The Backpage.com was a popular site in the United States, up until recently when it was brought down by the federal government. The FBI raided the site in April and seized it.
They also raided the homes of the former owners of the site and arrested them. Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin were the founders of the site and used to run it until 2015 when they sold it. They are now behind bars for allegedly committing crime through the site. According to information which has been seized by the FBI, the site supported prostitution.
Although it was a marketplace for people to sell second-hand goods, it is said that some people were selling sex in full awareness of the owners. This matter has brought great controversy about the rights of the people to express themselves freely. Read more: Phoenix New Times | Wikipedia and Village Voice Media | Wikipedia
According to the First Amendment, the right of the people to express themselves cannot be overridden by anyone or anything. When Michel Lacey and Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey established this site, they wanted to give the people a platform to express themselves freely according to the powers given by the constitution. It however seems s someone in government have a different interpretation of the matter.
Lacey and Larkin have given the people a platform to express themselves, and that should be the end of their liability. They have no powers to stop others from expressing themselves when they are riding on the same provisions of the law.
Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin will now be in court facing accusations of money laundering, conspiring to commit a crime and benefitting from illegal prostitution.
However, despite all these allegations, they are not ready to quit on what they stand for, they will defend themselves to the end and reinstate the right of the people to express themselves. It is the second time that they are being placed behind bars for allegations of committing crimes using this site. They had another court case where they were accused of supporting pimping. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: https://frontpageconfidential.com/fbi-arrest-michael-lacey-jim-larkin/ and http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/the-enduring-sins-of-joe-arpaio-michael-lacey-and-jim-larkin-speak-out-in-response-to-trumps-pardon-of-americas-worst-sheriff/
The case was thrown out by the charge based on the fact that the First Amendment had not been contravened by the two. All they had dome was to give the people a chance and a platform to speak their mind without fear. The judge insisted that there is no crime in giving people a platform to speak their mind. The same case is likely to happen in the current court case that they face.