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January 11th 2017
Mom Searching For Missing Daughter Finds 'Adult' Ad On Site, Then Spots The Hearts. After 8 Years, They're Finally Being Held Accountable
Nearly eight years after a mother found explicit pictures of her missing teenage daughter on a classified ad website, the site has finally agreed to shut down its “adult” section.
As CBS News reports, Kubiiki Pride’s 14-year-old daughter had been missing for nine months, when she decided to do a little investigating of her own.
Several months earlier, Pride’s daughter had run away from home, but it soon became clear that something terrible had happened to the teen.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Pride was in bed around 4:30 a.m., once again searching for her daughter, when she decided to scroll through the “escorts” section on Backpage.com.
Eventually, she found a post surrounded by childlike hearts that gave her a bad feeling.
One look at the photo told Pride everything she needed to know: it was her daughter.
"My first emotion was complete happiness. Just seeing my child alive made me so happy," said Pride, who lived in St. Louis at the time. "When I took the whole picture in, that's when I noticed the nakedness, the tattoos and the other woman in the pictures."
Pride would later learn that her daughter had been the victim of child sex trafficking for months before her mother finally found her sick ad.
According to CBS News, a shocking 70% of prostitution ads are nationally credited to Backpage, and a number of them are posted by sex traffickers and pimps.
While Pride attempted to bring a civil lawsuit against Backpage, she lost.
According to a Senate report, Backpage has been accused of teaching its users, who pay for ads on the site, how to post clean content—even if they are advertising illegal goods and services.
The report also claims Backpage has repeatedly failed to report illegal underage activity to the police.
“It was clear they were trying to clean up these ads,” Sen. Claire McCaskill, who is on the Senate committee that is investigating Backpage, said.
“We found the emails where they were saying take out words like ‘cheerleader,’ ‘daddy’s girl,’ ‘teenager,’ ‘amber alert,’” McCaskill said. “Not only were they changing the content, they were coaching their customers on how to write the ads so that they could avoid being labeled as a child sex trafficker.”
Although Backpage has finally shut down its “adult” section this week, Pride says her daughter is still recovering from what happened to her.
“She’s still very much broken. She was trafficked for nine months. She was raped. She was physically abused,” Pride, who will appear in the upcoming child trafficking documentary “I am Jane Doe” with her daughter, said.
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