In a blow to police entrapment stings around the country, backpage.com has censored its escort and other adult advertisements. Beginning just this past Monday, the site showed all of this content as “censored” and linked to a press release.
“Washington, D.C. - As the direct result of unconstitutional government censorship, Backpage.com has removed its Adult content section from the highly popular classified website, effective immediately. For years, the legal system protecting freedom of speech prevailed, but new government tactics, including pressuring credit card companies to cease doing business with Backpage, have left the company with no other choice but to remove the content in the United States.”
This is similar to what the government previously did in order to pressure the same types of changes on Craigslist.com.
We expect that this will be a massive blow to police departments around the country, including in South Carolina. This is because police departments have been using backpage.com as their “go to” site to create deceptive ads that are intended to entrap people into their prostitution stings.
The same escort and other adult themed ads remain available on backpage.com, they have simply moved to the women seeking men personal section. However now if the police wish to run their false advertisements, they have to do so in a forum not designated for sexually oriented materials but instead for ordinary personals. This will open up additional lines of defenses available for those accused that the police techniques constituted unlawful entrapment. We anticipate that this will have somewhat of a chilling effect on these police stings, hopefully saving many from these arrests.
The Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., represents individuals charged with solicitation and other prostitution offenses throughout South Carolina. This includes representation in Greenville, Lexington, Columbia, and Charleston. If you have been charged with solicitation and are interested in defending your legal rights contact us for a free consultation.
JRS Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC