The online classified advertising site Back. The unexpected move came on the eve of a hearing convened by a U. Senate subcommittee at which Back executives had been ordered to testify.
In a letter to the subcommittee that rejects the legitimacy of the hearing, Back attorneys said the executives would appear but would not testify. Senators Rob Portman and Claire McCaskill, however, said their subcommittee found Back had been far more complicit in sex trafficking than ly known.
It was to shut down their site," they said in a statement. The move by Back also came on the heels of a criminal action in California, where attorney general Kamala Harris filed charges of pimping and money-laundering against Back CEO Carl Ferrer and the company's controlling shareholders, Michael Lacey and James Larkin.
Those charges were tossed not long after, however, as a California judge ruled the site is protected by the Communications Decency Act. Earlier in the day, the U. Supreme Court said it wouldn't hear an appeal from three sex trafficking victims who accuse the site of helping to promote the exploitation of children.
The justices left in place a lower court ruling that said federal law shields Back from liability because the site is just hosting content created by people who use it. The women say they were sold as prostitutes in Massachusetts and Rhode Island through advertisements for escort services on the site when they were as young as Back has also faced a legal battle in Washington that went all the way to the state supreme court there, and by mid the three big credit card companies announced they would no longer allow credit card purchases for adult on the site. Like the decision by Craigslist to remove its adult category inMonday's announcement is the culmination of years of effort by government at various levels to exert pressure on Back.
Lacey and Larkin had decades of experiences in journalism, at several alternative press papers. They eventually came to own the Village Voice in New York inbut had helped originate Back, along with Ferrer, in response to Craigslist's dominance cutting into their advertising revenue. As Craigslist's woes reached their peak, Back experienced rapid growth, and Lacey and Larkin sold all their media properties in to concentrate on the lucrative ad business.
Ferrer, based out of the Netherlands, was named CEO two years later. The company has vowed to continue its legal battles, which have become an important test for the entire internet industry of whether online platforms can be held liable for the content posted on their sites. CBC News Loaded.
Business Back. Social Sharing. A federal judge threw out the lawsuit and the federal appeals court in Boston upheld that ruling.
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