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After a series of court cases and the arrest of the company's CEO and other officials, in early 2017 Backpage removed the adult services subsection from their website in the United States, though said adult services simply moved to both the dating and massage sections of the site.
The Chicago Reader and the Phoenix New Times were pioneers in these operating philosophies.
Numerous NGOs and others contend that the potential harm done by a website that features a section for adult posting is far greater than any actions the site may take to aid law enforcement.
In many cases, the critics of Backpage say that these efforts are less than is necessary or possible.
In addition, they argue that by providing prompt and detailed information about postings to law enforcement when asked to do so (including phone numbers, credit card numbers and IP addresses), Backpage aids law enforcement in protecting minors from such activity.
They also contend that the prompt and complete production of this information results in more convictions for illegal activities and that shutting down the adult section of Backpage will simply drive the traffickers to other places on the internet that will be less forthcoming about crucial information for law enforcement.