John Mailer, son of writer and Village Voice co-founder Norman Mailer, has joined the campaign on Change.org calling on Village Voice Media to shut down the adult section of its Backpage.com classifieds site where individuals have advertised children and teens for sex.
According to the petition, started by Groundswell, a “multifaith social action initiative”:
A Georgia man was arrested for pimping two 17-year-old girls around the Nashville area. Detectives responded to a suspicious ad on Backpage.com and drove to a motel. There, they found the teens and their 37-year-old pimp, as well as a laptop computer, likely used for the online advertising. Just four days prior to that, four people in Denver were arrested for forcing a teen girl into prostitution. They also advertised her sexual services, including semi-nude pictures, on Backpage. And last year, a South Dakota couple was arrested for selling underage girls for sex on …. wait for it … Backpage.com yet again.
Here’s what Mailer, just one of the petition’s 80,000 supporters, had to say:
“The Village Voice was born out of the desire for an independent media voice for the people, a voice that had the freedom and authority to hold those who abuse power accountable for their actions. While I understand firsthand the financial difficulties facing all print publications today, the fact of the matter is that Village Voice is making money from selling advertisements that others have used to buy and sell minors for sex.”