Village Voice Media Responds to Religious Coalition

In response to a full-page ad placed in The New York Times by a coalition of 36 clergy members, Village Voice Media — which owns Backpage.com — has responded with a letter of its own.

The religious coalition is demanding the closure of the Backpage adult classified section to prevent the trafficking of minors, to which VVM points out that it has consistently worked with the FBI and local police to combat sex trafficking.

The company says it had planned to share this information in a meeting with the coalition, however the open letter from the clergy “left out both the coalition’s request for a private dialogue aimed at solutions, as well as Backpage.com’s acceptance of the request, and offer to fund air travel for all interested clergy.”

It is true that, in carrying out their crimes, criminals continue to utilize services such as cell phones by Verizon and AT&T, and overnight delivery services such as FedEx and numerous internet sites . But that does not shift the blame from criminal predators to legal business operators.

If someone is caught shipping contraband through the Post Office, we do not shut down the U.S. mail.

Complicated issues require sophisticated solutions, not PR flurries.

See the full response here.