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Controversial classifieds website Backpage.com is now under government seizure, but for what reason and on what grounds?




Washington state assistant attorney general Jonathan Mark walks past a display of a Backpage.com ad following a news conference about action being taken against the adult services site Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2011, in Seattle.
Washington state assistant attorney general Jonathan Mark walks past a display of a Backpage.com ad following a news conference about action being taken against the adult services site Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2011, in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson/AP

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The government has seized Backpage.com, a major classified ads site used by the sex industry that has been repeated accused of enabling sex trafficking.

The move came in light of Craigslist.org shutting down its “adult” section, after Congress passed a bill known as Fosta, a measure that makes it easier for states to charge online and internet companies deemed to enable sex trafficking.

What does this mean for sex workers who advertise on Backpage? Where will they go now? If the goal is to reduce pimping, will the seizure of Backpage be successful in doing so?

Guests:

“Siouxsie Q” James, sex worker, member board of directors of the Adult Performer Advocacy Committee, and host of The WhoreCast, a podcast that explores the world of sex work through the lens of sex workers

Barb Brents, professor of sociology at UNLV; she has been researching the sex industry for 25 years and is a co-author of “The State of Sex: Tourism, Sex and Sin in the New American Heartland” (Routledge, 2010)



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