Shuts Down its Adult Section After Government Pressure

January 10, 2017, 6:36 AM UTC
Working late at night.
AzmanJaka Getty Images/iStockphoto

The online classified advertising site abruptly shut its adult section on Monday, yielding to a campaign by some state and federal government officials to close a service they contend promotes prostitution and human trafficking.

The unexpected move came on the eve of a hearing convened by a U.S. Senate subcommittee at which Backpage executives had been ordered to testify. In a letter to the subcommittee that rejects the legitimacy of the hearing, Backpage attorneys said the executives would appear but would not testify.

For more on classified advertising platforms, watch Fortune’s video:

“The decision of today to remove its Adult section in the United States will no doubt be heralded as a victory by those seeking to shutter the site, but it should be understood for what it is: an accumulation of acts of government censorship using extra-legal tactics,” said in a statement.

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