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For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Raquel Guillory, 410-576-6357

Attorney General Gansler Calls on to Shut
Down Adult Services Section

BALTIMORE, MD ( September 21, 2010) - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler today joined 20 other state attorneys general in calling on to close its adult services section to fight prostitution, human trafficking and sexual exploitation of children. The attorneys generals’ request comes after craigslist earlier this month complied with a request from the attorneys general that it shut down its adult services section. Craigslist and backpage are two of the nation’s largest online classified ad websites.

“Although we appreciate these efforts and the cooperation the site has demonstrated since we began our investigation in 2009, more needs to be done,” stated the attorneys generals in a letter to backpage officials. “We are writing to request that you immediately take down the adult services portion of backpage.

“We believe that ads for prostitution -- including ads trafficking children-- are rampant on the site and that the volume of these ads will grow in light of craigslist’s recent decision to eliminate the adult services section of its site. In our view, it is time for the company to follow craigslist’s lead and take immediate action to end the misery of the women and children who may be exploited and victimized by these ads. Because backpage cannot, or will not, adequately screen these ads, it should stop accepting them altogether.”

The attorneys generals urged the company to take steps to prevent migration of prostitution ads into its personals section, including charging for and manually reviewing all personals ads.

In addition to Maryland, attorneys generals from the following states signed the letter to backpage: Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia.


Attorney General of Maryland 1 (888) 743-0023 toll-free / TDD: (410) 576-6372
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