Backpage Sex Trafficking Syndicate Spreading Like Cancer In Australia and Ireland.

 

 

 

 

 

Backpage sex trafficking syndicate is laying roots in in Australia and Ireland.  And, there are people in these countries endorsing the authors, creators, and launchers of the world’s largest online child sex trafficking syndicate.

Mike Lacey and James Larkin of Arizona, in the U.S.,  purchased a New York City newspaper called Village Voice.

 

 

According to media watchdog site Gawker, Village Voice depended on sex and drug ads for its very survival.

http://gawker.com/5860101/pickets-lawsuits-sex-ads-and-hard-times-at-the-village-voice

The paper had fallen on hard times and became a free give away paper by the time Larkin, Lacey and  Tony Ortega took the helm.

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Lacey and Larkin, the investors, and owners of Backpage trademark attached “Backpage”  online sex trafficking site to the Village Voice.  They then linked “Big City”, another sex trafficking site they owned, covertly, into the back door of Backpage.

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Lacey and Larkin used the newspaper Village Voice, with the editor in chief Tony Ortega, to launch an International sex trafficking syndicate, under the cloak of “freedom of speech”.  And “constitutional rights”.

This is also known as racketeering in the United States and there are RICO Laws ( Passed in 1970, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) is a federal law designed to combat organized crime in the United States. It allows prosecution and civil penalties for racketeering activity performed as part of an ongoing criminal enterprise.) designed to address this type of organized crime, when not cloaked under “Freedom of Speech” (parked behind a newspaper).

Where there are young children to be exploited as coins, you will find Backpage pushing its way through the culture to profit off of the misery of desperate women and children.  And Backpage and their sponsors go all out to reap the profit.

Backpage is now full onto scooping up the children of these countries that can be sold for sex on the Internet.  And people in these countries are supporting these efforts and the sponsors and defenders of  the Backpage sex trafficking syndicate.

http://backpagepromo.com/backpage-in-australia-uk-and-ireland/

Recently Backpage efforts to secure new victims have been unveiled in a raid in the Philippines.

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/backpage-critics-find-surprise-ammunition-philippines-raid-n778221

Backpage is now costing the American tax payers more than 50 million dollars a year only in damages to assist the victims.  Add the cost of law enforcement to that and the cost skyrockets.

Victims in Australia are easy marks for Backpage as more than half of sex slavery victims in Australia are left without government support due to legislation that gives the Australian Federal Police (AFP) the authority to exclude suspected victims from aid.  This leaves them not only as targets for sex traffickers but deprived of help or aid as victims.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-27/most-australias-alleged-sex-slavery-victims-left-in-limbo/6714974

The Daily Mail in Australia has already informed its community of the plague.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3803227/Australian-women-advertising-sex-Backpage-com-investigated-sex-trafficking.html

There is evidence that there are people in Australia and Ireland supporting sex traffickers and they do not take issue with children being sold for sex.

Destroying the lives of women and children is a covert form of ethnic cleansing.  The peoples of these countries only need to look at the devastating effects Backpage has had on America and every taxpayer in it to understand how they will be taxed as a civilization by Backpage spreading through their civilization.

There is ample evidence now that Backpage Executives have knowingly facilitated child sex trafficking.

http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2017/01/backpagecom_fostered_child_pro.html

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Aussie journalist Steve Cannane, and reporter for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. left, parties in the U.S. with Tony Ortega, right, of the Village Voice/ Backpage, in the U.S. summer of 2017.

 

Above, Tony Ortega parties in London with Peter Griffiths from Ireland.

The most recent updates.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/backpage-has-always-claimed-it-doesnt-control-sex-related-ads-new-documents-show-otherwise/2017/07/10/b3158ef6-553c-11e7-b38e-35fd8e0c288f_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_backpage-8am%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.99484f22d1a2

http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/teens-tragic-death-shows-its-business-as-usual-at-backpage-com/

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/07/11/sex-ad-revelations-put-backpage-back-in-congressional-crosshairs.html

 

 

For more information see  http://www.iamjanedoefilm.com

 

 

 

Leah Remini Partners With Tony Ortega, Of Backpage Child Sex Trafficking Syndicate.

