One of the Internet’s largest providers of sex-related advertisements — a company that claims to abhor human trafficking — is fighting a Washington State law that allows criminal prosecution for posting sex ads with minors.
Backpage.com, which is owned by Village Voice Media, scored a 14-day temporary restraining order halting the law, which was due to take effect Thursday, the Associated Press reported.
The law, Senate Bill 6251, allows the criminal prosecution of classified advertising company representatives who publish sex-related ads featuring children.
“We are gratified that the court acted quickly and definitively to prevent the harm posed by (SB 6251),” Liz McDougall, general counsel for Village Voice Media, told the AP. “We believe human trafficking is an abomination that must be stopped. But SB 6251 is not the answer.”
Backpage is arguing the law is written too expansively and is unconstitutionally vague.
But Washington state Attorney General Rob McKenna is fighting back.
“Backpage executives claim to be allies in the fight against human trafficking,” he told the AP, adding that their lawsuit is designed “to kill a law written to reduce the number of minors posted for sale online.”
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