43-year-old Jennifer Streit-Spears was recently stabbed to death. Her boyfriend and alleged killer, 45-year-old Kenneth Alan Amyx, posted a picture of her dead body on her own Facebook account. Members of Streit-Spears’ family tried to get Facebook to remove the photo off of her profile but the photo remained on her profile for 36 hours. Facebook offered the following explanation….
“Facebook has long been a place where people share their experiences and raise awareness about important issues,” a rep told the newspaper. “Sometimes, those experiences and issues involve violence and graphic images of public interest or concern.”
While Jennifer Streit-Spears’ murder is indeed tragic and the length of time it took to remove her photo unfortunate, Facebook was at least able to provide a somewhat reasonable explanation as to why it took them so long to remove the photo.
Recently ABC News’ Nightline did an expose on Backpage and their CEO Carl Ferrer. In case you haven’t heard, Ferrer was called to appear before the US Congress to explains his website’s role in online prostitution and human trafficking but Ferrer refused to appear. Not only has Congress held Ferrer in contempt but they’re currently suing Backpage in order to compel them to turn over records that may show Backpage’s complicity in the sex trade.
During their investigation of Ferrer, Nightline placed an ad on Backpage, with police assistance, that was blatantly advertising a prostitute who was underage. Here’s how it was reported by Nightline…
Det. Lincoln posted an ad for an 18-year-old escort, adding in a line that said she had “a younger friend” who was available as well. Minutes after he posted the ad, calls and texts started streaming in. The ad was up and running.
The ad remained up for about 36 hours, leading to dozens of phone calls, texts and even an arrest captured on “Nightline’s” cameras. The ad was only taken down after “Nightline” sent an anonymous email to Backpage’s dedicated email address for suspected child trafficking. It took eight hours to receive a response, which said to contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, or NCMEC. The ad was taken down shortly after Backpage’s email response was sent.
Backpage later told “Nightline” in a statement that even though they thought that the ad did not clearly advertise that a girl under 18 was involved, their moderators did take it down and they say they banned the account. They also reported the ad to NCMEC.
So according to Backpage an 18-year-old prostitute who says that she has a younger friend isn’t advertising a girl who was under 18. Either they have no concept of the term ‘younger’ or they have abysmal math skills.
Facebook provides a reasonable explanation as to why a murder victim’s picture stayed up for 36 hours and the media is all over it. Backpage gives what can be best described as a half-assed excuse as to why an ad for child prostitution stays up on their website for 36 hours and barely anyone bats an eyelash.
Granted that the child prostitute in this case was fictitious, but how many girls have been peddled on Backpage without them even taking a second look at the ad once they have their money?
These two stories are equally egregious yet only one of them got the media attention that they both deserved. How many women and children have to be sold into sexual slavery in not just our country but most of our cities and towns before we finally decide to speak out about it? There’s been too many victims of Backpage already.