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I was a die hard fan and supporter of Leah Remini for YEARS.   Loved the book she published, “Surviving Hollywood and Scientology”.  Or was it the other way around? Either way, I gave her a five star on that.

O.K., no secret I have little tolerance for anyone that chooses to profit off of other people’s misery for a living.  And there are many ways to profit off of other people’s misery.

I was glad to see Leah spend some of her star power to focus on becoming an activist against human trafficking under the banner of “religion”.

 

Then, I couldn’t help but notice that Leah was using her star power to endorse Tony Ortega, the former Editor in Chief of the Village Voice.  Who ran the front (Village Voice) for the Backpage Sex Trafficking Syndicate.  And has been the number one defender of the sex trafficking syndicate. He is also known as “Backpage Tony”.

 

According to two New York City reputable publications focused on media, The Gawker and The Daily Cannibal,  Tony Ortega, along with Mike Lacey and James Larkin,  launched an international human/child sex trafficking syndicate cloaked under “First Amendment rights”.   They converted the Village Voice into a human trafficking syndicate using the classified section, Backpage, and claimed “freedom of the speech”.

The situation wound its way to the halls of Washington under a Senate investigation, costing the U.S. taxpayers millions.  With the release of I Am Jane Doe documentary and the current expose by Washington Post, This is unfolding into an American scandal of monumental proportions.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/backpage-has-always-claimed-it-doesnt-control-sex-related-ads-new-documents-show-otherwise/2017/07/10/b3158ef6-553c-11e7-b38e-35fd8e0c288f_story.html?utm_term=.70e8d2276323

https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/subcommittees/investigations/reports

http://www.iamjanedoefilm.com

 

Leah Remini has a daughter.  She is twelve years old.

Home Special Screening

The average age of child sex trafficking is 13.5.  According to reputable media publications, the Village Voice was supported by selling women, children, and drugs. Some as young as seven years old. That was Tony Ortega’s pay for over five years.

http://thedailycannibal.com/2012/09/11/the-voice-loves-children-really/

http://gawker.com/5860101/pickets-lawsuits-sex-ads-and-hard-times-at-the-village-voice

https://currentconditionsblog.com/2017/05/13/tony-ortega-defends-village-voice-classifieds-backpage-says-the-victims-are-the-problem/

I wonder how Leah would feel to see her daughter being sold for sex on Backpage?

The truth is, she might be alright with it. I don’t know, and either does you. The illusion in Hollywood is thick.  This is the age of theater.

Leah has been complaining about religious cloaking.  I recalled when she had her daughter baptized in the Catholic Church.  It was on 9/11 actually. Of 2015.

 

 

 

“Remini and her husband, Angelo Pagan, have begun to live their Catholic faith again. On Friday, Sept. 11, they took another definitive step towards the Church and baptized their daughter into the faith.”

http://www.thegregorian.org/2015/prominent-scientologist-actress-becomes-catholic

Then today, someone wrote me to say Leah and her latest Partner/whatever Tony Ortega is, (on Twitter he appears to be her spokesperson/ chief of staff now) were on Twitter together stalking someone and bullying someone about suspected religious affiliations.  This has become a hobby in some corners. Using your star power to cyberbully, misinform and mislead, is an abuse of power.  Seems to be a virus going about in some corners.

Not exactly the nice Catholic woman she appeared to be in the public relations flood of Catholic/Baptismal media I was showered with late 2015.  Bearing false witness is off code. How is that for religious cloaking?

She is speaking out about child abuse, child neglect, and sexual harassment while planning her schedule, events, and production through Backpage Tony?

I don’t assume anymore. In the last several months I have seen Bruce Jenner become Kaitlyn, Donald Trump take over the White House, and Leah Remini partner up with a notorious child sex trafficker to produce her television special on hippies exploring the occult.  “Assuming” is an old tool that isn’t working for this species anymore.

Using the Catholic Church to boost your public relations and fan base, and complicit approval of child sex trafficking disqualifies me these days as a Leah Remini fan. She has become the father she so bitterly described in her book.  Sadistic disregard for others. That includes the children and families victimized by Tony Ortega and Backpage. Which Leah does not have a problem with.

Leah Remini on Pitching Her A&E Series: “I Said, ‘Don’t Be Pussies”.

