Judge Dismisses Lawsuit vs. Backpage.com

by

comment
Gavel01_thumb_250x250.jpg
A federal judge in St. Louis on Monday dismissed a lawsuit filed last year against Riverfront Times' parent company, Village Voice Media Holdings, and its online classified site, backpage.com.

The suit, filed on behalf of an unidentified 14-year-old girl, alleged that the company and its classified site knowing allowed a convicted pimp, Latasha Jewell McFarland, to purchase online ads soliciting the minor for sex.

In dismissing the lawsuit, U.S. Magistrate Thomas Mummert acknowledged what VVM has argued all along: that VVM is protected by the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which states websites cannot be held accountable for what others post on them.

Wrote Mummert in his dismissal:
Plaintiff artfully and eloquently attempts to phrase her allegations to avoid the reach of (the act). Those allegations, however, do not distinguish the complained-of actions of Backpage fromany other website that posted content that led to an innocent person's injury. Congress has declared such websites to be immune from suits arising from such injuries. It is for Congress to change the policy that gave rise to such immunity.

Tags

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.