Salesforce Sued For Sex Trafficking... Because Backpage Used Salesforce's CRM

from the oh-come-on-now dept

In the latest insane lawsuit regarding the internet and sex trafficking, a group of women who were tragic victims of sex trafficking have decided not to sue those responsible for trafficking them... but online customer relationship management (CRM) provider Salesforce.com. What? Huh? Why? You might ask? Well, apparently it's because everyone's favorite sex trafficking bogeyman, Backpage.com, used Salesforce.com for its CRM. Yup.

While most of the reports on this don't show the lawsuit, CNBC thankfully posted a copy (though it's locked up in Scribd, so we can't embed our own version, unfortunately). The lawsuit makes a bunch of leaps to argue that Salesforce is somehow magically responsible for people doing illegal things on Backpage. The levels of separation between the criminal actions and the liability here are simply ridiculous. Much of the lawsuit tries to suggest that because Salesforce is good at its job in customizing its offerings to its customers, that's proof that it's magically responsible for sex trafficking:

In public, including on Twitter, Salesforce boasted about fighting human trafficking using its data tools.

But behind closed doors, Salesforce’s data tools were actually providing the backbone of Backpage’s exponential growth.

Salesforce didn’t just provide Backpage with a customer-ready version of its data and marketing tools. Salesforce designed and implemented a heavily customized enterprise database tailored for Backpage’s operations, both locally and internationally.

With Salesforce’s guidance, Backpage was able to use Salesforce’s tools to market to new “users”—that is, pimps, johns, and traffickers—on three continents.

Backpage could also use Salesforce’s custom tools to remarket to those pimps, johns, and traffickers who had been underusing its trafficking services.

It is inconceivable that the technologies used world-round to manage customer and marketing databases would be put to the immoral and illegal purposes engineered by Backpage and Salesforce.

It should not be our tax dollars, charities, and churches that carry the burden of the catastrophic harms and losses to sex trafficking survivors. That responsibility should fall to companies like Salesforce, that have facilitated and profited from sex trafficking.

Incredibly -- and obnoxiously -- the complaint uses Salesforce's own efforts to help in the fight against sex trafficking against the company. It highlights some of Salesforce's promotional efforts, concerning the fight against sex trafficking, such as this tweet:

And uses that as proof of "knowledge" by Salesforce:

Salesforce knew the scourge of sex trafficking because it sought publicity for trying to stop it. But at the same time, this publicly traded company was, in actuality, among the vilest of rogue companies, concerned only with their bottom line.

The entire assumption underlying the lawsuit is this: that Backpage was only used for illegal sex trafficking and that using CRM can help you increase your "sales," and thus Salesforce is responsible for Backpage increasing sex trafficking. That... is quite the twisted logic there.

The lawsuit was filed in California state court, rather than in federal court, under California state laws -- so there's no direct reference to FOSTA as far as I can tell. However, FOSTA casts its looming shadow over this case. Normally, I imagine that Salesforce would make a straight CDA 230 argument here that it's not responsible for the actions of its users (in this case, Backpage). But, FOSTA potentially takes that away. I say potentially, because based on my reading of the final version of FOSTA, (which is now CDA 230(e)(5)), for a civil lawsuit, FOSTA only exempts cases brought under federal sex trafficking law, and not state laws (for criminal complaints, FOSTA exempts some state sex trafficking charges). So, as plead, I'm not sure if FOSTA even directly applies -- meaning potentially Salesforce could perhaps try to claim that it's still protected by CDA 230 and the FOSTA additions don't help the plaintiffs, but... who knows? Now that we've got this new untested law, I guess we'll find out.

