Stories taken down, message says feds have seized it

A screenshot shows the message posted to Backpage saying it had been seized
The message posted to Backpage's website. Screenshot of Axios Visuals

Federal authorities shut down, according to a message posted to the site on Friday, saying that law enforcement agencies had seized the classifieds site accused of hosting ads linked to illegal sex trafficking.

The bigger picture: Backpage has increasingly faced criticism — and lawsuits against the site spurred legislation passed this year to make it possible for trafficking victims to sue websites that knowingly facilitated the crime. Some people engaged in sex work expressed concern a crackdown on sites that host their ads would put them in danger.