Introduction to the Backpage
Backpage.com was an online classified advertisements website that was established in 2004 as a rival to Craigslist by the alternative newspaper chain New Times Media/New Times Media (which would eventually become known as Village Voice Media or VVM).
Backpage is an online classifieds website similar to Craigslist that enables users to post advertisements in a variety of categories, including automotive, personal, jobs, rentals, and adult services. It didn't take long for it to overtake Craigslist as the second most popular online classifieds site in the United States.
As a result of pressure from state attorneys general and other opponents, Craigslist was compelled to shut down its "adult services" section in 2010. These individuals stated that the site enabled users to engage in illegal activities such as prostitution. Backpage emerged as the primary winner after the majority of the adult advertising market that had been hosted on Craigslist was moved to other websites.
Former Craigslist detractors were compelled to turn their attention to Backpage, which had resisted efforts to regulate the site until January 2017, when it finally shut down its adult section ahead of congressional hearings.
Backpage.com, the plaintiff
Plaintiff The website known as www.backpage.com is home to the online classified advertising business that is run by Backpage.com. Backpage.com serves as a host for millions of advertisements from all over the world each month, making it the world's second largest online advertising business. Backpage.com's website is also the second most visited website in the world. The classified ads are organized into many categories, including state and city, local region, work and community, trade, purchase-Sales, rent, real estate, musicians, employment, dating, adults, and services. Backpage.com users are the ones who develop and publish the advertisements on the website. They must pay between $5 and $10 to post an ad in the adult part, whereas only $1 is required to submit an ad in the dating section. Users also have the option to post advertisements for free. In addition to the several alternative payment choices, customers of Backpage.com have the ability to pay an ad cost using a credit card. See generally Dkt.
If a user on ID comes across an advertisement that does not adhere to these guidelines, that person has the ability to report the advertisement to Backpage.com by clicking the link labeled "Report ad" that is located within the advertisement that they keep. When the user does so, they are taken to a page where they can report an ad and select whether or not the ad has "inappropriate or unlawful information," "uploaded too much spam," or is in the "wrong category." Users are instructed to send an email to email@example.com if an advertisement "appears to contain images of threats to a child or child exploitation." This instruction is found in ID F. the webpage.