Good for Visa, MasterCard and American Express for deciding to no longer take part in Backpage.com’s blatant exploitation of sex-trafficking victims.
MasterCard and Visa are the latest and largest companies to join American Express in refusing to be used as a form of payment on Backpage.com.
Other businesses should act just as boldly to stop their brands from being associated with a website that reportedly generates millions of dollars every month through online ads for adult entertainment.
Too often these postings are used to sell women, men and children for commercial sex. Backpage.com is the busiest hub on the Internet for sex-trafficking activities, according to law-enforcement officials.
Shared Hope International reports 495 child victims of sex trafficking nationwide have been tied to Backpage.com. Here in Washington, at least one case moving through the courts involves three girls who were sold on the site when they were underage.
Sexual exploitation of anyone, especially children, should not be as easy to purchase as a book on Amazon.com or takeout from Jimmy John’s.”
Attorneys for the classifieds site continually cite free-speech rights and reject any responsibility for third-party postings.
However, sexual exploitation of anyone, especially children, should not be as easy to purchase as a book on Amazon.com or takeout from Jimmy John’s.
The three biggest credit-card brands finally recognized something’s wrong and are refusing to be complicit in Backpage.com’s activities via its adult section.
So far, news reports indicate Backpage.com is still accepting non-credit-card payments, including Bitcoin. It’s also allowing people to post ads for free. Truly shameless.
King County Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Val Richey says reducing the most common payment options won’t make Backpage.com and other copycat sites disappear. But this marks the first time major corporations are taking note of Backpage.com’s role in making money by serving as a front for exploitation.
If Backpage.com refuses to listen to the moral argument for reining in or shuttering its cash-cow adult section, it should be swayed by a potential loss in revenue.