Pimps and Publishers
Where does the first amendment’s protection of a free press end and sex trafficking begin? That’s the question asked by Kate Knibbs over at The Ringer. Her story follows rise and fall of the founders of the Phoenix News Times as they build an alt-weekly empire; sell it to focus on a classified advertising site, backpage.com; then find themselves in legal trouble as the site became the internet’s go-to brothel. At issue is whether or not the site is acting just like any other publisher, however objectionable its content, or whether it’s founders designed it specifically to facilitate the online sex trade.