Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc. severed ties with Backpage.com after law enforcement officials raised concerns that the classified advertising website “promotes prostitution and facilitates online sex trafficking.”
According to a letter sent Monday to Visa and MasterCard by Cook County, Ill., Sheriff Thomas Dart, in just one month Backpage.com posted more than a million ads in its “adult escort” section in the United States, with most of the ads containing prices, hotel locations, nude photos and, in some instances, video.
Visa said it stopped allowing its cards to be used on the site Wednesday, following a similar move by MasterCard on Tuesday and by American Express Co. earlier this year.
Backpage.com is the second-largest ad listing service on the Web, next to Craigslist.
The site for years has drawn the scrutiny of government and law enforcement officials who say the website makes it easy for pimps to exploit sex workers and fuels the illegal sex trafficking industry.
In a statement, Visa said it stopped processing payments for Backpage.com because it prohibits its network to be used for illegal activity.
Backpage.com did not respond to requests for comment.
Editors note: Sheriff Dart of Cook County has had a personal vendetta against Backpage and against escorts, trying to get Backpage to remove their adult section since it began. Backpage' response has always been the same, and now without any way to profit from those ads, Backpage' response is still the same, the ads stay.
This is what we need cops for? Sure there are examples of pimps horribly abusing girls, but this could be eliminated if it wasn't illegal and had to be conducted in the shadows. Nevada's legal brothels have no underage girls, no STDs and no abused girls. I thought we were at risk from outside infiltrators bent on our destruction. This is where we should allocate our law-enforcement assets? Our politicians pimp for weapons manufacturers which kill millions. Likewise irresponsible drug companies. It's funny what some people find necessary to get outraged about.
The only reason it's illegal is 'cause government can't tax it...how is porn legal? Get paid to have sex and video tape it and it's legal, why? Because that's taxable...if the government can't tax it than it's illegal.
The government shouldn't be locking up consenting adults for choosing to engage in consensual behavior. Along as prostitution is completely illegal, the harms of it will greatly outweigh it being legalized. Brothels in Nevada that are legal don't have STD cases or underage girls. Or battered women. Legalize it and get the sex cops out of people's lives.
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