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Backpage is a classified advertising website launched in 2004.It offers classified listings for a wide variety of products and services including automotive, jobs listings, and real estate.In an amicus curiae brief, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children says the efforts of Backpage are inadequate and their reporting lacked in several areas.

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Classified advertising in daily newspapers as well as weekly alternatives, suburban papers and community papers was moving to the free advertising model of Craigslist and other smaller websites.

In 2004, in response to this phenomenon, New Times Media (later to be known as Village Voice Media), a publisher of 11 alternative newsweeklies, launched a free classified website called

On his blog yesterday Mr Barrick wrote that online amusement about the newspaper's error had sparked a surge of interest in his artwork, and hinted that the financial burden of the Games on Canadian taxpayers was the motivation for his mischievous creation.

He wrote: "There seems to be a Tweet about this coming up every minute or two.

The day before this started I was amused by the 27,000 hits I got in January.

Yesterday alone I got 120,000 (with about one third coming from Poland) and today is looking like it will top that by at least double." He added: "Maybe I'll just keep the money to help cover the price gouging, raised taxes, disappearing arts funding, and all the other "benefits" we Vancouverites are getting from the games that are kicking me in the back pocket." The four genuine mascots of the Vancouver Olympics and Paralympics were inspired by traditional native creatures.

Liz Mc Dougall, an attorney serving as general counsel for Backpage.com, said that Backpage is an "ally in the fight against human trafficking." She said that the adult section of Backpage is closely monitored, and that shutting it down "would simply drive the trafficking underground." She said that websites like Backpage, that are able to monitor trafficking activity and report it to law enforcement, are key in the fight against human trafficking. have pointed out that the freedoms and potentially the entire fabric of the internet would be threatened if this type of free speech is prohibited on Backpage.

Mc Dougall said that shutting down the service on a cooperative United States–based website would only drive trafficking to underground and international websites that are more difficult to monitor, and are often outside the jurisdiction of U. They cite both First Amendment rights of free speech guaranteed in the Constitution as well as Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

Activists argued that the move would force some of the site's users to work on the street instead.

There has been significant public controversy and discourse regarding the adult section of

In addition, they argue that by providing prompt and detailed information about postings to law enforcement when asked to do so (including phone numbers, credit card numbers and IP addresses), Backpage aids law enforcement in protecting minors from such activity.