Backpage.com to Suspend Certain Areas of Personals and Adult Sections While It Implements Solid Defenses against Misuse In a Proactive Effort to Protect its Advertisers, Users, and Minors Backpage.com Calls For Creation of National Task Force to Fight Illegal Users of Online Classified Sites

PHOENIX, Oct 18, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Backpage.com, a leading online classifieds site, today announced the immediate suspension of certain areas of its personals and adult sections of the site while it continues to develop technologies, features and programs specifically tailored to prevent the misuse of the site and its services. Backpage also calls for the creation of a multi-stakeholder national task force to create best practices in the online classifieds industry to help stop the ability to advertise illegally. Backpage looks to work with its industry brethren like YellowPages.com, Twitter, Yelp, Youtube, and Eros.com, as well as state Attorneys General, law enforcement, and child advocacy groups in solving the challenges facing today’s online classified and personals industry.

“Backpage.com is committed to the safety and security of our users and we recognize the urgency of implementing solid defense mechanisms to combat those intent on misusing the site,” said Steve Suskin, Backpage.com spokesperson. “We are pleased to have already identified some significant changes and are working diligently to implement them.” In addition to the immediate suspension, Backpage.com has begun the process of implementing the following changes to the site to ensure that content posted is legal and consistent with the sites usage policy: The review of all ads and images in the personals and adult sections of the site. The implementation of key word searches to quickly identify banned advertisements and inappropriate discussions. The significant increase in staff to quickly identify illegal ads. The implementation of roadblocks to prevent minors from accessing mature content. The implementation of dedicated tools on the site to educate users regarding online safety and security. The empowerment of users to report abuse and an expeditious process to handle user complaints.

“We’re at the forefront of new frontier in online classified advertising and must join together to create a national task force to overcome the challenges it brings,” said Hemanshu Nigam, Founder, SSP Blue. “I am very pleased with the commitment that Backpage executive leadership has shown in protecting its community and making positive critical changes.” Backpage will continue its productive and cooperative dialogue with state Attorneys General, especially Generals Blumenthal and Koster who are leaders in this area.

For more information about Backpage.com, please visit http://www.backpage.com.

About Backpage.com Backpage.com is a leading online classified site where most categories are free to post. Backpage.com includes partnerships with local newspapers, alternative newsweeklies and other media outlets nation-wide with the goal of bringing new visitors to the site in order to increase user created classified ad visibility.

Backpage.com is dedicated to making sure the site is user-friendly and has technology in place to fight spam in addition to providing users with cutting edge technology tools. Founded in 2004, Backpage.com has grown to be a major online classified site in the United States.

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