Full Article: http://abcnews.go.com/US/girls-sold-sex-online-backpage-defends-decision-ads/story?id=16193220#.T-spYCt26Fc
“Megan is one of the thousands of American teens who fall victim to commercial sexual exploitation every year. Although sex trafficking is a major problem in the developing world, the U.S. Department of Justice estimates more than 250,000 youth are at risk domestically, and studies indicate the Internet could be making the problem worse by increasing demand. According to Shared Hope International, an anti-trafficking organization, the average age of entry for female prostitution is 13 years old.
And while there may be consensus that the exploitation of underage girls online is a problem, there is a white-hot debate over how to stop it. At the center of the storm is Backpage.com, which hosts an estimated 70 percent of the web’s online prostitution ads. Critics say it’s also a hub for the sex trafficking of minors, and have been mounting a public campaign to pressure Backpage to shut down its adult services section.
Despite Backpage screening their ads to look for minors, police around the country told “Nightline” they routinely find underage girls advertised on the website. But, the company argues, while Backpage might be part of the problem, it can also be part of the solution, by working with law enforcement to catch the pimps who are selling minors…”