CNN’s Anderson Cooper Crushes Arguments of Village Voice

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By: Anderson Cooper, CNN

May 17, 2012 - Transcript – Anderson Cooper Attorneys General Call for Backpage.com to End Adult Services Ads -

COOPER: The most popular Internet site for escorts is called BackPage.com. And in recent weeks we’ve reported on growing pressure by law enforcement officials and anti-sex trafficking groups for BackPage to shut down its adult services section, the section where authorities say underage girls are sometimes sold for sex.

CNN’s Anderson Cooper Interviews Village Voice Attorney Liz McDougal

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By: Anderson Cooper, CNN

Another “Keeping Them Honest” report about backpage.com, the leading web site for adult service ads. Now last week, we reported on the growing push to shut down the web site’s adult services section where law officials say underage girls are sold for sex. That was on Friday.

On Monday, U.S. Congressman Robert Turner from New York introduced a House resolution calling for Village Boys Media Holding, which owns backpage.com to shut down the ads immediately. Pressure on the web site has been building for months.

Backpage.com tests ethics of sex for sale

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By: Matt Danzico, BBC

US classifieds website Backpage.com has become one of the primary destinations on the internet to buy sex. Hundreds of advertisements are posted each day by both pimps and prostitutes.

With the advent of the internet, prostitution moved off the street and onto the web, presenting a new set of challenges for law enforcement and sex abuse watchdogs.

Senators, state AGs: ‘Backpage’ sex-trafficking ads enrich Village Voice Media

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By: Tyler Whetstone, The Daily Caller

A spokesperson for Village Voice Media, the privately held media company that operates Backpage.com, complained about a ”one-sided demonization” of its Craigslist-like website on Thursday. The Daily Caller was asking whether its “adult” ad section contributes to the entrapment of women and teens in sex slavery.

NY Times – Washington is First State to Take On Escort Sites

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By: William Yardley, The New York Times

For more than three months, she was sold online for sex. She had run away at 15, gone back home, then run away again. Finally, an undercover police officer caught her, and her pimp. This time she went home and stayed, but she was not the same.

“She was a different child after that,” her father said. “It was like she was programmed. She spoke different. She looked different. They cut her hair, they dyed her hair, they bought her new clothes.”

Now 17, the girl is in counseling and in college, “on her way,” her father said.

Arizona Republic: Village Voice’s “Backpage.com facing growing criticism”

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By: JJ Hensley, The Arizona Republic

The online ads are short and simple, promoting girls like “Cinnamon” and her quest for a male companion.

“French and black bored looking for fun plus seeking generous male I love,” read an ad posted Wednesday by Cinnamon, 21, asking men to meet her in central Phoenix.

Village Voice attorney: “I’ll leave if they shut down the adult category. If I quit, I don’t know what I’ll do.”

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By: Liz McDougall - As told to Diane Brady, Business Week

n the summer of 2008, a partner at our Seattle law firm asked me to work with Craigslist. I’d been focused on Internet law and cyber crime for clients like Microsoft (MSFT) and Amazon.com (AMZN), and I’d done work with victims of abuse. Craigslist was drafting new guidelines for its erotic services section. These ads may be distasteful, but services like stripping and phone sex are legal.

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.

President of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

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By: Anderson Cooper, CNN

The president of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children responds to a claim made by Backpage.com that they work together, and that the site is part of the solution to child sex-trafficking. Ernie Allen says screening is not a solution.


COOPER: Ernie, Liz McDougal often says -- she cites your organization as someone that BackPage works with, and she says that they're part of the solution, not part of the problem. To that you say what?


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