A 15-year-old girl was kidnapped, raped, and forced into prostitution by a group of New York pimps who advertised her services on Backpage.com, the classified ad site owned by Village Voice Media. It’s these kind of crimes that have critics calling for the closure of Backpage.com and VVM defending their profitable website by claiming underage sex trafficking is a rare phenomenon.
Even when reporting on the horrific crimes committed against the victim, the Village Voice promoted its own agenda via a strange disclaimer:
The “truth” about Backpage.com is a Village Voice article denouncing a study on the problem of underage sex trafficking as “junk science.” A passage from the article reads, “Today, advocates have shifted media attention to allegations of trafficking in children. But facts to suggest a plague of underage perversion simply do not exist despite claims to the contrary.”
Here’s this fishie’s disclaimer: I worked for several years at the VVM-owned LA Weekly. I knew that our newspaper profited from sex trafficking via the escort ads in both the Classified section and the Backpage.com website. I knew that I was being paid in some small part by blood money. And while I felt lousy about it, I did nothing beyond kvetching about the problem with fellow employees. I always cashed my paychecks, and I never gave a dime to help victims of sex trafficking.