A blog for escort business entrepreneurs

The Blueprint Blog is often updated with tips, ideas, and advice for entrepreneurs interested in opening and operating an escort service.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Backpage Indictment Part Two: The Moderators

I am linking the indictment as I know some of you really looked forward to reading it. I have almost finished it and could assess it in two minutes, but I won't. Instead I will return and edit this post in the next couple of days when I have more time. Time is scarce today.

First and most importantly, I must apologize to the moderators in India hired by Backpage owners and operators to moderate all ads submitted on the website. The “India Team” did everything correctly and tried to do their jobs. Apparently, they were stopped at every turn and even threatened with being fired if they didn't follow instructions. The instructions from owners of Backpage were truly stupid. Yes, stupid is the most accurate term to describe it.

Read #s 43 through 64 to see how this team in India actually tried to do what they were hired to do! Again my apologies to the outsourced India team. Backpage owners obviously forgot where they live.

Read the indictment here:



EDIT on APRIL 12, 2018 @11:30PM

I took the time to read the indictment paragraph by paragraph, which wasn't hard as it's just around 60 pages, and I have reached several conclusions. First let's be clear that this case has nothing at all to do with FOSTA / SESTA.

My first reaction was gut-wrenching disgust when reading about the victims, especially the deceased victims. In all honesty here, if I had a child who died because she was advertised on this platform and they ignored my emails begging them to remove images of my underage deceased child, I'd probably hunt one of them down. All of the money in the world wouldn't help them.

Someone who knows the owner / former owner personally reminded me that the government lies. Well, yes, of course they do. I have never forgotten that. How could I forget it when I am still publishing documents from the Paul Bergrin case? Except that Paul's case is based on criminal informant testimony – around 20 criminals seeking time off their own sentences – and recordings that have clearly been tampered with and were made by criminal informants to begin with. Yes, the government is a big liar in the Paul Bergrin case.

However, this case is mainly paper based. The Paul Bergrin case was anything but paper based. This case is more like the My Redbook case or even the Silk Road case. Everything you publish anywhere on the internet is not considered free speech. Everything online is not entitled to a First Amendment defense. That's just not how it works. As much money as the Backpage group was making, you would think they would have had top-notch attorneys advising them along the way. You would think, right? The fact that they didn't shocks me.

If I ever believed that everything I published online was entitled to a First Amendment defense, I would have created my own Backpage a long time ago, before it existed. I have always known better. If I'm wrong – look out, because here I come and I will be replacing Backpage for you. No need to cry anymore.

Many seem to dislike, and even despise, my statements on this case. My statements are and have always been reality and fact-based. Not going to sugar-coat your information for you. I try to be nice and sometimes I do sugar-coat, but not when the discussion is a legal case. I'm sort of surprised that an attorney hasn't informed the BP defendants of the reality of the situation at this point; it is dire.

Once again, this case is paper based. The US government has been prosecuting money laundering cases for decades and they know how; they do it all day every day. As far as the rest of the case is concerned, I do not consider the First Amendment to be a viable defense, but let us all watch and see. Time will tell. 

 

Sunday, April 8, 2018

A Discussion on the Online Classifieds Situation: Part One

This will be a bit different than the post I had intended to compose over the weekend, mainly due to the Backpage indictments. According to what I read, there are 7 people indicted with a total of 93 counts. I checked PACER this morning and again a few minutes ago and still see no case filed, however, PACER still states that they are doing maintenance on the site. A new case may not show during maintenance.

The indictment of defendants related to Backpage is still sealed, which I attribute to the feds not having all 7 defendants in custody yet and/or all properties secured that they intend for forfeiture yet. Usually this is the reasoning when an indictment is in the news, but is still sealed. But usually you can still see the case and file entries in PACER and just the specific document is noted as sealed.

At any rate, I'm not going to wait for the government to unseal the indictment to post here. As soon as it is available in PACER, I will grab a copy and link for you in Part Two of this post. It is obvious to me that this indictment is not related to FOSTA / SESTA and is over previous acts no matter how many people state differently. The President has not yet signed FOSTA / SESTA into law, but no doubt he will soon enough.

