Amid all the other action, the Senate took time late Thursday to scold an online classified ads website for its “adult” section, saying it was contributing to child sex trafficking.
The site, backpage.com, appears to allow posters to advertise their services for everything from sexual fetishes to “body rubs,” which Sen. Mark Kirk said in a statement is “a thinly veiled code for prostitution.”
Backpage was owned by Village Voice Media Holdings, and Mr. Kirk and others had been after the company for months to take action. In September, it split, with a new holding company, Voice Media Group, taking over newspapers including the Village Voice, and several executives hanging onto Backpage.com as a separate company.
Mr. Kirk pointed to several instances of gangs or others using the site to force young girls into “sexual slavery.”
“The U.S. Senate will present a united front in the fight against online child sex trafficking,” Mr. Kirk said.