On the whole, though, what a preposterously silly lawsuit. Sex trafficking is a truly horrible thing, and while the complaint filed trots out a bunch of debunked and exaggerated stats about just how big a problem sex trafficking is, the real focus should be on those actually responsible. Going after the CRM provider of a website that traffickers may have used, feels like yet another example of what we've called a Steve Dallas lawsuit after the 1986 Bloom County strip in which lawyer Steve Dallas explains that after getting beaten up by Sean Penn for trying to take a paparazzi photo, he decides not to sue any of the obvious parties, but rather go after the camera manufacturer -- because that's who has the money (click through for the full comic):

Filed Under: california, cda 230, crm, fosta, intermediary liability, no good deed, section 230, sex trafficking
Companies: backpage, salesforce


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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    M. Punna-Trible, 28 Mar 2019 @ 11:13am

    Believe the women! -- Unless suing San Fran based tech giants.

    Masnick calls Backpage a "user" of Salesforce. That's simply not true. It was a customer / client.

    CDA 230 has NOTHING to do with that BUSINESS relationship.

    Whether the suit succeeds or not, Masnick has intentionally slanted this in dishonest way. As usual.

    https://on-the-importance-of-horizontal-rule-dividers-to-teh-internets.com

    So, took you a day to recover from yet another loss. A big one. And all you came up with is to start yet again trying to prove that you were/are right all along and opponents are evil. -- Ever notice that you and pirates are consistently losing? That your notions on law just don't hold up in real court? When are you going to re-think your whole schtick here? When are you going to admit that almost everything you believe just isn't popular enough to draw more than a couple dozen fanboys out in the 270 some on the EU loss, and they do nothing but whine in between ad hom-ing the one valiant AC?

    In last couple weeks, your only real victory is to take away the horizontal rule from me!

    (To try and forestall, NO, Masnick had nothing to do with Rightscorp conviction, and by the way, ACs are lying about that: out_of_the_blue called for those lawyers to be HANGED. Lies are all there is to Techdirt.)

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      identicon
      M. Punna-Trible, 28 Mar 2019 @ 11:16am

      Re: Believe the women! -- Unless suing San Fran based tech giant

      By the way, Salesforce claiming it's alert to possibility is not only knowledge but typical projection and displacement by the actual profiteers.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 11:23am

        Re: Re: Difference between an earthquake and a tsunami.

        That’s not true John.
        Knowing crime is around you and actually seeing a criminal are two different things.
        Just like knowing that a flag button exist does not mean that someone is going to use it.
        Unlike me.
        “Clicks”
        God I love that button.😁

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 12:56pm

        Re: Re: Believe the women! -- Unless suing San Fran based tech g

        "it's" tsk...

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 11:36am

      Re: Liars of a feather

      We did miss you at the sentencing party bro. Too busy crying into your Jhon Steele love pillow?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 11:39am

      Re: Is it abusive if both are impotent?

      “they do nothing but whine in between ad hom-ing the one valiant AC?”

      Careful blue you know how mad Jhon boy gets when you out project him.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 29 Mar 2019 @ 1:15am

        Re: Re: Is it abusive if both are impotent?

        I think that's how they flirt...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 29 Mar 2019 @ 1:51am

        Re: Re: Is it abusive if both are impotent?

        "Careful blue you know how mad Jhon boy gets when you out project him."

        You are still assuming Baghdad Bob isn't just pulling his usual schtick of using one sock puppet to lament how mean everyone is being to the other sock puppet.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 Mar 2019 @ 3:25am

      Re: Believe the women! -- Unless suing San Fran based tech giant

      When are you going to re-think your whole schtick here?
      You know, your words have convinced me we are all wrong.

      So to celebrate my new flip, I'm going to suggest these women who where trafficked be arrested for putting themselves in danger, because they should have known that their bodies were in demand and should have stayed home, safe and sound.

      Yeah, that should fix the issue completely.

      Just in case it was missed: sarcasm, because this guy is a fucking idiot.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 11:26am

    Salesforce wasn't just a CRM provider, their employees also worked on the site directly. These women are alleging that Salesforce know about the trafficking and Salesforce is denying it. The details will come out in court and there's a chance that Mike's post here isn't going to age particularly well.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 11:32am

      Re:

      So your bet on prior knowledge “in bad faith no doubt and questionable reliability ”is the same one someone would use when suing a police department becuase they did not check a trunk during a pull over with a kidnapped person?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 28 Mar 2019 @ 11:44am

      Re:

      there's a chance that Mike's post here isn't going to age particularly well.

