Three young girls who were forced into prostitution via ads on Backpage.com have been granted the go-ahead from the Washington Supreme Court to sue the classifieds website.
Backpage claims that it is not responsible for what third parties advertise on their site, and filed a motion to dismiss the suit, but was denied.
“The lawsuit filed in Pierce County Superior Court claimed markets itself as a place to sell ‘escort services’ but actually provides pimps with instructions on how to write an ad that works.”
Read the full article here.
- Backpage.com is a common venue for selling trafficking victims (especially since Craigslist removed their adult section), but to date Backpage has been unwilling to take action.
- It is estimated that Backpage.com makes $100 million in revenue annually from adult advertising.
- Plausible deniability is one of the prime facilitators of human trafficking, but some companies are taking action instead of feigning ignorance. Recently, American Express, VISA, and Mastercard stopped permitting payments on Backpage.com in an effort avoid the facilitation of sex trafficking.
- This court ruling is a step forward for many victims whose pleas have been ignored by Backpage, and it will be interesting to see how the case develops.