The Gawker Archives on Village Voice Child Sex Trafficking

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 straight forward 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.

Village Voice Has a Child Prostitution Problem (Updated)

Craigslist shut down its Adult Services section, caving to Attorneys General and anti-sex trafficking groups. But, as we pointed out, there are many other places to buy sex online. One, Backpage.com, is being sued by a former child prostitute.

According to Ars Technica, the former child prostitue was hawked on Backpage.com—a Craigslist knockoff owned by Village Voice Media—by her pimp starting at age 14. In her lawsuit, she claims that VVM knew that the explicit pictures her pimp posted of her on Backpage depicted a minor, and that they were advertising prostitution. This knowledge, the suit argues, should put exempt them from the Communications Decency Act, which protects websites from liability for what their users post.

From Ars Technica:

“Defendant had a strong suspicion that the aforementioned crimes were being committed,” reads the complaint. “Defendant had a desire that these posters accomplished their nefarious illegal prostitution activities so that the posters would return to the website and pay for more posting.”

Look for anti-trafficking activists and Attorneys General, flush from their victory over Craigslist, to jump on Backpage and its thriving “adult” section next. The Village Voice sure has been having a lot of penis-related financial troubles, lately. (via mediaite)

Update:
We’ve received a statement from Village Voice Media’s Steve Suskind. In it, he writes:

The lawsuit is riddled with errors. The claim that we knowingly assisted [the child’s pimp] in committing criminal acts is a lie fabricated by a trial lawyer looking for a payday. The attorney seeks to redirect blame from a convicted predator to Backpage.com, which helped prosecute the criminal.

Without our knowledge, the predator violated our terms of use. Backpage.com has stringent safeguards in place to ensure that only adults use the site. We provided the FBI with the perpetrator’s I.P. address and credit-card information.

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 recognized that the very nature of the Internet meant that vast traffic depended on the ability of citizens to post directly onto websites like Backpage.com, Facebook, MySpace or eBay, or to have search engines like Google and Yahoo find postings without pre-screening or censorship. The responsibility, under the law, rests with the person supplying the post.

In the last two years, Backpage.com has had 58 million posts, of which 6 million were adult. In this vast exchange of information, law enforcement agencies have asked for our testimony in precisely five underage cases.

Because one case is too many, we have, and we will continue to, cooperate willingly with authorities.

09/19/10 01:58PM

Filed to: PROSTITUTION
NOTE: Village Voice Media did not cooperate with Authorities and owners were held in contempt of Congress.   Furthermore it was discovered the moderators at Village Voice Classifieds were coaching people on how to place the ads and pocketing the advertising dollars. 
 Minors are trafficking victims.  There is no such thing as a child prostitute. By definition & law, minors are trafficked.

The Gawker Archives On Village Voice Sex Slavery and Ashton Kutcher

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 straight forward 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.

Ashton Kutcher Will Destroy Newspaper Over Sex Slavery Article

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07/01/11 03:51PM

Filed to: FEUDS

Famous Twitter user Ashton Kutcher is extremely upset at the Village Voice. The paper wrote a cover story making fun of him and bashing his anti-sex trafficking efforts. Now he will make sure no company advertises in the paper or on its site, ever.

There must be no digital entertainment conferences happening this week, because tech guru Ashton Kutcher has spent much of the last couple days locked in a fierce Twitter battle with the Voice over its article debunking the sex slavery panic he has done much to promote, with his incomprehensible “Real Men” ads. Of course, Village Voice Media makes tons of money from its Backpage.com classifieds site, which has itself been accused of facilitating the trafficking that the paper says is not a big deal.

There have been plenty of good jabs on both sides—Kutcher pointing out the 15-year-old who is suing Village Voice Media for allegedly allowing her to be trafficked on Backpage, the Village Voice tweeting a link to a story about Ashton and Demi chilling with “confessed pimp” Snoop Dogg.

But now, Ashton Kutcher has decided to get serious, resorting to the Twitter-favorite tactic of whining to advertisers when an outlet publishes something you don’t like.

“Hey @AmericanAir,” Kutcher tweeted, “are you aware that you are advertising on a site that supports the Sale of Human Beings (slavery)?”

