This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition.
Lawyers for Backpage.com seem confident that the latest lawsuit against the website – which is known for its sex-sale ads – won’t get very far.
Maybe. But there’s something to be said for making a business that profits from human trafficking defend itself in court. Backpage.com – which is owned by Village Voice Media – makes about $2 million every month on online sex-sale ads, but every time it is forced to hire lawyers, its dirty business becomes a little more public and a little less profitable.
The latest lawsuit against Backpage.com was filed Friday in Pierce County Superior Court by three girls. Two of the runaways were 13 years old and the third was 15 when they were trafficked on the website, complete with revealing photos. The youngest was advertised as an $80 “special.” Subsequently, they were forced to have sex with scores of men, but the only ones to make any money on the transactions were their pimp and Backpage.com.
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