Backpage.com
By Lisa Marie Segarra
April 7, 2018

Classifieds site Backpage.com was seized by the FBI on Friday, taking the site down.

Backpage.com is known for its adult escort listings. However, users can post listings for other services, including buying or selling items or job-related posts.

It’s not the first time Backpage has faced scrutiny over its sex work listings. Credit card companies stopped processing payments for ads on the site in 2015, according to the Huffington Post. Last year, ads for those listings stopped appearing on the site altogether, the New York Times reported.

The latest news comes after Congress passed the Stop Enabling Sex Trafficking Act, which is meant to target sex trafficking. In light of the act’s passing, Craiglist removed its personal ads section.

Sex workers and other Backpage users voiced their concern online about the seizure of Backpage.com and money they spent on the site before it was taken down.

The notice of the seizure on Backpage.com does not provide details on why the page was taken down beyond saying it is part of law enforcement action by the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the IRS and other local enforcement agencies. The image on the site adds that more information was supposed to be provided at 6 p.m. Friday. However, Nicole Navas Oxman, a spokesperson for the Department of Justice, said in a email to Wired, “The Court has ruled that the case remains sealed and we have nothing to report today.”

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