      We'll see.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        btr1701 (profile), 28 Mar 2019 @ 12:03pm

        Re: Re:

        The entire assumption underlying the lawsuit is this: that Backpage was only used for illegal sex trafficking and that using CRM can help you increase your "sales," and thus Salesforce is responsible for Backpage increasing sex trafficking. That... is quite the twisted logic there.

        Over the years here we've all at some point used the analogy, "You don't sue the phone company because a bad guy uses the phone to call in a bomb threat", but if this lawsuit is allowed to proceed, that's exactly where we're at.

        Or another analogy, it'd be like holding Microsoft responsible for designing and selling their Excel app because the mob uses it to run their bookmaking operations.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 12:09pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Your analogy isn't terrible, but it would be closer if Microsoft supplied developers to the mob and the mob outlined their business practices so that Microsoft could develop an application tailored to them.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 12:29pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            MS could have limited Excel's interest-rate calculation functions to prevent usury, and I'll bet they don't...

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 12:58pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:wait

            .....does that mean that the music industry or say John can potentially be sued in the same way everytime one of the people employed under them commits a crime if they had associations?

            Ohohoho this will be short😁

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 1:51pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:wait

              Or if your employee dumps a bunch of industrial waste in a river? Yes, you have liability.

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              • icon
                Gary (profile), 28 Mar 2019 @ 1:59pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:wait

                So so removed from the criminal acts...

                Criminals exploited these 50 women. Pimps and sex traffickers.
                Backpage provided a legal service to the pimps.
                Salesforce provided a legal service to Backpage.
                Ford supplied the cars to Salesforce.

                It's guilt all the way down, eh?

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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                  identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 2:12pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:wait

                  It's guilt as far down as the courts find reasonable.

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                  • identicon
                    Valkor, 28 Mar 2019 @ 4:13pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:wait

                    "Reasonable" usually is tenuous when you get to the third party level. Backpage is at that point. Salesforce would be more like a fourth party. Is that a thing? Salesforce ran their CRM off of servers, right? Do we need to sue Dell for fifth-party liability too?

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 4:45pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:wait

                      Salesforce is entwined closely with Backpage because they wrote substantial parts of Backpage and gave them advice on how to grow the business.

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 6:06pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:wait

                        I go to a Ford dealership and ask for custom vehicles tailored to functioning as taxicabs.

                        The Ford dealership provides the vehicles and advice on how to use them as taxicabs.

                        I then make my taxi service easy for bank robbers to use, and knowingly assist a few bank robbers in making a getaway.

                        The Ford dealership is now guilty of committing or abetting bank robbery.

                        Wait, no it's not. I am. I got a legitimate service from the Ford dealership and used it for illegitimate means. I'm the guilty party.

                        The only way in which it becomes illegal for them is if the Ford dealership definitively knew of my illegitimate intentions (not just suspected, not just thought it likely, but had proof of it or a confession from me) and still assisted me.

                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                        • icon
                          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 29 Mar 2019 @ 3:59am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:wait

                          "Wait, no it's not. I am. I got a legitimate service from the Ford dealership and used it for illegitimate means. I'm the guilty party."

                          Not according to Baghdad Bob. According to him Ford is to blame.

                          And every major label or studio in hollywood is by the same argument culpable for the abuse committed by Cosby, Kelly, Weinstein, etc, and therefore, according to Baghdad Bob/Bobmail/Blue/Jhon needs to shut down at once.

                          And everyone astroturfing/defending on behalf of those worthies is similarly culpable since they stand similarly accused of aiding and abetting.

                          Now let's see if Bobmail's dumb enough to double down on his shitshow of an argument...

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                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 29 Mar 2019 @ 7:19am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:wait

                          It's more like you go to Ford and ask them for help configuring a vehicle to be used in armed robberies.

                          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                          • identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, 29 Mar 2019 @ 8:32am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:wait

                            No, it's really not.

                            Backpage, aside from it's sex work section was no different than Craigslist. And actually, even Craigslist had a sex work section until they were pressured into removing it.