In her book, Leah writes, ‘I am selfish and self-centered … have physically threatened people … my husband is a serial cheater and my mother was a slut.’   She also wrote her father off as an abusive criminal. Who does her daughter have left to respect or be proud of?   The child sex trafficker Leah is endorsing on Twitter?

 

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The children being photographed and sold on Backpage aren’t getting the same perks you did Leah.  The hypocrisy is screaming.

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Backpage Victim More Afraid Of Retaliation From The Village Voice Staff Than Street Pimps.

The staff at the Village Voice, working under Tony Ortega, had a reputation in New York City for ruthless retaliation on people that poked their nose into its classifieds section, Backpage.   Backpage is a human trafficking site cloaked under the First Amendment “Freedom of Speech”.  Because of, “Freedom of the Press”, one can attach “classifieds”  to the “press” and sell human beings in the classifieds section. Otherwise known as legal Human Trafficking.

When Amber Lyon, an American investigative journalist known for her work reporting human rights abuses, aired an expose called “Selling The Girl Next Door”,  which exposed the going on at Backpage, then Editor In Chief of the Village Voice, Tony Ortega, unleashed a brutal retort of his own in retaliation.  Gaslighting Lyon and attempting to discredit her findings and reports.

Below is the expose Lyon did and part two strips off the glamor and forays into Backpage.com, and unfolds into the trauma revealed by the women in part one. And how they got into the business as children. Also how they were sold on Backpage.

Tony Ortega retorted with the following tirade, where he describes Lyon as a dangerous person that “ambushed” Craig’s list (They closed their human trafficking section after they were made aware of how their website was being used for human trafficking). Ortega forayed into war and politics as the important issues and played Lyon off as hysterical for no reason.

“Our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are receding fast from public consciousness. Our economy is gradually crawling back. Crime remains at record lows. A new presidential campaign is only in its earliest stages.

What’s there to panic about today?”   Tony Ortega WEDNESDAY, JULY 6, 2011

“Seven years ago, the people I work for were smart enough to start Backpage.com, a competitor to Craigslist. While other newspapers were doing little more than publicly condemning Newmark (Note: Craig Newmark is an American Internet entrepreneur best known for being the founder of the San Francisco-based international website Craigslist.)  for the way Craigslist has, for years, eaten into their classified-ads revenue, we decided to fight back. That’s just how we operate.”  Tony Ortega  WEDNESDAY, JULY 6, 2011

Ortega also accused Lyon of being a religious zealot and insisted the sexual slavery epidemic did not exist.  In other words, Lyon was hallucinatory.  This proved to be entirely false.

 

https://crimewatchdaily.com/2017/05/17/crime-watch-daily-investigates-sex-trafficking-epidemic-in-u-s/

 

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Tony Ortega

“At the end of her broadcast, Lyon’s sources are singled out for “special thanks.” The list includes several Atlanta-area foundations, deep in the Bible Belt, that have done as much as anyone to create the current panic about a nonexistent epidemic of sexual slavery.”  Tony Ortega Wednesday, July 6, 2011

http://www.villagevoice.com/news/cnns-amber-lyon-ambushed-craigslist-but-she-wont-talk-to-the-village-voice-6431659

As Ashton Kusher came to the forefront with other celebrities to challenge Backpage, He was ruthlessly fair gamed on the front page of the Village Voice.  And ripped to shreds on the inside by a gang of three writers, Martin Cizmar, Ellis E. Conklin and Kristen Hinman.

The retort was so brutal the writers were clearly wallowing in sadism.  With none of the writers directly taking responsibility for any specific part the attack.

The “Editor” chimed in with an  “Editor’s note”   to include “feminists, religious zealots, and social-service bureaucrats”  as part of the plague. And wailed that “First Amendment Rights” were being shut down “..in the name of children”.  At the time Tony Ortega was the Editor in Chief.

God forbid the human rights of children should get in the way of human trafficking cloaked under First Amendment rights.

Editor’s note:
Congress hauled in Craigslist on September 15, 2010. There, feminists, religious zealots, the well-intentioned, law enforcement, and social-service bureaucrats pilloried the online classified business for peddling 100,000 to 300,000 underage prostitutes annually.

