Mayor Mike McGinn said city departments could begin advertising in Seattle Weekly for the first time since July 2011 now that its new owners have distanced themselves from Backpage.com, a listing service that has been accused of exploiting minors for illegal sex trade. But that doesn’t mean he’s done fighting Backpage.com’s business practices.
“We appreciate the decision by the Seattle Weekly to disassociate from Backpage.com,” said McGinn said in a statement. “But the fact remains that Backpage.com continues to be an accelerant of the sexual exploitation of children. I remain committed to working with state leaders and mayors across the country to stop Backpage.com’s abhorrent profit-driven practices.”
State Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, said she would keep up the crusade against Backpage.com even though the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Washington blocked implementation of Senate Bill 6251. The law would have made it a crime for companies to advertise people in sex ads without verifying the age of the person in the ads, but a Backpage.com lawsuit against the state prompted the court-ordered injunction against it.
“By requiring age verification of those depicted in the ads, Backpage.com’s revenue would have a relatively small impact,” Kohl-Welles said in a statement. “Instead it chose to sue the state to block implementation of our new law.”