In Fort Lauderdale, Florida, police arrested 33-year-old Garrett W. Frazier. Frazier is accused of placing an ad on Backpage for a room he was renting out. Police say the problem is he was renting it out to underage prostitutes and taking a cut of the money they made. Luckily the prostitutes and customers were actually Fort Lauderdale police. Now before everyone goes around crying entrapment I would imagine that there was something in Frazier’s Backpage ad that made it enticing for pimps and prostitutes.
One of the charges levied against Frazier is living off the earnings of a prostitute which makes me wonder. If individuals can be charged for making money from prostitution shouldn’t Backpage be charged as well? The ads they carry are not free and it’s obvious to even the simplest of minds that they’re for prostitution so why isn’t Backpage being charged.
Of course the answer to the is The Communications Decency Act of 1996 which absolves Backpage of the responsibility of what their users do no matter how illegal. As I’ve said previously I doubt in 1996 that Congress ever imagined that websites would be using this act to protect and profit from the sex trafficking of women and children. 18 years is ancient in internet terms and this law has become archaic. It’s past time that the government got together and passed a new law where sites like Backpage couldn’t profit from prostitution.
It’s not a free speech issue it’s a free people issue.