Advertising is essential to keeping the sex industry running smoothly. Pimps and traffickers post dozens of ads a day on websites like Backpage. Since most prostitution is advertised online, credit cards are necessary for sex buyers to pay pimps. Ads for prostitution have generated about $9 million a month for Backpage, a major site for online trafficking. When credit card companies hit the pimps where it hurts the most, this is a big win for the movement to end the business of sexual exploitation – prostitution.
Congratulations to Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart of Chicago, who wrote the credit card companies about Backpage profits, “Key to this growth is the sense of normalcy that credit card institutions provide by allowing traffickers to pay for their ads with credit cards, just as if they were placing an ad for a used car… That flood of ads makes the practice of buying sex appear increasingly normal and harmless to johns across the country. As the demand then rises, the supply – women and girls – is increased, often through coercion and violence.”