If the name ‘Backpage’ rings a bell that’s because it bills itself as the ‘world’s top online brothel’, a forum for escorts to find clients and needy customers to find prostitutes. Backpage picked up a literal SHIT TON of press when ‘Zola’s crazy stripper story‘ went viral and got picked up by every news outlet in the world. If you remember that story from Zola Moon then you’ll remember that in the story Backpage was used for the hooker to find clients. According to Alexa.com, Backpage is the #370 ranked website in the United States (in terms of traffic) and 1,061 worldwide.
Well, Backpage is back in the news but this time around there’s nothing entertaining or amusing at all. The CEO of Backpage.com, Carl Ferrer, has been arrested and charged with a slew of sex-related crimes. This arrest was part of a crackdown by California Attorney General Kamala Harris who has criticizing Backpage ‘for profiting from the sex trafficking of adults and children’, according to the LA Times.
Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer has been charged with multiple counts of conspiracy, pimping, and pimping a minor. In addition to the CEO both founders of Backpage.com, Michael Lacey and James Larkin, were also charged with conspiracy to commit pimping in a criminal complaint that was filed back on September 26th. The founders are not in custody but the L.A. Times reports there are warrants issue for their arrests. In addition to founding Backpage.com Michael Lacy and James Larkin are also the former owners of the Village Voice, a nationwide publication, and Phoenix New Times.
At its core, Backpage is an ‘online classifieds’ service just like Craigslist, only Backpage is the mecca for sex workers looking for clients and clients looking for prostitutes, and unlike Craigslist users/posters pay for ads and a SHIT TON of sex-worker-related money goes into the pockets of Backpage. You can hop on the ‘dating’ and ‘adult’ sections of Backpage and have an escort/prostitute at your front door within minutes, and that’s something which has allowed Backpage to grow immensely over the years.