Those same numbers had already inspired terrified politicians, who let loose hundreds of millions of dollars in the past decade to prohibitionists bent on ending the world’s oldest profession.

The Craigslist beat-down was absurdist theater.

The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security hearing on  Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking culminated with the humbled attorneys from Craigslist announcing that they would close down their adult classified business.

The First Amendment was shouted down in the name of children.

Village Voice Media watched with more than passing interest.

From its earliest days, the Village Voice has run adult classifieds. Today, those classifieds are hosted online at Backpage.com.

Having run off Craigslist, reformers, the devout, and the government-funded have turned their guns upon Village Voice Media.

Solicited by advocates, such websites as Huffington Post and The Daily Beast and others in the mainstream media raised the alarm that America’s children have been enslaved in prostitution, thanks to the Internet.

It is true that Village Voice Media has a stake in this discussion.

But the facts speak for themselves.   “The Editor”  June 29, 2011

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http://www.villagevoice.com/news/real-men-get-their-facts-straight-6431644

These were just the very noisy street fights that spread out all over the Internet. The Village Voice is littered across the Internet with other retaliations the Village Voice was famous for, when it came to protecting and defending its bread and butter, Backpage.

So is it any wonder that a writer from the New York Times upon interviewing a Backpage Child Trafficking Victim in March of 2012, would discover the victim was more afraid of retaliation from the Village Voice than the Pimps she put behind bars?  And one of them cut her face with a potato peeler.

bpvic

Attorneys general from 48 states have written a joint letter to Village Voice Media, pleading with it to get out of the flesh trade. An online petition at Change.org has gathered 94,000 signatures asking Village Voice Media to stop taking prostitution advertising. Instead, the company has used The Village Voice to mock its critics. Alissa thought about using her real name for this article but decided not to for fear that Village Voice would retaliate.  Nicholas Kristof  March 17, 2012 The New York Times.

For more information on the Village Voice’s Backpage  human trafficking syndicate see:

http://www.iamjanedoefilm.com

Tony Ortega Defends Village Voice Classifieds Backpage. Says The Victims Are The Problem.

 

 

 

Making money off the backs of desperate human beings and homeless children, by allowing them to be exploited for modern-day sex slavery is not a problem for Tony Ortega.

After months of protests on human trafficking against the Village Voice classifieds section Backpage with regards to the child sex trafficking, which included the voices of Alicia Keys, Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore, REM, and Roseanne Cash. Tony Ortega took aim at a target and unleashed a violent torrent of verbal assaults at CNN’s Amber Lyons in defense of Backpage, the classified’s section of the Village Voice, where he is the editor in chief.  Also known as the head honcho under Mike Lacey.

During the tirade, he excluded the words “child sex trafficking” and used the phrase “underage prostitutes”.   Positioning the victims as simply prostitutes that had not yet come of age. As if prostitution is a pre-existing condition in their fate. Calling the children being sold on Backpage, “underage prostitutes” in an attempt to dehumaize them and devalue the crime of selling them and exploiting them.

Tony Ortega pounded the phrase “underage prostitute” into the ground over and over in his version of events.  His justifications?   Backpage is the Red Cross, and the victims are “A persistent problem in this country”.  (If they exist at all.)  Furthermore, they are the “users of the service. Most drug addicted and homeless”.  And, it is easier to find them when they are being sold on the Internet by their traffickers than if they are at bus stations!

Furthermore, they are the “users of the service. Most drug addicted and homeless”.  And, it is easier to find them when they are being sold on the Internet by their traffickers than if they are at bus stations!

He dehumanizes these kids in every sentence. And his version is events is, all in all, Backpage is helping the community by providing a platform for them to be sold. Furthermore, they are not children.  They are underage prostitutes.    And “sex work” can be an honorable profession for a minor. It is just not shown in a positive light.

I have faced some evil in my days but this is a tipping point.

“In cities across America, we are told over and over, like a mantra, that “100,000 to 300,000” underage sex slaves have been stashed away from public view, with more joining them every day.

Not only do we have security specialists making constant searches for keywords that might indicate an underage user, but we’re quick to cooperate with law enforcement and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children when we find suspicious ads.”   Tony Oretega    July 06, 2011  In defense of Backpage. Village Voice classifieds.

