Tags: house bill | online | sex trafficking | classified ads

Online Sex-Trafficking Classified Ads Targeted by House Bill

Image: Online Sex-Trafficking Classified Ads Targeted by House Bill
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By    |   Thursday, 22 February 2018 01:07 PM

A House bill to combat online sex trafficking will be considered next week to try to hold classified advertising websites accountable for exploitive ads posted on them.

The bipartisan bill in the U.S. House of Representatives would set up for prosecution websites allowing sex-trafficking ads and also would allow victims to take legal action against them, The Hill reported.

The Hill said current law established by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act now effectively provides websites with immunity from liability for what their users post.

Backpage.com was one site criticized in recent years, with some charging that people used its adult services section for prostitution and sex trafficking, The Hill said. The website reportedly shut down its adult section in 2017.

"Since day one, I have pushed for the strongest, most effective criminal and civil tools possible to confront the horrific abuses of online sex trafficking," said Republican Rep. Ann Wagner of Missouri. "… Online trafficking is flourishing because there are no serious, legal consequences for the websites that profit from the exploitation of our most vulnerable."

Republican Rep. Mimi Walters of California said in the same statement that a large international sex-trafficking ring was uncovered in her state and she hopes the legislation will aid prosecutors.

"Thousands of those ads were tracked through Backpage.com, including ads selling minors for commercial sex," Walters said. "Websites such as Backpage have become storefronts for this modern-day slave trade. … I urge my colleagues to support this legislation and send a clear message that we will bring to justice those who facilitate and promote sex trafficking."

"This activity is not only horrifying and downright evil, it is also unequivocally illegal," said Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney in the joint statement. "I'm proud to support this legislative package that will empower trafficking survivors and their families, and equip law enforcement with the tools they need to crack down on these horrendous crimes."

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A House bill to combat online sex trafficking will be considered next week to try to hold classified advertising websites accountable for exploitive ads posted on them.
house bill, online, sex trafficking, classified ads
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2018-07-22
Thursday, 22 February 2018 01:07 PM
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