With mounting pressure from the U.S. government, BackPage.com decided to finally remove, or as they call it “censor”, its adult section in early 2017. This move came as the senate released a report which acccused the site of facilitating prostitution and child trafficking. It also didn’t help BackPage’s case that they had a 2,000+% increase in business revenue from 2003-2015 due to their monetized adult listings. Meaning that for founder Travis Kalanick, ‘pimpin’ hoes online was definitely paying the bills.
Not The First One
Prior to these changes that backpage has had to undergo, another giant in online listings, Craigslist, had to close its adult section due to similar government probing and harassment. In 2014, the federal government cracked down on a more blatant escort service website named myredbook.com. With its own founder being convicted for facilitating prostitution and jailed in 2015 for over a year in a federal penitentiary. Avoiding jail time is one good reason for Kalanick to oblige to Uncle Sam and remove the highly profitable adult listings.
BUT WHERE DID THE PRETTY WOMAN GO?
I’m referencing the movie ‘pretty woman’ which theme revolves around an escort lady, get it? Anyways, a fair assumption would be that the johns, or clients, escorts and pimps would migrate to another platform/site to conduct their business as their section drew to much heat. But that is not what happened at all, instead, they just moved upstairs. What I mean by that is that the all the backpage adult marketplace now posts their sexy listings in the “dating” section under the women >[seeking] men tab.
It is the endless cat and mouse game with the goverment chasing after the sex work industry with its archaic laws.At some point I hope the feds realize that just as with controlled drugs, it is not plausible to enforce a ban on these things, they can legalize them and only attempt to regulate them. That route would be most conducive towards a safer environment for both the client and the provider, just as Germany and other more socially advanced countries have already proven it. Because let’s be honest, even if they ban 20 sex-work related sites, 30 more will pop up just as fast because the market demands it. And besides you still have the streets and covert brothels to contend with. Even those government officials denouncing these adult services during working hours, turn around and use them in their private lives. So why do they keep this facade up? Because they are ashamed or scared of public outcry? I don’t know.