NOTE: At the time of this retort defending Village Voice Classifieds Backpage, According to Advanced Interactive Media Group, an online classified advertising consultancy, 70 percent of the nation’s online ads for adult services (read, prostitution) run on Backpage.com.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) viewed Backpage as so tightly tied to the sale of children for rape that the website is now the first place it searches for children reported missing. In a 2016 amicus brief, the organization outlined the ways in which it believes that Backpage has been deliberately optimized to keep the child trafficking industry going, including having relaxed posting rules for escort ads while requiring other sellers to provide valid telephone numbers. It also describes a case in which one child was “sold for sex more than 50 times on backpage.com beginning when she was 12 years old.” The organization has worked on more than 420 cases in which children were trafficked through Backpage.

In the three years prior:  At least 50 charges of trafficking had been filed by state attorneys general against people advertising on Backpage.com. It was estimated that 100,000 to 250,000 children in the U.S. are trafficked each year.

Village Voice Media (Mike Lacey, James Larkin, Tony Ortega and Liz McDougall) insisted it was fighting trafficking by editing out code words for minors like “fresh” and “new to town” – to make the ads look quote “cleaner than ever” ….But congressional investigators found Backpage was actively allowing the traffickers to operate, and knowingly editing the advertisements to facilitate the sex trafficking of children, and pocketing the ad revenue.

“In some cases, our reports about suspicious ads have resulted in underage runaways being traced and recovered—as opposed to the underground economy of bus stations and street corners where kids are truly invisible.

Underage prostitution is a persistent problem in this country, but as we established in last week’s cover story, it exists at a level that is nothing like what is being trumpeted by Amber Lyon on the behalf of activists who want to put us out of business. Lyon and other journalists—even the New York Times—may repeat uncritically the figure of “100,000 to 300,000” underage prostitutes, but as we showed last week, that number is based on a flimsy study by a couple of activist professors who included in that figure runaways (most of whom are back home in a week) and any teen who happens to live near an international border, supposedly putting them “at risk.”

Using official law enforcement data, we showed that underage prostitution arrests are closer to 800 per year for the entire country—a number that has not increased over the past decade. Far from a widespread and rapidly growing problem, this is, instead, a small problem that stays about the same size because its underlying causes—drug addiction and teen homelessness—are not targeted with federal funds the way scaremongering is.

In December, we sent information to CNN about what we’re doing to keep Backpage.com‘s adult pages for adults only as Amber Lyon prepared a sensationalistic piece about the mythic hundreds of thousands of underage American sex slaves, for whom she wanted us to appear responsible.

We subsequently pointed out to CNN that we had, in fact, provided Lyon with a two-page, single-spaced data sheet about what we’re doing to keep underage users out of Backpage.com‘s adult pages.

She talks to men who are undergoing counseling for paying for sex—none of them with underage girls. Each of these segments is intended simply to make viewers see sex work in the worst possible light. And that’s no accident.

Tony Ortega    In defense of Backpage .   Village Voice classifieds. Editor in Chief Village Voice    July 06, 2011

http://www.villagevoice.com/news/cnns-amber-lyon-ambushed-craigslist-but-she-wont-talk-to-the-village-voice-6431659

NOTE: For the record, there is no such thing as an “underage prostitute”.  Minors are trafficking victims.  There is no such thing as a child prostitute. By definition & law, minors are trafficked.

Ortega says Village Voice has always had classifieds. True, when it was a local newspaper, not a website.  Before it went digital and spread out across the planet.

“I helped turn a weekly newspaper with a web site into a digital enterprise.”  Tony Ortega bragged to the New York Times Blog Media Decoder on September 14, 2012 after leaving the Village Voice.

https://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/14/at-village-voice-editor-and-music-editor-depart-and-weekly-will-have-a-new-address/

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/apr/23/sex-trafficking-us-called-epidemic/

News broke within days after Ortega was let go, ( The Village Voice was sold )that Lacey and Larkin had sold the failing Village Voice Newspaper, but split Backpage from the sale and kept it.  Their arrest warrant claim that Lacey and Larkin each received a $10 million “bonus” in 2014 — before the sale.

