Feds Banned Backpage.Com Adult / Escort Section For Sex Trafficking Accusations

Backpage.com, the classified website that has faced accusations of fostering sex trafficking, has shut down its adult content section, the company announced Monday.

The company has faced criminal charges, lawsuits and a U.S. Senate investigation into allegations that its advertising fosters prostitution and the sexual exploitation of children.

Backpage blamed “unconstitutional government censorship” for forcing it to remove the adult content and said it would continue to fight for its First Amendment Rights.

“As the direct result of unconstitutional government censorship, Backpage.com has removed its Adult content section from the highly popular classified website, effective immediately,” the company said in a written statement.

Anyone who clicks on the adult sections on the site is now met with the word “CENSORED” in red letters and a request for support to protect internet free speech.

The company’s CEO was arrested last year on pimping and related charges in California. Last month, a Sacramento judge rejected pimping charges against the CEO and two former owners, citing federal free speech laws, but California officials say they intend to pursue new charges.

The company said it would continue its battle against the accusations and for its free speech rights.

“This will not end the fight for online freedom of speech,” the website company said. “Backpage.com will continue to pursue its efforts in court to vindicate its First Amendment rights and those of other online platforms for third party expression.”

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