In 2011, Backpage was the second largest classified ad listing service on the Internet in the United States after Craigslist.
Backpage came under fire starting in 2011 for allegations that their adult services subsection was used for prostitution and human trafficking, particularly involving minors, and that the company took insufficient steps to prevent these practices.
Until January 9, 2017, Backpage contained an adult section containing different subcategories of various sex work professions (escorts, erotic masseuses, strippers, phone sex operators, etc.).
Near the turn of the 21st century, Internet-based classified advertising, particularly the website Craigslist, was having a significant impact on the classified advertising business in newspapers nationwide.
Prostitution is illegal throughout the United States, except for some counties in Nevada.
Kristen Di Angelo, executive director of the Sex Workers Outreach Project of Sacramento, criticized the shutdown, questioning how many sex workers across the United States no longer had a way to support themselves.
Backpage is a classified advertising website launched in 2004.
It offers classified listings for a wide variety of products and services including automotive, jobs listings, and real estate.