CHICAGO • Visa Inc. said on Wednesday it is aing MasterCard Inc. and American Express Co. in barring its acclaim cards from actuality acclimated to pay for ads on Backpage.com afterward a appeal from a Chicago sheriff who said the armpit is acclimated by traffickers.
Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart said that “escort” ads on Backpage.com and agnate classified announcement sites accomplish up the foundation of a -trafficking industry that preys on the adolescent and vulnerable.
Earlier this week, he asked both Visa and MasterCard to cut off any affiliation with the Backpage.com “adult” section.
“Visa’s rules prohibit our arrangement from actuality acclimated for actionable activity,” agent John Earnhardt said in a account on Wednesday. “Visa has a continued history of alive with law administration to aegis the candor of the acquittal arrangement and we will abide to do so.”
MasterCard agent Seth Eisen said on Tuesday the aggregation agreed to stop acceptance the agenda to be acclimated on Backpage. American Express had ahead disallowed the use of its agenda for developed ads on the site, said backer Sanette Chao.
This leaves alone Bitcoin, an cyberbanking currency, to pay for Backpage developed ads, which Dart said will accomplish agreement the ads abundant added difficult.
“We accept no aboveboard angle that we’ll end prostitution, end trafficking, end corruption of children,” Dart said. “What we’ve capital all forth is to accomplish it added difficult and accomplish (traffickers) easier to catch.”
Liz McDougall, Backpage’s accepted counsel, said in an email on Tuesday the aggregation had no comment. She could not be accomplished on Wednesday.
Backpage offers forums to acquisition attached and advertise goods, like added classified announcement sites, but its primary acquirement beck is through its developed page, according to Dart’s office.
Cook County Sheriff’s badge accept fabricated added than 800 arrests back 2009 stemming from Backpage ads, Dart’s appointment said.
“We acclaim these acclaim agenda companies for authoritative it added arduous for traffickers to accumulation off of the corruption of people,” said Bradley Myles, CEO of Polaris, a Washington-based anti-trafficking group.
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