Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Erotomania: Fighting Over Online Sex Ads

Erotomania: Fighting Over Online Sex Ads


What if the price of having a vital, well-financed string of newspapers included rare, but inevitable, sexual predation of minors?

Not a tough call, right? But maybe more complicated than you think for the businesses involved.

Before you head out for the lanterns and pitchforks, it’s worth remembering that a free press is not free. One of the offshoots of free speech is that it will be used to pernicious ends. In this instance, Village Voice Media has a classified network called Backpage.com that includes a section labeled “adult” with categories like “escort” and “strippers & strip clubs.” The vast majority of ads involves one consenting adult seeking another, but there have been instances in which the section was used to offer minors for sexual ends.

Village Voice Media is controlled by Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, whose weeklies include The Village Voice, Westword and Phoenix New Times. It has an anything-goes approach to advertising, but in a digital age, that policy has new implications.

1 comment:

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