Whatever poor social media person was running American Airlines’ Twitter account must have had a heart attack over their Subway footlong, because they responded instantly with, “We will address this IMMEDIATELY. Can you please DM us detail of the site, including link?” It’s going to be a let down when they learn it’s just the Village Voice, not something like humanbeings4sale.com.

It’s hard to take sides in this conflict. I’m inclined to support the Village Voice, because the article marshaled convincing evidence even if it was transparently self-interested, and running to advertisers over an article you don’t like is some schoolyard bullshit. And since Ashton Kutcher has as many followers as a small country, he may actually succeed in killing off the Village Voice, which wouldn’t be good for anyone.

Just shut up, and start your own newspaper dedicated solely to stomach-churning underaged sex slavery stories, Ashton Kutcher.

Updates: Wow, like Ashton Kutcher’s Twitter freakout has convinced American Airlines to stop advertising with the Village Voice. Sex slavery problem: Solved.

[Photo of Kutcher via Getty]

The Gawker Archives on Village Voice Hooker Ad Controversy

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 straight forward 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.

The Whole Hooker Ad Controversy Is Back

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12/10/10 01:16PM

Filed to: MEDIA CRACK

In your ferocious Friday media column: bad PR for Village Voice Media, Glenn Greenwald‘s in fine form, Bloomberg’s up, the NYT Co. is down, and Judith Regan still exists.

  • Ooo, a group called The Rebecca Project is running ads in Village Voice Media-owned papers calling on Village Voice Media to stop selling sex ads on Backpage.com, which is where all the hooker ads are now, FYI. Also, the sex-trafficked persons ads, unfortunately. I wouldn’t expect VVM to do that, though, because, money. Craigslist didn’t need it, but VVM really does.

http://gawker.com/5711399/the-whole-hooker-ad-controversy-is-back

The Gawker Archives on Village Voice Hooker Ads.

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 straight forward 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.

Let’s Write Some Hooker Ads!

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07/03/07 09:40AM

Filed to: LIES WELL DISGUISED

94 years ago, liar H.K. McCann launched his NYC ad agency with the slogan “Truth Well Told.” That was a big fat lie. Advertising copywriter Copyranter brings you instances of advertising lies and the lying liars who sell them.

Last week in AdAge Lenore Skenazy got her panties (or whatever her choice of undergarment is) in a bunch over the adult classified ads in the back of reputable newspapers and magazines—she claims they’re for hookers! The ads also upset me—they’re boring! I’ve lined up three ads for alleged Ladies of the Night. Let’s see if we can come up with some come-ons.

Back In May, I took a stab at writing lines for a SheMale escort ad. This time, I grabbed the latest copy of the Village Voice and turned to the “adult bodywork” section. It’s spread out on my desk right now. My art director Keri just walked by, shaking her head.

First up, Yoko. As you may or may not know, the adult classifieds are chock full of Asian women. So Yoko needs a little something else to break through the clutter. Iif she’s gonna use that name, then I think she’s gotta play it up:

  • Be My John?
  • Oh No, You’ve Never Had Better.
  • Give This Piece A Chance.
  • Next: Atasha. Yes, she certainly is a piece of (yawn) dark chocolate. I do like the fun typeface on her name, but she needs to sweeten that sales pitch!
  • What Can Brown Do For You?
  • Godiva’s Got Nuthin’ On My Box Of Chocolate.
  • Fudgie The Tail (eh).
  • Lastly, there’s Ruth. Well, I applaud the effort here with the candy bar reference. But we can do a little better.
  • Ruth Likes It Uncouth.
  • RUTH. BABE. (big Helvetica type, ghosted over her pic)
  • Ruth something something…
  • OK, I wrote this post this morning at 8, because I had to work past midnight last night because my boss is in the goddamn Hamptons this week in his fancy house on the bay. So, feel free to write your oh-so superior lines in the comments, Or not. I don’t care. I’m tired.
  • Previously: The Best Ad In The World

Mike Lacey And James Larkin Own Big City.Com and EvilEmpire.Com. As Back Doors to Backpage.

 

http://www.trademarkia.com/bigcitycom-75561626.html

 

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EvilEmpire registered in Denmark. No surprise there.

Just when you thought Lacey and Larkin couldn’t get more evil.  Do you know how many kids that are Star Wars fans Google “Evil Empire”?

