or forced into prostitution — is in turn owned by an opaque private company called Village Voice Media. Until now it has been unclear who the ultimate owners are.

That mystery is solved. The owners turn out to include private equity financiers, including Goldman Sachs with a 16 percent stake.

250,000 Voices United Against Village Voice (so far)

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Although the loss of a $30M investment is just a drop in the bucket for a financial powerhouse like Goldman Sachs, what’s notable is the speed with which the Wall Street giant severed its relationship with Village Voice Media, owner of the notorious classified advertising site Backpage.com.

Second firm to sell stake in Village Voice Media

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By: Chris Francescani and Robin Respaut, Reuters

A second private equity firm with a stake in Village Voice Media has agreed to sell its holdings back to the media company amid claims that the alternative weekly newspaper chain facilitates sex trafficking through its Web-based ad service, Backpage.com, sources familiar with the matter said.

But at least one other financial backer of the firm plans to stick with its investment, despite the recent outcry over the adult advertising the site runs.

Village Voice Not Backing Down After 27 Companies Pull Ads

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By: Mallory Russell, Business Insider

Twenty seven major advertisers, including H&M, AT&T, and Ikea, have pulled their ads from Village Voice Media due to the company’s alleged links to child sex trafficking.

Justin Wassel, a minister from Ohio, started a Change.org campaign asking U.S. companies to pull advertising from Village Voice Media after one of its properties, Backpage.com, was accused of allowing advertisements that support child sex trafficking.

New York Times’ Kristof again! – “Not Quite a Teen, Yet Sold for Sex”

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By: Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times

If you think sex trafficking only happens in faraway places like Nepal or Thailand, then you should listen to an expert on American sex trafficking I interviewed the other day.

But, first, wish her happy birthday. She turns 16 years old on Thursday.

She asked me to call her Brianna in this column because she worries that it could impede her plans to become a lawyer if I use her real name. Brianna, who grew up in New York City, is smart, poised and enjoys writing poetry.

Clergy Coalition Launches Campaign to Educate Village Voice Media’s Top 50 Advertisers about Sex Ads of Minors on Backpage.com

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By: Clergy Coalition
A coalition of clergy launched a campaign this week to educate the top 50 advertisers in Village Voice Media (VVM) publications about the sex trafficking controversy surrounding VVM’s classifieds Web site Backpage.com. This advertiser education campaign is being organized by Groundswell, the social action initiative of Auburn Seminary and convener of a coalition of over 600 clergy calling for Backpage.com’s Adult section to be closed. Yesterday, a group of U.S.
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