Nancy Caldwell couldn’t figure out why her phone wouldn’t stop ringing. The 60-year-old elementary school secretary would receive provocative messages asking about the legitimacy of her pictures and racy courtships from traveling businessman.
Confused, she confronted a caller and asked how they obtained her number; as it turns out, it was listed on Backpage, an online classified board most commonly used for adult services. The site has recently come under fire for its ties to child prostitution and human trafficking.
hands off our internet
So much for “hyperlocal” news as the Next Big Thing. Ad Age Digital reports AOL is preparing to make big changes to Patch. Instead of replacing the vanishing hometown newspaper, AOL chief executive Tim Armstrong says Patch.com is now on course to take on classified ads giant Craigslist:
Backpage.com, owned by the Village Voice, is one of the more controversial web enterprises: according to some reports, it hosts 70 percent of the web’s sex ads. On Wednesday night, there were two protests outside the Voice’s offices in Cooper Square. One was led by radical feminists and evangelical Christians who compare Backpage to a pimp, hoping to shut it down the way Craigslist’s “adult services section” was shut down. The other protest was led by Backpage users: escorts, dommes, and rent boys, who say shutting down the site will run them out of business or onto the streets.