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They enlisted support from musicians, politicians, journalists, media companies and retailers.The campaign created a greater public dialogue, both pro and con, regarding Backpage. On October 6, 2016, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced that Texas authorities had raided the Dallas headquarters of and arrested CEO Carl Ferrer at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston on felony charges of pimping a minor, pimping, and conspiracy to commit pimping.The site included the various categories found in newspaper classified sections including those that were unique to and part of the First Amendment-driven traditions of most alternative weeklies.These included personals (including adult-oriented personal ads), adult services, musicians and "New Age" services.
In 2004, in response to this phenomenon, New Times Media (later to be known as Village Voice Media), a publisher of 11 alternative newsweeklies, launched a free classified website called Numerous NGOs and others contend that the potential harm done by a website that features a section for adult posting is far greater than any actions the site may take to aid law enforcement.In many cases, the critics of Backpage say that these efforts are less than is necessary or possible.Some companies including H&M, IKEA, and Barnes & Noble canceled ads for publications owned by Village Voice Media. The California arrest warrant alleged that 99% of Backpage’s revenue was directly attributable to prostitution-related ads, and many of the ads involved victims of sex trafficking, including children under the age of 18.
Over 230,000 people including 600 religious leaders, 51 attorneys general, 19 U. senators, over 50 non-governmental associations, musician Alicia Keys, and members of R. M., The Roots, and Alabama Shakes petitioned the website to remove sexual content. The State of Texas was also considering a money laundering charge pending its investigation.
Most of the criticism has centered on the charge that Backpage is used to market minors (i.e.