Sex Work

Most "Adult" Ads on Backpage Peddle Prostitution

And the problem is ...?


Nearly 80 percent of the ads posted on the adult-services section of the classified website are for prostitutes, according to an Arizona State University research project that studied content posted on the site during a week in May.

The research project drew on the expertise of law-enforcement officers to identify prostitution ads based on certain commonly used words and phrases and to identify minors based on factors including the girls' development. The researchers compared ads for services offered in Phoenix and in Philadelphia between May 12 and May 20, offering the first detailed glimpse at content on the classified site that has spawned critics around the country who accuse the site's parent company, Village Voice Media, of Phoenix, of profiting off prostitution ads and exploiting women and young girls.