We get Tumblrs: MyRedBook was not a “sex trafficking website”

myredbook

I previously posted about Eric Omuro and his former website MyRedbook. The TL;DR version is that MyRedbook was a San Francisco Bay area prostitution website in the vein of Backpage that was shut down by the feds and Mr. Omuro was charged with facilitating prostitution and money laundering and pleaded guilty to those charges. In those posts I referred to MyRedbook, and in my opinion rightfully so, as a sex trafficking website.

More recently I posted an update to the story where Mr. Omuro was forced to forfeit a rather large sum of money as part of his plea deal. When I post a minor update like that, rather than making a an entire new post out of it I just add a snippet of text and a link to the previous post. Then what I do is send out the update on my social networking accounts. One of those accounts happens to be Tumblr. That update was reblogged on Tumblr by someone with the following…

MyRedBook was not a “sex trafficking website”, and its closure has made life significantly more dangerous for workers in the states in which it operated. Don’t spout ignorant shit.

First off one of the charges that Eric Omuro pleaded guilty to was facilitating prostitution. Where there is prostitution there is inevitably going to be women and girls who are being trafficked against their will, even in self-contained bubbles of counter-culture like San Francisco. Secondly that argument that websites like MyRedbook or Backpage make sex workers safer is specious at best. If anything it’s as dangerous or even more dangerous as the number of murders, rapes, and assaults that happen to sex workers who advertise on Backpage and Craigslist can attest to. Since sites like MyRedbook and Backpage make prostitution as easy and ubiquitous as ordering a pizza that increases not only the number of girls and women being trafficked but also the number of those that become victims to violent crimes committed by johns.

If you are in the sex industry I always recommend getting out before you get hurt. While I realize it’s not always easy there are resources for you, some of which can be found down the right hand column of this website under the heading of Sex Trafficking Resources.

One Reply to “We get Tumblrs: MyRedBook was not a “sex trafficking website””

  1. Marriage is to spousal abuse as Prostitution is to sex trafficking.

    We would not abolish marriage to stop wives being abused. Yet in the minds of many they see prostitution as an evil to be outlawed, so they use the abomination of sex trafficking to further this cause. While both institutions for men are primarily fueled by sexual desire, in our speech we revere one and revile the other.

    No doubt that sex traffickers and pimps used the classified ads on MyRedBook to promote the women they had control over. However, there were hundreds of women that worked under the radar (UTR ) by making their availability known in private forums which were free of charge.

    Many of the women that publicly advertised were independent providers/escorts. They controlled how much they worked be it every day or a few times a month. They could participate in a section devoted to them, PinkBook. One of the main forums was about dangerous men to be avoided. They had a system to screen prospective clients to stay safe.

    There were many topical forums/blogs that had nothing to do with prostitution. Such as, politics, religion, finance, health, electronics, movies/television, etc. These were open to the public. There were actually more private forums than public ones which were by invitation only. Again all of this was free of charge.

    The expressed culture of posters on MyRedBook was very anti pimp/sex traffickers. Men who regularly seek out prostitutes are a source to identify trafficked/pimped women. Would it not make sense to have a process that would allow their information to go to law enforcemet?

    Key to any discussion is how much the reader will impose their personal moral values or how open minded they are to hear and consider other points of view.

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