                            So while you can make the argument that SalesForce helped them configure it for the specific use of a classified listing service, you can't make the argument that they specifically helped them design it to market to sex workers and pimps.

                            The Ford analogy still applies since Ford helped them configure the purchased vehicles specifically for use as taxis. The fact that the purchaser then went out and used the taxis for a bank robbing getaway service is completely outside of Ford's control.

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                            • identicon
                              Anonymous Coward, 29 Mar 2019 @ 10:52am

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:wait

                              you can't make the argument that they specifically helped them design it to market to sex workers and pimps

                              I believe that's the argument the plaintiffs are going to try to find support for during discovery.

                              Mike is probably right, but I think it's way too soon to say they have no case.

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                              • identicon
                                Anonymous Coward, 29 Mar 2019 @ 11:47am

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:wait

                                I believe that's the argument the plaintiffs are going to try to find support for during discovery.

                                There is no believing about it, it's stated right there in their filing. The problem is, there is absolutely no merit to it. You literally can't claim that because they weren't designing it as a sex worker site. They were designing it for an entirely different purpose. The fact that it could be used to advertise sex work is irrelevant.

                                Mike is probably right, but I think it's way too soon to say they have no case.

                                He is, it's not, and they don't. The law says they don't.

                                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                          • icon
                            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 1 Apr 2019 @ 2:22am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:wait

                            "It's more like you go to Ford and ask them for help configuring a vehicle to be used in armed robberies."

                            So someone goes to Ford and asks them for help configuring a car to be equipped with a heavy-duty engine, a few extra gears for governing acceleration, roll bars, an extra sturdy chassis, and plenty of rooms for people and objects.

                            Ford provides them with their sturdier version of a SUV.

                            And this, in your book, would render ford liable as an accessory to bank robbery. You just can't stop digging even after you've hit rock bottom, can you, Baghdad Bob?

                            There's such a thing as dual use - it's what allows crowbars and hammers being fully legal despite their extensive use among burglars, screwdrivers being legal despite their utility in shanking people, sugar and saltpeter being legal despite the fact that you can use them to build potent bombs...the list goes on.

                            And a CRM system used to facilitate communication is fully legal even if criminals occasionally like to use the same tech everyone else does.

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          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 29 Mar 2019 @ 3:43am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "but it would be closer if Microsoft supplied developers to the mob and the mob outlined their business practices so that Microsoft could develop an application tailored to them."

            They don't of course.
            Neither does Salesforce. or Oracle, SAP, or anyone else.

            What they do is supply a license for software, and a fast dip into a consulting pool of available technicians working on a consultant basis who are familiar with the system in question.

            So your analogy fails because what really happens is that the mob sends or retains an independent or internal consultant accountant and an excel expert who then go to MS and ask for a product tailored to a specific set of specifications.

            MS supplies that product, the retained consultant tailors the product to fit the specifications of the end customer, and it ends with a 100% watertight compartment between MS and the end customer.

            In other words your analogy is made of false assumption and a desperate wish that dual-use technology should not exist.

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        • identicon
          Daydream, 28 Mar 2019 @ 2:01pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Or holding Microsoft responsible because Internet Explorer can be used to watch copyright infringing videos on Youtube/etc and it doesn't have a mandatory plugin to detect and block copyrighted content?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          John Roddy (profile), 28 Mar 2019 @ 4:22pm

          Or another analogy, it'd be like holding Microsoft responsible for designing and selling their Excel app because the mob uses it to run their bookmaking operations.

          Sounds like Microsoft is involved in very organized crime.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 12:07pm

        Re: Re:

        If Salesforce prevails or quietly settles, it's a pretty sure bet that you will have a followup posting reiterating what a dumb lawsuit this was.

        If the women can show that Salesforce knew about shenanigans at Backpage, what can you write then? That you didn't know all the details when you wrote this post?

        I think the lawsuit hinges on what the plaintiffs can find during discovery from Salesforce. It's not that hard to predict what they will be looking for.

