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Known as the most popular adult classifieds in the world, backpage was launched in 2004 by new times media, and the owner was Atlantische Bedrijven CV, who launched it originally as a free classifieds with the goal of attracting users with its simple and easy to use design. Within just a number of years, it quickly became the  second-largest classified website in the united states online; it included various sections that were also available in the newspaper classified section.

The site also included adult-oriented personal ads, adult services and also new-age services, such as tarot card reading and psychic services. You could say there was something for everyone depending on what you’re looking for.

When did adult become prominent on backpage?

In terms of categories what they provided was very similar to what you found on craigslist, with w4m being the most popular category. Before they were shutdown by the US Justice Department. Like craigslist, doublelist, tinder, and countless other popular dating applications, people also used backpage for hookup reasons and meeting people for casual encounters, but backpage featured ads from sex workers more clearly escorts, with whom the clients could connect with their providers.The site still wasn’t gaining popularity due to this it got popular around the prostitution world because it allowed the escorts to carefully screen the clients before actually meeting them face to face.

Ride of the Adult section

Until the start of January 2017, the back page featured a category which contained different subcategories of various sex work. The company was forced to suspend its adult sections due to the accusations made by the subcommittee of united states senate that backpage is directly involved in sex trafficking and sexual exploitation of the minors. Many social activists have argued that this action will lead the sex workers to work from the street and will guarantee no safety.

What role has backpage played in safety on the internet?

Backpage played a major role in the internet’s future because its establishment was closely linked to the communications decency act of the united states. When the site first faced accusations of sex trafficking by the senate subcommittee their attorney defended the accusations based on the communications decency act which basically means that services like these cannot be charged with online users posting criminal content on certain websites, such as prostitution ads which are illegal in America.

The FOSTA bill

Sesta-fosta bill became law in April 2018 and was signed by President Donald Trump. This law was basically designed to stop sex traffickers and to fight with online sex trafficking. This law acted as a huge blow for the backpage defence because it stripped away any protection for sex trafficking, and any website promoting sex trafficking-related content will be charged and will eventually face criminal prosecution. Tlaw has had a serious impact on some of the online websites, craigslist shut down its personals section while Reddit cracked down on multiple subreddits which were made forsex workers, and WIX also started removing sex workers websites. Boy how these times have changed.