They said "To all intents and purposes, Backpage has instituted no effective procedures to prevent child sex trafficking ads from being created on its site." They say that they do not use obvious techniques to identify traffickers, such as using the same phone number, email address or credit card of a known trafficker, or reusing the same picture of known victim of human trafficking.
Backpage is a classified advertising website launched in 2004.
It offers classified listings for a wide variety of products and services including automotive, jobs listings, and real estate.
Backpage has had continued issues with credit card processors, who were under pressure from law enforcement to cease working with companies that allegedly allow or encourage illegal prostitution.
In 2015 Backpage lost all credit card processing agreements, leaving Bitcoin as the remaining option for paid ads.
Until January 9, 2017, Backpage contained an adult section containing different subcategories of various sex work professions (escorts, erotic masseuses, strippers, phone sex operators, etc.).
After accusations from the United States Senate of being directly involved with sex-trafficking and the sexual exploitation of minors, the company suspended its adult listings, describing the move as "the direct result of unconstitutional government censorship".The site included the various categories found in newspaper classified sections including those that were unique to and part of the First-Amendment-driven traditions of most alternative weeklies.These included personals (including adult-oriented personal ads), adult services, musicians and "New Age" services.They enlisted support from musicians, politicians, journalists, media companies and retailers.The campaign created a greater public dialogue, both pro and con, regarding Backpage. On October 6, 2016, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced that Texas authorities had raided the Dallas headquarters of and arrested CEO Carl Ferrer at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston on felony charges of pimping a minor, pimping, and conspiracy to commit pimping.Prostitution is illegal throughout the United States, except for some counties in Nevada.