Tony Ortega’s former co-worker Bob Norman, from the New Times Broward-Palm Beach (Also owned by Mike Lacey and James Larkin) says Tony Ortega is well known for his love of “erotica” ( writing, pictures or films to stimulate sexual desire / pornographic books, pictures, considered stylish or sophisticated )  So perhaps Ortega is viewing through a jaded different lens.

http://www.journalnow.com/opinion/editorials/our-view-human-trafficking-is-a-scourge-we-must-stop/article_b626a0ba-77af-5193-b64e-28e969e73f27.html

Current campaigns challenging Ortega’s declarations:

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hlsgrl

http://www.iamjanedoefilm.com

Backpage.com – now separated from Village Voice – denies problem but Amsterdam experience tells different story

NOTE: Another report I am archiving for reference.  News Latitude Archives – As News Latitude’s Twitter has been inactive since 2013. This article appears to have been written in 2013 after Lacey and Larkin sold the Voice in September of 2012, split with Ortega,  and walked away with Backpage.

Dutch lessons for sex-trafficking debate in U.S.

 Julia Rooke By JULIA ROOKE

 

Over the past few years, the pressure had been mounting. Activists, senators, attorney generals, non-profits as well as New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof had all been accusing the classified site Backpage.com of promoting the illegal sex trade and enabling human trafficking. And they weren’t just targeting the classified site, they were also going after its parent company Village Voice Media, owner of the iconic New York weekly the Village Voice.

This week it was announced that the Village Voice and 12 other alternative weeklies of the same ilk are parting ways with Backpage. com. They have been sold to the Voice Media company whose new CEO admitted that the controversy around Backpage.com “has been a distraction, there’s no doubt about it.”

Backpage.com, meanwhile, remains the property of Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, the two Arizona-based men who started their very successful media chain in 1970 as students with the alternative free weekly, The Phoenix New Times. 

As we reported previously in Latitude News, the controversy over the Backpage.com ads and their links to the trafficking of underage girls make for an interesting contrast with what happened in Amsterdam a few years ago.

 

Whose numbers are right?

According to Advanced Interactive Media Group, an online classified advertising consultancy, 70 percent of the nation’s online ads for adult services (read, prostitution) run on Backpage.com. In the last three years, at least 50 charges of trafficking have been filed by state attorneys general against people advertising on Backpage.com. It’s estimated that 100,000 to 250,000 children in the U.S. are trafficked each year.

When they were part of the same company, the response from the Village Voice to the charges against Backpage.com was robust. Tony Ortega, who was editor of Village Voice until a few weeks ago, called underage trafficking an imaginary problem, driven by “mass panic.” He characterized the estimate of up to a quarter million kids trafficked a year “guesses by activist professors, junk science by nonprofit groups trying to extract money from Congress, and manipulation by religious groups hiding their real agendas about sex work.” He cited FBI data showing that on average about 200 underage kids a year is saved from forced prostitution. Lacey and Larkin, by all accounts, are unlikely to change this tune.

Moral Panic in Amsterdam

The Netherlands has been through a similar debate, even though in that country both adult prostitution and pimping are legal. Starting in 2006, a spate of alarmist TV and press reports claimed Dutch school girls were being groomed for prostitution by a new brand of pimp known as a “Lover Boy.” Lover Boys were purported to be second- and third-generation Dutch Moroccans and Antilleans. Frank Bovenkerk, a cultural anthropologist from the University of Amsterdam, scoffed. Bovenkerk, in fact, suggested this was just a symptom of “moral panic” (sound familiar?) and an attempt to demonize second-generation immigrants.

The mayor of Amsterdam commissioned Bovenkerk to get to the bottom of the allegations. What Bovenkerk found, in a 2006 report [in Dutch] updated in 2011 in the academic journal Crime, Media, Culture, was that Lover Boys were real. He estimated that there were 100 of them in Amsterdam and that they each controlled several legal prostitutes, a large number of whom had been recruited as children.

Bovenkerk’s findings shocked the Dutch, stimulated a national debate and contributed to the closing of 51 red-light prostitution windows and some brothels in Amsterdam in 2007 and 2008.

The Dutch reacted to a research report, which estimated that a few hundred girls were at risk. In the U.S., the FBI’s number of 200 a year is used as proof that the problem is overblown. Backpage.com counsel Liz McDougall has, in the past, even argued that because it cooperates with prosecutors, it is better for all that the site does not pull its adult services ads offline.

