Attorney General Rob McKenna Demands That Backpage.com Explain Itself (And So Do 44 Other AGs)

Comments

1
Looking forward to more awesome analogies from Backpages spokespersons.
2
Attorney General Rob McKenna demands that you pay attention to him during his election cycle with this free publicity!
3
Why wouldn't they be upfront that there's prostitution on their site? Last year backpage specifically said they'd take over the worldwide online business Craigslist shuttered, twenty AGs and allied fundies having hounded Craig Newmark into it under protest. Backpage hasn't exactly shied away from saying, this is First Amendment-ish, we're like an ISP not a content provider, we're cooperating best we can but unless Congress changes legal protections for ISPs we'll protect our business all the way.

Since last year the media buzz was sorta quiet for awhile so McGinn stepped in locally, happy to use the Stranger as a model - nobody wondering if Mike Nipper checking a dozen ID's every week is quite applicable to backpage's worldwide online presence. It makes political sense the AGs would come back to chase the spotlight our mayor brightened so. The political ecosystem is flourishing here. (Wonder how many AGs besides McKenna are running as GOP governor candidates right now?)

It's gonna be fascinating to see how backpage works its resistance with so much heat coming down now. They must have planned for it. The most unexpected thing for them is probably the mild annoyance of seeing Mike Seely think he can help by getting his whole foot into his mouth like he does.
4
Nipper doesn't check the IDs for people wishing to place escort ads. There's a dedicated sales rep who handles all of that. Just sayin'.
5
Something's not right here. How come the first comment isn't asking what the Stranger's age-verification policy is?
6
@5, perhaps because the first commenter actually read Eli's post, in which he explained The Stranger's age-verification policy?
7
@4, thanks, just a rhetorical flourish, though I was sorta enjoying the thought of sex workers coming in to prove themselves to Nipper.
8
@6 - yes, I know. I was attempting snarkiness because it seems like every time there's a Slog posting on this, someone very quickly asks what the Stranger's policy is. (I've never checked to see if it's the same poster, though.)
9
Thanks for posting the update from one of their legal team: one of that Chicago guy's partners in his Technology, Media & Communications practice is Scott Turow.
10
@2: Agreed. And could there be a louder plea to THINK OF THE CHILDREN? Now if I'm against McKenna I'm pro child sex-traffiking. Great.
Stranger Folks: This is an important issue, but do ya have to post the giant McKenna promo shot & let him take bragging rights for a national movement during election time?
11
Stranger readers would be advised to read the Times version of this press conference for a more balanced report, in particular the details of court rulings and applicable laws which make any legal actions by McKenna, despite what's hinted at in Eli's friendly story, virtually impossible; the real motivation behind this is McKenna's campaign and his undying impulse to be heard on any moral issue he might like to raise if it could help him get elected. Someone ought to tell the AG there are laws against pandering.
12
Here's what bothers me about this whole thing:

First, the Stranger transparently has an interest in making life as difficult as possible for VVM. Not that I really care about VVM or any of its papers, but there's a vested interest here which leads me to take whatever's said here with a grain of salt.

More importantly, I'm not in the least surprised to find that this is making the jump from "we have to prevent child prostitution and exploitation of minors" to "we shut down all the escort ads on Craigslist; let's do the same thing here." That makes me suspect that the child exploitation thing is a trojan horse used to accomplish the real aims: going after escorts. And while I'm on board 100% with the former, I've got no beef whatsoever with someone who wants to make a living through sex.

Of course, VVM brought this on themselves with their age verification procedures. But I gotta say, after reading this article, I'm not at all sure I like where this is heading.
13
here here 12

prohibition? same problems. legalize it and you can regulate all the shit people dont like. dont fucking drive prostitution further underground, its like any other thing- abortion, weed, religion- it will be just more dangerous.

LEGALIZE IT!

CMON STRANGER!