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        • icon
          Thad (profile), 28 Mar 2019 @ 3:11pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          If the women can show that Salesforce knew about shenanigans at Backpage, what can you write then?

          I think perhaps you can look to his more recent coverage of Backpage to get a pretty good example of how Mike covers a story when new details emerge that cast the defendant in a worse light than previously known.

          That you didn't know all the details when you wrote this post?

          Would that not be accurate? He doesn't know all the details. Neither do you. We have claims from the plaintiffs, claims from the defendants, and a legal system that will examine the claims and the evidence and reach a verdict. That's how lawsuits work.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 29 Mar 2019 @ 3:47am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "If the women can show that Salesforce knew about shenanigans at Backpage, what can you write then? "

          Assuming the OP is even halfway correct we can already say outright that salesforce did not know.

          Unless salesforce has somehow in the last ten years deviated completely from normal business practice at high risk and threat to themselves. Because NO CRM provider wants to know the business of their customer - if they did any bank using their system would have to admit confidential details had become known to 3rd parties. And there's just no NDA which is "secure" enough when that 3rd party is some ad-hoc-employed consulting technician from China who happened to be working on a CRM installation that particular month.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 12:57pm

      Re:

      These women are alleging that Salesforce know about the trafficking and Salesforce is denying it.

      I allege you rape babies. Don't try to deny it, it only makes you look worse.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 29 Mar 2019 @ 3:38am

      Re:

      "Salesforce wasn't just a CRM provider..."

      Actually yes. Yes, they are. all SalesForce ever does is provide a communications environment. It's what they do.

      "their employees also worked on the site directly."

      Obviously if you link a communications system into a database you work on said database. And there are multiple ways every company purchasing a CRM ensures the provider of the CRM doesn't get to see any relevant data. This is actually a business requirement as a salesforce technical team, even under an NDA, still needs to hold themselves from finding out business secrets.

      That's the only way any bank, oil company, retailer, or independent business would EVER want to trust a CRM provider.

      But it gets better still - usually the CRM provider itself also employs technicians from a 3rd party to perform actual installs simply because retaining techs on consultant basis is far cheaper and more convenient than having skilled techs on permanent retainer. This is why support of IT systems is also divided into levels where you only end up talking to the actual CRM/DB provider once an issue has escalated to the highest level. For normal installation and support the guys you talk to are from IBM, accenture, wipro, or other cubicle farm specialists.

      "The details will come out in court and there's a chance that Mike's post here isn't going to age particularly well."

      The details will no doubt come out and pot odds are excellent that it will turn out the only information "salesforce" has is the name of the customer, the vat number, and the identity of the technical team trusted by the customer to perform the installation of the licensed software.

      Mike's post will age far better than that comment of yours where the one thing highlighted is that you haven't a clue what a CRM is, who owns it, how it's installed and tested, or how a business is run today.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 11:29am

    "user" of Salesforce. That's simply not true. It was a customer / client.

    Tomato tomato. Customers and clients are users when the service involves technology. This isn't a smoking gun. It's semantics.

    CDA 230 has NOTHING to do with that BUSINESS relationship.

    Which law school did you go to? You should ask for a refund.

    That your notions on law just don't hold up in real court?

    [Citation needed]

    they do nothing but whine in between ad hom-ing the one valiant AC?

    Oh, the poor persecuted troll!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    renato (profile), 28 Mar 2019 @ 12:21pm

    And uses that as proof of "knowledge" by Salesforce:

    Salesforce knew the scourge of sex trafficking because it sought publicity for trying to stop it.

    Wasn't that exactly what was said that would be allowed/used to frame companies about their "knowledge" of sex traffic?

    Despite being a convoluted argumentation, at least they had done their homework.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 28 Mar 2019 @ 1:16pm

      See nothing, hear nothing, say nothing

      Yup. Far from encouraging sites to combat sex trafficking the 'knowledge' aspect of the law actively encourages ignorance(whether real or feigned), because your best defense is an argument that you had no idea any of it was happening, and thereby aren't liable.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 28 Mar 2019 @ 12:24pm

    WWWWH...for those that dont know..

