All the ads submitted to the Adult and Dating categories (dating ads comprise only 0.2 percent of overall ad volume) pass through a second manual review process.
A member of Backpage’s ad review team reviews each ad once before publishing, and a different member reviews the approved ads after they go live.
All of which raises the question: How big of a problem is sex trafficking on Backpage.com, and what are they doing about it? earning more than million annually from prostitution ads” – The New York Times “80% of [online prostitution advertising] revenue” – Reuters “VVM continues to get rich off of human suffering to the tune of million a year” – The Daily Beast But AIM Group’s methodology is shaky at best.
It would also be a mistake to assume that Backpage catches all the ads for minors advertised on the site, that the ads they flag for minors are actually for minors, or that there aren’t over-18 victims of sexual exploitation being advertised on the site. Eyeballing a photo and guessing the age of the person in it is a subjective process at best, and such an obtuse filter that Mc Dougall goes so far to admit, “Sometimes we’ve had law enforcement complain to us after NCMEC sends them the report, saying, “Why did you send it to us?
That’s because the main criteria the ad review team uses to guess whether the advertiser is a minor is by looking at the photo attached to the ad and making a judgement call as to whether they appear over or under 21. This person is clearly over age.” Who posted the photo, how old the photo is, and whether the photo in the ad is actually of the person advertising adult services are complete unknowns.
New York Times writer Nick Kristof pressured Goldman Sachs to unload its shares in Village Voice Media overnight (and at a million loss) in March.
In July, Washington State introduced a legislative attack on CDA230 that aims to make websites like Backpage criminally responsible for third-party content posted by minors – a move that put the EFF on the offensive on behalf of the Internet Archive, Senior Staff Attorney Matt Zimmerman says, to make sure the legislation “doesn’t cross the line to the government throwing people in jail for what their users do.” Backpage counters they are doing more to fight sexual exploitation than any other classified ad site on the web and have no plans to shut the site down.