Washington State Supreme Court Rules Against Backpage.com for Sex Trafficking

Recently, the Washington Supreme Court ruled in favor of three young women who sued Backpage.com after they were sex trafficked as minors on the website. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) praises this decision, which allows the lawsuit to proceed to trial.

After the lawsuit was originally filed, Backpage filed a motion to dismiss it, arguing it isn’t responsible for the actions of subscribers or users under the federal Communications Decent Act. However, the Washington Supreme Court justices said that this act does not shield Backpage from state lawsuits because there are allegations that the company did not merely host the ads but that they also helped develop the content.

This decision marks an important step forward in the growing movement to hold Backpage accountable for its willful facilitation of human trafficking and prostitution. The Washington Supreme Court’s decision is a wake-up call to Backpage that it must stop promoting and profiting from sexual exploitation.

Backpage is the leading U.S. website for prostitution advertising, generating nearly 80% of all the online prostitution advertising revenue. For these reasons, the website is on NCOSE’s Dirty Dozen list.

To learn more, visit: DirtyDozenList.com.

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