He likened reviewing those ads to checking ID for minors attempting to buy alcohol: "If it were 100 percent effective, you'd never have a minor buy a bottle of beer or get drunk in any bar anywhere."

It's more like a minor advertising their home microbrewery.
The people at Village Voice and the Weekly should stop talking. Right now.
Translation: "We're not minimizing the problem at all! But seriously, it's not that big a deal."
The alcohol analogy makes no sense.
Does law enforcement believe that Backpage provides a service for it?
... At least now I know, If I don't get a call back from MSNBC about Cenk Uygur's old spot, the SW may be looking for a new editor soon...
No one bought that service-for-law-enforcement argument when it was Craigslist, either.

Also, when you have fruit flies and you put out a bowl of fruit, you just give the flies a place to breed and end up with more flies. Better to use a bottle with a narrow opening and wide bottom, partly filled with vinegar and water.

Didn't Mistress Matisse make that same argument about wasted resources in her column last week, addressing the very same issue?
*vinegar, water and a drop of soap to break the surface tension.
Dude needs to learn how to make a point without repeatedly relying on cartoonish similes.

Or hey, here's another simile for you, Mike Seely: This is sort of like a situation where someone is pimping out kids and instead of stopping, he just keeps talking out his ass in an effort to cover it. Sort of. I mean it's not exact but you could make some comparisons there.

Politicians did something similar years ago, going after child porn, they basically pushed Time Warner and Comcast to ditch their NNTP (newsgroup) servers, which in no way eliminated any child porn because the actual pornographers just used a different NNTP server.

So you can force the weekly to verify age, but it probably wont solve the problem as people will use another service, or send someone else to submit ID in person.
SW is really getting tonedeaf with their kneejerk defenses. You don't counter the polarizing stupidity of Ashton Kutcher with an equally un-nuanced reply.
It's too bad that with such interesting questions being raised about justice and child protection and federal funding and adult sex workers and online commerce and journalism and junk science, this zero-sum routine is all we got today.
@11: you said it! It's becoming sort of painful to watch SW and VVM digging the hole deeper and deeper.

That said, there's plenty of hypocrisy in this "debate" for everyone to have a piece. Though even one case of child exploitation is too much, the data is pretty shady, maybe not locally, but the national stats suffer from the same alignment issues that a lot of aggregated data have.

There is an industry around the advocacy. Researchers and academics benefit; law enforcement benefits; politicians certainly benefit. After all, who wants to be the one saying that, "yes, it's a terrible travesty when a underage minor is prostituted, but we have to place this policy problem in the context of all of the issues we face." Reminds me of the current debate over certification of meningitis vaccine for the national CDC/ACIP program.

And, frankly, there's a good bit of schadenfreude around these parts (sorry, Eli). Yes, we all hate the Weekly. It's a corporate rag that sucks and it's core readership are Audi-driving MSofties who live in Wallingford and wear birkenstocks. But it strikes me that a holier-than-thou attitude from the Stranger regarding adult services -- not legal, maybe, but ethically defensible -- might have a little more to do with sticking it to the Weekly than a commitment to a cause.

So, yes, VVM needs to do something about Backpage. They're clearly looking the other way because money is being made. If Craiglist can shut it down, they should too. But let's not all congratulate ourselves for seizing the moral high ground and finally putting an end to the child prostitution problem.

Also, fuck Ashton Kutcher.
What a mealy-mouthed prick.

Just how damn expensive would it be for VVM to open a hole-in-the-wall office, where someone could check I.D.s?

Hey, but any sculpting away at corporate profits (i.e., top executive salaries, only, of course) is a crime far worse than trafficking children.
So everyone is going to take the mayor at his word on these 22 children? Seriously, let's have the details, are we talking about an 10-year old kid being pimped out by some stranger or a 17-year old girl runaway who took the ad out herself? And if we're talking about 17-year olds lets stop using the word "children" just to hit people's hot buttons.
We're creating a society ruled by edge cases. Some people make meth out of decongestants so everyone must show ID (or even in some states get a prescription) to get them. Some people abuse pain meds so now restrictions make it difficult for people in real pain to get meds. Some people get drunk and crazy so it's illegal to have a beer in the park.

And now there are a few hundred arrests for underage prostitutes based on online forums and so everyone must show their ID to place an adult services ad. Does anyone really think that's going to stop someone who really wants to advertise underage prostitutes? Really?
Woah, so is this the end of The Seattle Weekly? Nice.

Please wait...

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