Skip to main content

Ed cetera

Join the informed, opinionated journalists of The Times' editorial staff in lively discussions at our blog Ed Cetera.

June 5, 2012 at 11:17 AM

  • Share:
  • Comments ((0))
  • Print

Backpage swimming against the public tide's lawsuit against Washington state over a new law requiring age-verification in sex-related advertisements was expected.

Village Voice Media, which owns the online advertising website, knows it is swiming in polluted waters against the tide of public opinion. The Legislature aggressively passed 12 anti-trafficking laws last session, including the one now being challenged by Village Voice. But the company will need to adopt a broader strategy because other states, including Connecticut, are considering similar laws to ours.

The chorus pointing to the exploitation of young girls featured in sex ads on backpage is growing. The country’s 51 attorneys general are pressuring the site to close its “adult” section. A coalition of religious leaders launched a similar effort. A social justice organization, Groundswell, delivered more than 240,000 petition signatures to Village Voice's New York City headquarters in March.

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristoff has kept a ruthless bead on the subject, featuring bleak narratives about young girls sold for sex on backpage. The columns, How Pimps Use the Web to Sell Girls and Not Quite a Teen, Yet Sold for Sex. to post a few, have angered Village Voice officials but they don't deny the reality contained in the heartbreaking stories.

No comments have been posted to this article.

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon