But they certainly imply that there may be more than just a date," she said, adding that pimps will try to minimize their legal liabilty in their postings.
The site recently came under pressure to shut down, and federal authorities are still monitoring the site to catch traffickers and pimps.
But a new study by criminologists from Michigan State University, led by Mary Finn, suggests that this increased police scrutiny on Backpage has just made these sellers of sex harder to detect.
Backpage has ads for escorts and massage—there are these types of professional customer services that are advertised on the site.
The pimps would simply place their ads within those lists of those types of services." Then, she said, they would just put in specific key words to convey to the buyer what the ad was really for."None of these ads say sex.
And according to the study, they're moving into dating websites.
"A popular one among the gay community is the app called Jack'd," one pimp explained.
We wanted to see if that same idea applied in the online world."Her study, which interviewed 100 pimps who actively list on Backpage about how they use the site and the internet in general to manage prostitutes, suggests that these measures to curtail and criminalize sex work on the site are only virtually displacing pimps, not stopping their activity, which is only driving sex work further out of sight.
According to the interviews, these pimps have become savvier about their listings following the crackdown.
In 2010, Craigslist shut down their "adult services" listing section to tamp down on sex work postings amid allegations that rampant trafficking took place on the site.
Critics at the time feared that sex trafficking wouldn't end once Craigslist enacted the shut-down—it would just move somewhere else.
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