Nicholas Kristof is something of an expert on sex trafficking. The Pulitzer Prize journalist has covered the issue extensively in both his reporting and his book Half the Sky: From Oppression to Opportunity for Women Worldwide. So his criticism of Village Voice Media for aiding human traffickers through their Backpage.com sex ads has a special resonance.
It is a godsend to pimps, allowing customers to order a girl online as if she were a pizza.
Lauren Hersh, the ace prosecutor in Brooklyn who leads the sex-trafficking unit there, says that of the 32 people she and her team have prosecuted in the last year and a half — typically involving victims aged 12 to 25 — a vast majority of the cases included girls marketed through Backpage ads.
“Pimps are turning to the Internet,” said Hersh. “They’re not putting the girls on the street so much. Backpage is a great vehicle for pimps trying to sell girls.”