    Who, what, why, and how..
    Newspapers and personal services in every form have used this FOREVER...
    Are any of the people WHO BOUGHT THEM, SOLD THEM< USED THEM in jail??
    I get a funny feeling they arnt, and that they couldnt find them if they wanted to.
    And the biggest part of this, IMO, is that they are RICH. This is Not a cheap hobby. Why Sue corps, when you can SUE a person directly for everything they have and Put them in JAIL ALSO..
    The Corp laws for LLC, mean you can only sue the company, NOT the owners.. And you cant put a Corp in jail.

    Get a hint Girls..
    Which is strange also. NO BOYS/MEN have been found.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      ECA (profile), 28 Mar 2019 @ 12:36pm

      Re: WWWWH...for those that dont know..

      SOMEONE WROTE A BOOK...
      Guess who..
      https://cruxnow.com/church-in-the-usa/2019/02/10/mother-tells-how-daughter-became-victim-of-se x-trafficking-lost-her-life/

      In her new book Invading the Darkness: Inside the Historic Fight Against Sex Trafficking in the United States, former Congresswoman Linda Smith, R-Washington, describes how she first encountered girls and women kept as captives in brothels in Mumbai, India.

      Touching the face of a child no older than 11, condemned to endless assault by men using her body, Smith committed herself to combating the phenomena of international sex trafficking. She started Shared Hope International in 2000 as a faith-based nongovernmental organization providing shelter and services for survivors abroad.

      But “I was missing something essential,” she told Catholic News Service. “Something that made my blood run cold. The fact that child trafficking was happening in our own neighborhoods. I had a global view, not realizing this was a domestic issue too.”

      Its a book review from end to end..
      And to anyone that has seen the Documentaries of This...
      Early 1900's Cuba
      Then moved after Castro took over..
      Then Bangkok seems to be the most recent location...as well as a few others..

      There is only 1 BIG reason these places POP UP..
      (im not saying anything, you need to know the history)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 1:02pm

    BMW!!!!!

    I have it on good authority that many of the Back Page employees, including management, drove and continue to drive, automobiles made by BMW.

    If we're going to go after trafficking, let's go all in!!!!

    /s

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      ECA (profile), 29 Mar 2019 @ 8:09pm

      Re: BMW!!!!!

      And the owners of NY times?
      A
      AEDE
      All Pakistan Newspapers Society
      Association of Alternative Newsmedia
      C
      California Newspaper Publishers Association
      Canadian Newspaper Association
      E
      Estonian Newspaper Association
      European Association of Daily Newspapers in Minority and Regional Languages
      European Newspaper Publishers' Association
      G
      Grupo de Diarios América
      H
      Haitian Press Federation
      I
      The Indian Newspaper Society
      Inland Press Association
      International Coalition on Newspapers
      International Network of Street Papers
      J
      Japan Newspaper Publishers and Editors Association
      L
      LATIN
      Latin American Newspaper Association
      M
      Mississippi Press Association
      N
      National Newspaper Association
      National Newspaper Publishers Association
      Nevada Press Association
      New York Press Photographers Association
      News Media Alliance
      News Media Association
      News Media Canada
      Newspaper Proprietors Association
      North American Street Newspaper Association
      O
      Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association
      S
      Scottish Daily Newspaper Society
      Southern University Newspapers
      U
      Ukrainian Association of Press Publishers
      Underground Press Syndicate
      W
      World Association of Newspapers and News Publisher

      Want more??

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    aerinai (profile), 28 Mar 2019 @ 1:45pm

    Recursive Intermediate Liability

    Might as well sue the Hosting provider for allowing Backpage to show their content to the web, the Domain Registrar for allowing Backpage to be shown, the database provider (Oracle/Microsoft) for allowing them to hold that information, any contracting companies that did any work for them... and hell, why not just sue every individual employee at Backpage while we are at it!