I should think it would be obvious to you that the online classifieds related to adult business are changed forever at this point. You can fight, you can argue, or you can learn from the situations in play today. I always choose to learn. I only fight when I'm forced to fight for my life, which I certainly did in the court case I suffered through long ago. Mentioning the court case, Memoirs of an Accused Madam: The War on Adult Business in Orlando is free until April 20th. The link directly to the PDF is HERE. Read it – it is enlightening, especially in view of the current events in play.

I could predict how online classifieds will be evolving in the not-too-distant future, but I won't bother. The bottom line is that most of you lived much better before Craigslist erotic services, Backpage adult services, TER ads etc... existed. And I have already discussed the so-called verification services in a post long ago here, so I won't be doing that again – find it and read it.

You will find many sex worker activists who tell you the opposite of what I am saying here, but let's face it – If these sex workers didn't try to jump all over each other competing, the problem would not exist. But we all knew it had to happen with the rampant problems, the explicit and obnoxious acronym-filled ads, the constant undercutting of the other guys' prices etc.... If all of these factors didn't proliferate over the last 10 years, we wouldn't be having this discussion. Backpage founders and managers wouldn't be facing indictments and other online platforms wouldn't be disappearing.

I was looking around on Twitter yesterday and will confidently state that I am not alone on my viewpoints. Many (both sex workers and escorts) are happy about the end of Backpage and the soon-to-be ending of the rest of the online ad platforms. Why? Prices and that they've been pushed to make compromising statements in their own ads (or starve) because of the explicit, sleazy low-ballers on these platforms that probably came from the streets. Most escort services will be ecstatic to see the lot of them gone! I had a sex worker activist tell me that many of these sex workers are (and have been) having trouble making their rent. Who goes into sex work to struggle paying rent? Clearly the problems are serious.

Escorts and sex workers are not the same thing. Escorts and entertainers are often interchangeable terms though. I have explained my views on defining escort services in the Blueprint books and won't repeat myself here. I had a short argument with one angry sex worker activist a couple of days ago and she sounded just like the jerk that prosecuted me, the MBI agents that harassed me for many years, and in general she utilized the same theme that they all did. Nope. Not going to play. I only fight when I fight for my life so I corrected her absurd attack, exited, and then deleted her. She clearly despises escort services and had the audacity to compare them to pimps exploiting the poor little sex workers. You've got to laugh, except as I've stated, these tools have ruined it for everyone.

As agency owners you really need to be cautious of your new applicants as many would throw you under a bus for an extra $20... don't forget that. Do not allow these activists attempting to wash clearly illegal behavior write your narrative for you! How legal was Silk Road and the drug sellers on the site? Was taking down Silk Road censorship? Ask yourself these questions. I am all for total legalization of both drugs and prostitution, but at this point neither are legal. You are in the US (most of you), so wake-up and realize where you live.

I do place some level of blame on these platform owners. I read that Backpage had a team in India checking ads before they posted. Well, this is what happens when you outsource everything. The team would be unaware of what is legally acceptable and what falls in a gray area. It has been a couple of years since I even looked at Backpage, so I really do not know what they allowed to pass. I'm sure we will all find out when the indictment is available. 


Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Changes with Adult Businesses Online: FOSTA

If you have not heard of FOSTA (Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act) at this point, you're probably not online and not reading this post. My opinion on this act is irrelevant, but it does change the playing field for escort services and independent escorts, especially in the area of online marketing and advertising.

If you listened to what I have stated in the Blueprint books, you shouldn't have a problem because you already have a Yellow Pages presence and your own website(s). You are not spending major $s advertising on TER and you definitely do NOT advertise in Backpage, where all of the independents flock. You're a service and you never belonged among the indys.

From what I see, Backpage has removed the adult services listings, TER has removed the classifieds, and numerous other platforms are falling in lockstep. I do not blame any of them. As an escort service, this actually leaves you in a better position. Numerous platforms had far too many explicit ads for independents and the reviews that confirmed the services offered. I'm surprised they lasted as long as they did and now the big party is over.

Any thoughts or opinions on the effects of this Act so far?

I will post on this blog again soon on the topic – later this week – and just hope to hear your thoughts at this point. Feel free to post anonymously or contact me privately.