The sad truth is it’s extraordinarily hard to get girls to testify against their pimps, whether it be in the U.S. or in places like the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Jean Custers, head of the Dutch Trafficking police team, says “girls are terrorized, pimps sometimes threaten to harm younger members of their families if they talk. Very few girls are prepared to testify in such a situation.” As Kristof noted earlier this year in his New York Times column, in the U.S., police often detain girls instead of rescuing them.

Andrea Powell thinks that, unlike the Netherlands, the U.S. is refusing to acknowledge its trafficking issue. Her anti-trafficking organization, FAIR Girls, sees about 1,000 girls a year in Washington, D.C. “A fifth tell us they are being groomed or pimped,” says Powell.

Backpage.com and its kind will certainly continue to come under pressure from lawmakers, although in one of the latest showdowns, in the state of Washington, Village Voice Media won a temporary restraining order against a state law that for the first time forced advertisers to provide documentary proof that their escorts are over 18. Lacey, according to The Arizona Republic, “likened it to holding FedEx responsible if someone used its services to mail pornography.”

“Lacey, who has the words “hold fast” tattooed on his fingers, spoke with relish about the political and court fights ahead over Backpage.com. ‘It’s a retirement from journalism,’ he said. ‘This entire thing is still a First Amendment issue.’”

Andrea Powell of FAIR Girls, however, is undeterred. As she told Latitude News: “Village Voice Media stakeholders separated themselves from Backpage.com because of our campaign.” She concedes that her cause will not have the same kind of leverage they had previously given there are no advertisers to put pressure on. But, she says, “we are not going to stop.”

“There is only one acceptable solution to FAIR Girls, and that is for Backpage.com to shut the adult section of their classified advertising web site and end the selling of girls online. For as long as Backpage.com exists, we will continue to fight for the rights of the girls being advertised by their pimps on Backpage.com.”

 

http://www.latitudenews.com/story/dutch-lessons-for-sex-trafficking-debate-in-u-s/

The Gawker Archives – Pickets, Lawsuits, Sex Ads, and Hard Times at the Village Voice

Gawker was an American blog founded by Nick Denton and Elizabeth Spiers and based in New York City focusing on celebrities and the media industry. It was launched in January 2003.

Whereas the Village Voice was a paper for newly minted New Yorkers, meaning people that moved into New York with identity issues and bought the Paper to “be cool”,  the Gawker was a blog for New Yorkers.

The Gawker closed down in 2016 after thirteen years. The blog never catered to advertisers or “sold out”  for greed.  I was a regular reader and found it to be a straightforward New York smart blog.

I have had some difficulty lately finding certain issues they published.  As if the archives are being scrubbed.  If you follow any sequence at the Web Site you will notice some pages “Can’t be found”.

This has been frustrating me since I considered the reporting from that blog valuable information.   So being, I am taking the liberty to share some of the articles here for the purpose of preservation.

 

http://gawker.com/5860101/pickets-lawsuits-sex-ads-and-hard-times-at-the-village-voice

 

Pickets, Lawsuits, Sex Ads, and Hard Times at the Village Voice

8.39K

11/16/11 12:42PM

Filed to: MEDIA

The Village Voice has problems. The paper had yet another round of layoffs last month, as part of a nationwide cull by its parent company. (Not to be confused with the other layoffs earlier this year.) Like most alt-weeklies, the Voice depends on sex and drug ads for its very survival. The paper’s so desperate for revenue that it’s suing Time Out NY for using the phrase “Best in NYC.” You know that belongs to the Village Voice, right?

And today, Voice staffers get the funnest bonus yet: a big protest at their headquarters! (Photos here.) An anti-sex-trafficking group is picketing the Voice today to protest the sex ads on Backpage.com, the Craigslist doppelganger that more or less keeps Village Voice Media afloat. (A recent lawsuit against Backpage failed, and considering the financial situation of alt-weeklies today, don’t expect it to cut off any revenue streams voluntarily any time soon.) Alicia Keys and Gloria Steinem will both be there, reportedly, so be sure to go and stare slack-jawed!

