State AGs Now Targeting Backpage After Forcing Craigslist To Stop Helping Them Pursue Lawbreakers
from the how-backwards-can-you-get? dept
We’ve already explain how the political grandstanding campaign against Craigslist, that got the company to shut down its “adult services” section based on no legal reason, does plenty to harm the people the various state attorneys general think they’re “helping.” Craigslist has been highly active in working with police to use the site to find and arrest those actually responsible for dangerous exploitation of children. But by shutting off that tool, the ads simply migrate to sites that are more underground and less willing to work with law enforcement. Apparently, though, the AGs are stuck on the political headlines, and don’t care at all for anyone’s actual safety.
So they’ve moved on to their next target: 21 state attorneys general have kicked off a grandstanding campaign against Backpage, the online classifieds arm of Village Voice Media (the same company that was just sued over the same issue). Once again, Backpage is one of the companies that has worked closely with law enforcement — and the AGs even admit that in their announcement demanding the company shut down the tool.
This is incredibly dumb and frustrating. In the pursuit of headlines falsely claiming that they’re “protecting” children, these AGs are only serving to attack the companies who help them track down those actually responsible for child exploitation and child prostitution. All they’re doing is making the problem worse. Those who are exploiting these kids in the worst possible way won’t stop doing it — they’ll just use other means to do so, in a way that’s harder for police to track them down and to capture them.