    ... The problem with intermediate liability is that you can justify just about anyone but the person who ACTUALLY COMMITED THE CRIME is responsible... because... you know... they are poor and what is the fun in suing someone if they don't have money?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 3:18pm

    Follow the chain to the real criminals

    Obviously the solution is to convict the entire body of the RIAA for sex trafficking because they lobby on behalf of the corporations that happened to have a song of one of their signed musicians be playing on the radio of a car that some Salesforce employee happened to drive to work yesterday.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Thad (profile), 28 Mar 2019 @ 3:44pm

      Re: Follow the chain to the real criminals

      Or because they signed R Kelly.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 29 Mar 2019 @ 3:53am

        Re: Re: Follow the chain to the real criminals

        "Or because they signed R Kelly."

        That one's actually far closer to home. There's no way the label/studio didn't know what Kelly was up to.
        Or Cosby. Or Weinstein. etc.

        I wonder if Baghdad Bob/Blue/Jhon/Bobmail ever considered the fact that his own arguments on intermediate liability and the criteria he puts up would have every employee of any major label or studio in Hollywood behind bars?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 6:23pm

    Don't stop at Salesforce! Someone probably used Visa or Mastercard, so sue them too. Some people probably paid in cash too, so that would make the US government complicit too.
    [end sarcasm]
    It's been said multiple times: go after the people causing the problem, not the tools they are using.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    LEO Suewagon, 28 Mar 2019 @ 6:26pm

    Taking All The Mon[ey]

    I sold it to a friend, who sold it to a friend, who sold it to another who was messing around

    They say they ran a crime ring, hit 'em with a police sting, and they're talking about how they're taking them down

    But I know the legal feud, and how they need somebody to sue, and the sales get taller as they go down the line

    So I'm telling you, babe, that I didn't know it's true, babe, but even though I didn't I've been charged with a crime

    They're taking all my money, cuz that's all they want to see, they don't care how it is found

    I didn't see it, not for a minute, but they've got no money so they'll take it from someone...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 28 Mar 2019 @ 6:45pm

      Re: Taking All The Mon[ey]

      Lawsuits are like some poker games. Keep raising until everyone has all their money on the table, then grab the money and pull a gun on the rest of the players, then walk away.

      The difference is whether you have enough money to stay in the game till some bastard pulls the gun, or you get lucky and the game is interrupted by the court, after a really huge anti, and then whether you get that anti back is yet another gamble.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 8:48pm

    By the plantiffs' logic, they need to sue DARPA and the US government for creating the internet.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 29 Mar 2019 @ 12:32pm

    This is getting silly.

    They did A' study..
    And out of the numbers, it came out that MOST of this is Runaway kids, and FEW are ever captured or held..

    But WHY the runaways, and WHY dont we have a recourse for runaways. A Solution to HELP those that runaway, or TRY to get out from under a BAD situation??
    You would think the person that started this Would have SOME solution, BETTER then what she has created. Random locations in Metro areas,m IS NOT A SOLUTION,...
    Who knows about the Abused Wife, solution that gets Women OUT of the situation?? get them out and SOLVE the problem(s)..

    They Keep pointing to 1 Problem in all this. There are OTHERS.
    do you think its Just a Boyfriend taking advantage and selling the girls... THAT is a risky business,..
    Is it possible that SOMETHING happened at home that caused the person to Run away??
    EVERYTHING here points to TEENS.. And I would Hope that the parents are DOING the right things, which isnt easy. BECAUSE HORMONES SUCK... And I think we need a Fair solution to What teens go thru.

    Offside..
    Im sorry, but Hormones Do tend to be a problem and WHITEWASHING this is like:
    DEMANDING no birth control..
    RESTRICTING TEENS from having sex.
    And low population growth in the USA..
    Are we going back to the Masters and Johnson/Kensey/... reports...??? That People dont even know HOW to have sex?? Know how to protect themselves??
    Damned if you do, and damned if you dont???

    SOME of the BS of the past is F'ing scary..what they were saying and doing..Can you Guess where Cold Cereal came from??(sould be Sureal)
    https://www.newsweek.com/brief-history-sex-ed-america-81001

    have fun guys..this is a bag to open in the dark closet..

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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