In a surprising move, surprising to me anyway, Village Voice Media has decided to split Backpage off into its own company. This will result in a new company called Voice Media Group to handle the newspapers while Backpage continues to make money off of the women and children being trafficked in this country as sex slaves.
Supposedly this was done because advertisers in VVM newspapers had pulled their money out of those publications due to their affiliation with Backpage. Backpage was called a distraction by one of VVM’s CEOs.
Now while the newspapers and Backpage will have completely separate ownership I find it very had to believe that the relationship will be completely severed. VMG says that funding has been raised through investors but how long will that keep their dying industry afloat?
Considering how shady VVM and Backpage have been in the past I wouldn’t put it past them to have some kind of equally shady financial deal in place.
This is a good sign though. It shows that they’re starting to crack under the pressure. However we can’t consider this a victory. It will only be a victory when they shut down the adult section.
This is an article from the Worcester Telegram about Lanyun Ma, 42, and Wei Ma, 22, who were both charged with human trafficking while running a backpage advertised massage parlor in Oxford, Mass. However instead of focusing on the horrors of human sex trafficking the article focused more on the matters of the local city council.
Foreign sex workers are often brought in illegally from other countries in horrid conditions and are forced to work of their ‘debt’ by being forced to sexually pleasure any degenerate who can come up with $60 and a tip. Often they are basically kept prisoner, forced to live in the same room they’re violated in and are often held against their will or have their families back home threatened with violence.
Instead of focusing on that the article instead focused on the licensing and zoning of massage parlors in the Oxford area.
This is why hardly anyone gives a crap about sex trafficking in this country. While countless women and children are being sold and violated people in this country are more concerned about what is it doing to their property values.
29-year-old David J. Anderson of Yakima, Washington has not only been charged in King County for allegedly prostituting a 14-year-old girl on the Village Voice Media owned Backpage.com but he’s also been charged with raping the girl as well.
When Anderson was arrested by the King County Sheriff’s Office he allegedly used the “I thought she was 19” defense when Sheriffs say that the girl obviously appears to be underage.
First I have to commend the Seattle Post Intelligencer for not only using the word rape in their headline and article but also using the word rent in their headline. That’s was sex trafficking comes down to, rent and rape. Not only do these pimps and traffickers usually rape the girls that work for them but they also rent them out to be raped by anyone willing to fork over the cash.
But continue being part of the ‘solution’ Backpage, you’re doing a hell of a job.
Alleged members of Atlanta-based gang Da M.O.B. are accused of raping and prostituting girls as young as 14. They allegedly used the Village Voice Media owned Backpage.com to turn out the girls.
Those charged are Fabian Terran Murray, Joshua Thomas Hill, Richard Douglas King, Clinton Saintvil, and Jonathan Christopher Branch. All five have been federally indicted and all five have pleaded not guilty.
Authorities allege that they met two 14-year-old girls took them to a hotel room where they were raped before turning them out on Backpage to be raped by other men for money. It’s also alleged that one of them beat and choked another 14-year-old who refused to work for them. A 16-year-old victim claims that she was beaten daily and held against her will, She also claims that she was shot at when she tried to escape. She says that she was raped as well.
What’s not being talked about in this story is Backpage itself. They claim they have all these safeguards in effect and that all ads are reviewed fir illegalities yet somehow women and children are still being trafficked. Not only trafficked but held against their will, raped and shot at. Yet Backpage still refuses to shut down the adult section and claims that they’re helping stop sex trafficking. They could stop a lot more by shutting down the adult section but then they’re precious outdated print media business would be in danger of going bankrupt.
The headline more than betrays the actual crime in my opinion.
In Altamonte Springs, Florida police arrested Corey Manuel, 21, and Branden Johnson, 20, for allegedly using the Village Voice Media owned backpage.com to find prostitutes, holding them at gunpoint, forcing them to have sex with them, then as the article puts it, refusing to pay them. The last time I checked forcing someone, anyone, to have sex at gunpoint is known as rape regardless if they’re prostitutes or not.
Again I have to ask when did rape become such a dirty word to use to describe the crime?
So not only is Backpage facilitating in the trafficking of women in children but they’re also facilitating rapes. Tell me again how Backpage is part of the solution.
Dead behind the eyes meth face up there is 29-year-old Meranda L. Warborg of Minneapolis, Minnesota. She’s been charged with assisting others in prostituting two teenage runaways on the Village Voice Media owned Backpage.com.
The girls, ages 15 and 17, ran away from Eau Claire Wisconsin and met a guy named ‘E’ when they got to Minneapolis who started pimping them out. The girls were supplied with drugs and had explicit photos taken of them so they could be turned out on Backpage. This is beginning to be so repetitive in these stories I could write up a script that would type the same sentence and all I would have to change are the names and locations.