The content creators of bigcity.com and evilempire.com are Mike Lacey and James Larkin.  Owners of Backpage.

Worldwide revenue from sex ads topped $3.1 million in just one week in 2015, according to a court affidavit. It says Ferrer (The C.E.O. for Lacey and Larkin) expanded Backpage’s share of online sex marketing by creating affiliated sites including EvilEmpire.com and BigCity.com with related content.

Their big hit was Backpage, the classified section of the Village Voice they put on the Internet and floated around the world.  It turns out Big City . com which has been registered since 1998, links into Backpage.   As well as EvilEmpire.com. So people are linked onto Backpage when they Google those sites.

Big City. com is a tool for pimps to sell women and children. As the domain states: ADVERTISING FOR OTHERS VIA ON-LINE COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK.

Backpage also sponsors Big City.com.   The “security and vetting” is a button you push for terms of use.   Like anyone lurking there is going to call the police to report a minor being sold on it?

http://www.iamjanedoefilm.com

Mazzio, Oz: Kids are no match for ‘Backpage’

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Reposting here for those that have no access to a subscription at the Houston Chronicle

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/outlook/article/Mazzio-Oz-Kids-are-no-match-for-Backpage-11107837.php

April 28, 2017

What you are about to read is going to shock you.

Every minute of every day in this country, children are bought and sold for sex on the internet. Scheduled on the hour, by the hour. With the ruthless efficiency of technology, these children are shuttled from motel room to motel room and raped upwards of 15 times per day.

It happens to children of all incomes, ethnicities and color. Mostly girls, but also boys. Many are first preyed upon in chat rooms, at the mall, or at fast-food restaurants. And then these children simply disappear, without a trace.

Many of them do resurface, on a website called Backpage.com. According to a recent U.S. Senate report, this company, headquartered in Dallas, has earned hundreds of millions of dollars per year from its sex ads, including those of children. In all 50 states.

How can it be legal to host ads selling children for sex?

It shouldn’t be. Yet despite multiple lawsuits filed by child victims and a lengthy Senate investigation headed by Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, Backpage has dodged every bullet, winning every legal challenge to date. Armed with an expensive team of lawyers, Backpage has deftly managed to shield itself with an outdated internet freedom law that protects web sites from being sued for content posted by a third party. This law (Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act) was originally intended to protect a budding internet industry from lawsuits based on defamatory posts by its users. However, Section 230 now allows for the proliferation of fake news, scam ads, and is being interpreted by judges to protect websites that facilitate child sex trafficking.

And Backpage has some surprising allies. Two internet special interest groups funded by technology companies, The Center for Democracy and Technology and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, have swooped in to defend Backpage, actively intervening in several cases and doing so persuasively.

That is worth repeating. Via these special interest groups, tech industry giants like Google, Facebook, Microsoft and others are financing the defense of Backpage. This can no longer continue.

Let’s be clear. We cannot stand for the idea that the sale of children is acceptable collateral damage for a free and open internet. Especially since companies now have the technological means to stop it.

Last month, Backpage announced that it was shuttering the Escorts section of its website under pressure from the government. However, analysts reported that a majority of these sex ads simply moved to the dating pages of Backpage. The many other sex sites owned and operated by Backpage in the U.S. were not shut down, and the purchase and sale of children continues online today.

President Trump recently signaled that he would bring the full weight of the government to help in the fight against human trafficking, including giving law enforcement agencies better tools to go after criminals. U.S. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas is among those working on legislation to do the same. It can’t come soon enough. But Congress also has to act by specifically amending Section 230 to make it clear that it is not legal to facilitate child sex trafficking.

U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Missouri, has recently introduced legislation to do just this, and we hope that a Senate version will be drafted in the coming months. We’ve started a petition on Change.org to tell the tech community that it’s time to switch sides, and we hope you will join us, too.

Mazzio is an award-winning filmmaker. Her new film, “I AM JANE DOE,” which chronicles the battle that several children are waging against Backpage, debuts on iTunes May 12 and with Netflix on May 26. Oz is a cardiothoracic surgeon, Emmy Award-winning host of the Dr. Oz Show, and father of four.

http://www.iamjanedoefilm.com

 

hc