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 it’s classifieds section, Backpage.   Backpage is a human trafficking site cloaked under the 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 ons 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 glamour 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 web site 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 fairgamed 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 it’s 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 behind bars?  And one of them cut her face with a potato peeler.

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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 Alcia 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.

He pounded the phrase “underage” 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!

So, 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.

“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 per cent 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 web site.  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/

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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http://www.iamjanedoefilm.com

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 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.

 

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

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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 Asked to Make Up Lie About ‘Monitoring’ Its Hooker Site

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 Media Asked to Make Up Lie About ‘Monitoring’ Its Hooker Site

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08/31/11 02:22PM

Filed to: MEDIA ROUNDUP

In your merciless Wednesday media column: attorneys general come after Backpage.com, a photo editor bravely falls on his sword, a new CFO at NewsBeast, Conde Nast figures out the internets, and the amusing NYT-Yahoo rumor.

  • The attorneys general of 45 states have sent a letter to Village Voice Media regarding its Craigslist knockoff Backpage.com, asking the company “to prove it is monitoring the site to prevent illegal activity.” Haha, what? Then nobody would put their ads there! Stupid idiots. Also most state attorneys general are big Ashton Kutcher fans.

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 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.

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

 

 

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

76.59K

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]