Judge Dismisses Sex Trafficking Lawsuit Against Village Voice Media

A federal judge in St. Louis has dismissed a lawsuit which accused Village Voice Media of knowingly allowing a pimp to advertise the sexual services of a minor on Backpage.com:

Backpage.com’s alleged actions aren’t distinguishable from “any other website that posted content that led to an innocent person’s injury,” U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Mummert III said in his order Monday. “Congress has declared such websites to be immune from suits arising from such injuries.”

The ruling affirms what VVM argued when the lawsuit was initially filed:

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 recognized that the very nature of the Internet meant that vast traffic depended on the ability of citizens to post directly onto websites like Backpage.com, Facebook, MySpace or eBay, or to have search engines like Google and Yahoo find postings without pre-screening or censorship. The responsibility, under the law, rests with the person supplying the post.

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