Police say that Warborg is not the pimp but rather an accomplice to whoever was turning these girls out. As far as I know their pimp has not yet been apprehended.
Along with many other cities and states Minneapolis has called on Backpage to shut down the adult section of their site but they just continue to act like they’re part of the solution and not the problem.
Speaking of Backpage, Washington and lawsuits, because we were you know, three teenage girls from Washington State are suing the Village Voice Media owned Backpage.com. The suit alleges that Backpage did little or nothing to prevent the girls from being sold for sex on their website. Basically Backpage has a button that says ‘click if you’re 18’. Yeah, that works. Two of the girls suing were 13 when they were sold on Backpage, the other was 15.
One of their pimps I’ve blogged about before. Baruti Hopson found the 15-year-old girl as a runaway before turning her out on Backpage. He raped her and kept all her money keeping her in sexual slavery to him.
Of course no lawsuit involving Backpage wouldn’t be complete without their head legal weasel and corporate whore, Liz McDougall chiming in. Settle in folks. It’s a long one.
Seattle attorney Liz McDougall, general counsel for Backpage’s corporate owners, said the lawsuit will not pass legal muster and is barred by federal law.
McDougall offered sympathy for the young women.
I wonder if she offered sympathy while counting the money she made from Backpage that was made off of these girls? But I digress…
“The commercial sexual exploitation of children is an abhorrence in our society,” she said. “It is appalling as a street crime and it is appalling as an Internet crime,” McDougall wrote in an e-mailed note.
“The stories of the girls identified in the complaint are tragedies. However, the commercial sex exploitation of children is an extremely complex problem on the streets and online, and it must be fought intelligently.
“Backpage.com is at the forefront of fighting it intelligently online with a triple-tier prevention system and an unparalleled law enforcement support system.”
It’s not complex at all. If Backpage shuts down the adult section it will decrease the number of women and children being trafficked nationwide. That was seen when craigslist shut down their erotic services section. As far as your triple layered prevention cake, it’s a lie. (See what I did there.) Joking aside my site is a testament to the fact their so-called preventions aren’t preventing shit. As far as your law enforcement support system being unparalleled I call bullshit on that as well because your system seems to be letting the cops handle all the pimps and sex traffickers while VVM props up a dying print industry on the victims of trafficking.
She finishes up by saying…
McDougall, attorney for Backpage, said shutting down the website won’t fix the problem.
“Unless the Internet is wholly shut down, the end result of the current strategy will be that our children are advertised through offshore websites who do not endeavor to prevent such activity,” she wrote.
Ah yes, the mystical ‘underground’ I keep hearing about. If it’s underground that means it’s not as prevalent in mainstream society as it is now. That would mean that there would be fewer victims of sex trafficking than there are now. Besides, law enforcement has plenty of experience in dealing with the underground. As for these ‘offshore sites’ she keeps referring to well thanks for giving the traffickers ideas and those sites wouldn’t have near the reach and publicity that Backpage does now.
At what point did you start believing your own lies Liz?
Judge Martinez believes that the ‘free speech’ issue may have some merit. I disagree but I don’t get to make the rules.
What I want to talk about is the unusual ally that the Village Voice Media owned backpage.com has garnered in their fight to keep making profits on the victims of sex trafficking. That would be the Internet Archive, aka Archive,org, aka The Wayback Machine, aka the site you go to when you want to see how bad websites looked in the past.
Backpage and Internet Archive argue the new law violates the Communications Decency Act of 1996, as well as the First, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments and the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution.
Yet they once again not only gloss over the Thirteenth Amendment but basic human rights as well.
Let’s not kid ourselves, this about money and nothing else. Backpage wants to make it off the backs of sex trafficking victims and doesn’t care who gets raped, kidnapped, beaten, tortured and killed to get it. Organizations like the EFF and now Internet Archive are nothing more than their willing dupes.
Earlier this month police in Kent, Washington arrested 44-year-old Altesa Bernice Turner and her 32-year-old boyfriend, Bernard Demond Watkins, for allegedly prostituting underage girls on the Village Voice Media owned Backpage.com.
Three of the girls were ages 15, 16 and 17. Police discovered that explicit photos of the 15-year-old girl had been taken and then placed on Backpage. Turner allegedly told police that a prepaid Visa card was used to place the ad.
You know, if Backpage just started refusing to take prepaid cards it would probably eliminate more than half the trafficking ads on their website, but they won’t. There’s profits to be had no matter how they get them. Then they have the gall to say that they’re actually helping these girls. As I’ve said many times before you can’t be both the problem and the solution.