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Backpage Adult Section, Known by Police as Advertisement of Prostitution, Shut Down

Backpage Adult Section, Known by Police as Advertisement of Prostitution, Shut Down

Recently, the website backpage.com has discontinued certain adult oriented sections due to unconstitutional censorship as describe on their webpage. The subpages that are no longer offered or supported by backpage include the “escorts,” “body rubs,” “strippers & strip clubs,” “dom & fetish,” “ts,” “male escorts,” “phone & websites,” and “adult jobs” sections under the adult heading. Although many legitimate people may have advertised in these sections, some of the now closed pages included advertising for services that arguably could be characterized as prostitution. In fact, local police would regularly conduct organized operations using the backpage website making numerous prostitution arrests during the time the site was available.

Local police would actively use backpage by posing as an advertiser hinting at sexual activity for a price. Law enforcement officers would often mimic other advertisements which attempted to disguise the true nature of the services offered by using certain and obvious code words or anagrams to reference type of service and cost. Local police would sometimes set up a hotel room and conduct a day full of arrests as people responding to the advertisement showed up for services, only to be surprised by the presence of the police.

Local police would also use the site to arrest some advertisers by posing as customers and negotiating sexual services for money.

Although the adult section on backpage has been shut down, like other websites shut down for similar reasons in the past (parts of craigslist, escorts.com) it is likely that a new site will appear to take the place of backpage.

If you have been arrested on suspicion of prostitution or patronizing a prostitute, it is important that you speak with an attorney immediately. Statements made to police, or acknowledgement of code words, or activities, could be the evidence used against you in a criminal proceeding.


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