SAN FRANCISCO Jan 9 The online classified
advertising site Backpage.com abruptly shut its "adult" section
on Monday, yielding to a campaign by some state and federal
government officials to close a service they contend promotes
prostitution and human trafficking.
The unexpected move came on the eve of a hearing convened by
a U.S. Senate subcommittee at which Backpage executives had been
ordered to testify. In a letter to the subcommittee that rejects
the legitimacy of the hearing, Backpage attorneys said the
executives would appear but would not testify.
"The decision of Backpage.com today to remove its Adult
section in the United States will no doubt be heralded as a
victory by those seeking to shutter the site, but it should be
understood for what it is: an accumulation of acts of government
censorship using extra-legal tactics," Backpage.com said in a
(Reporting by Jonathan Weber; Editing by Paul Tait)