Village Voice Media sent out an internal letter to employees telling them to “respect the rights” of the protesters, but making clear that the company disagrees with them, and asserting that “Village Voice Media is the industry leader in policing our site to keep underage kids out of adult classifieds.” Well… who else would be to be policing your site? Eh. We asked Voice editor Tony Ortega for his take:

Ah, you know. I loved Nick Pinto’s story last week about NYU. I thought Graham Rayman had a good get this week on Ray Kelly. Next week, for Thanksgiving, we have a treat from Jen Doll. I mean, that’s what you do, right? You just keep it going, week after week, while hoping someday Obama pulls his head out of his ass and gets this economy going again. I’d like to start hiring again, dammit.

As for the protests today, I wish them the best of luck. No one who actually works in this office has anything to do with Backpage, but still, I understand why they picked our building. The people who work for Eater and Foursquare — won’t they have stories to tell.

Keep on truckin, alt-weeklies. Keep on truckin, protesters. And keep on truckin, online classified sex ad patrons. You’re all in this together.

[Photo via VillageVoicePimp.com]

The Gawker Archives – Village Voice Media’s Last Ditch Effort to Save Itself Will Probably Fail

Gawker was an American blog founded by Nick Denton and Elizabeth Spiers and based in New York City focusing on celebrities and the media industry. It was launched in January 2003.Whereas the Village Voice was a paper for newly minted New Yorkers, meaning people that moved into New York with identity issues and bought the Paper to “be cool”,  the Gawker was a blog for New Yorkers.

The Gawker closed down in 2016 after thirteen years. The blog never catered to advertisers or “sold out”  for greed.  I was a regular reader and found it to be a straightforward New York smart blog.

I have had some difficulty lately finding certain issues they published.  As if the archives are being scrubbed.  If you follow any sequence at the Web Site you will notice some pages “Can’t be found”.

This has been frustrating me since I considered the reporting from that blog valuable information.   So being, I am taking the liberty to share some of the articles here for the purpose of preservation.

12.26K

09/24/12 09:20AM

Filed to: MEDIA

Village Voice Media, owner of the Voice and a dozen other alt-weeklies across the country, has decided to try a nifty trick: it’s cleaving itself in two. Executives from the company are “buying out” all of the papers, putting them into what is technically a new, standalone company. And VVM’s main profit center, hooker ad site Backpage.com, is going to be left in its own separate company, controlled by VVM bosses Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey. This is a weird gambit.

The only rational reason to do this is to try to end the ongoing (and successful) PR campaign that’s been waged against the company over its ownership of Backpage, which has a pesky tendency of hosting ads for child prostitutes or sex trafficked girls once in a while. Advertisers have fled the company’s alt-weeklies as a result of the bad publicity over the past year or more. But more advertisers have fled the company’s alt-weeklies due to facts that A) Craigslist took all the classified advertising away from alt-weeklies, and B) print newspaper advertising in general has been dying for a decade. In short, alt-weeklies are a dying business model. So what’s the plan here?

I mean, sure, fine, you spin off Backpage (which had revenue close to $30 million last year, and which is a very successful business, due to the fact that it’s occupying a niche that Craigslist decided to get out of), and maybe, maybe you quiet down all the boycotts of the newspapers, which are now in a separate company. But, so what? You now have a company consisting solely of alt-weeklies, which are a dying business model, and without the hooker ad revenue that was keeping the whole thing afloat. Where is the logic? There’s a bit of obscurity in the deal—it could be that Backpage’s owners will simply turn around and funnel that money back into the papers as investors. Or, maybe it’s true what Scott Tobias, the new CEO of the group of newspapers, says to Keith Kelly:

He insisted the new company is “absolutely” profitable without the lucrative Backpage and that he has no connection to or investment in the site.

That would absolutely blow my mind if true, but… who are we to say? I mean, logically, it seems more likely that these alt-weeklies will just continue their downward spiral faster without all that hooker ad money, unless there is some financial trickery here that we’re missing. But hey, we’re pulling for them. Good luck to all alt-weekly employees, for as long as it lasts.

[Photo: Stan Wiechers/ Flickr]

 

http://gawker.com/5945821%2Fvillage-voice-medias-last-ditch-effort-to-save-itself-will-probably-fail