Backpage released a statement through one of their attorneys in reference to the recent murders in Detroit of Demesha Hunt, Renisha Landers, and two unnamed women. Three of the victims are believed to have been prostitutes that were advertised on the Village Voice Media-owned backpage.com.
Here is the statement in its entirety…
“After we heard about these terrible crimes, we reached out to the Detroit Police Department, even before we heard from them, to offer assistance in the investigation. Our team has already provided the police with detailed information about the ads that the suspect or others posted on numerous web sites.
“Law enforcement authorities now have evidence that the investigation appears to connect to at least 30 different ads or other postings on at least 15 different websites, separate and distinct from ours. We are not aware of the existence of any evidence that would indicate which of these many sites were used by the suspect to establish contact with his victims.
“We have a team of more than 100 content monitors and internet experts who will continue to cooperate with the investigation and provide as much helpful information as we can.
“Backpage.com shares the concerns of law enforcement and the community that every effort be made to stop violent criminals from using the internet to commit their crimes.
Backpage has developed strong cooperative relationships with front-line state and federal police agencies nationwide, assisting with sting operations, promptly responding to subpoenas, and otherwise aiding in the identification, apprehension and prosecution of criminals.
“We do our best to provide a safe and legal environment for our customers through aggressive content monitoring and sophisticated content filtration software.
We agree with a recent USC study that recommended leveraging online technologies and datadriven information in real time to detect and apprehend online criminals.
Pretty much exactly as I predicted.
For those of you who aren’t fluent in bullshit please allow me to translate for you.
Since this is a PR nightmare for us we decided to call the Detroit police to see how much they know to see what we could exploit in our favor.
But it wasn’t just our website. There are other websites too. So we’re not so bad if other websites do it right?
We have a guy in India who we call a monitor but he doesn’t really do much.
By ‘cooperating’ with police we are trying to establish plausible deniability.
We have so much legal paperwork in our offices we’re drowning in them.
We pay a lot of lip service saying that we monitor the content of our site but not to the point where it would eat into our profits.
But there can be a 1000 murders and we still won’t shut down the adult section. We’re all getting filthy rich from it.
Classifieds site that makes its money from the trafficking of women and children.