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The company rejected the subcommittee’s findings, saying the decision was the result of “unconstitutional government censorship.” “For years, the legal system protecting freedom of speech prevailed,” Backpage said, “but new government tactics, including pressuring credit card companies to cease doing business with Backpage, have left the company with no other choice but to remove the content in the United States.” Backpage has been the target of multiple lawsuits and investigations in recent years focusing on its adult ads, and its founders and executives are currently fighting money-laundering and pimping charges in California.
The ads for escorts, body-rubs and adult entertainment, many of them including revealing photos as part of the come-on, were an important source of revenue for Backpage, which operates like Craigslist, with users paying to advertise a range of goods and services.
The report found that the company used a feature that automatically scrubbed words such as “teenage,” “rape” and “young” from some ads, while manually removing terms from others.
The subcommittee also alleged that Backpage founders James Larkin and Michael Lacey still own financial stakes in the company, despite claiming that they sold their shares roughly two years ago.
Much of Adult Swim's general content is known for their experimental, risqué, unorthodox, crude, dry, and improvisational humor, along with purposefully cheap-looking animation, and often bizarre presentation.
In 2005, the block was granted its own Nielsen ratings report from Cartoon Network due to targeting a separate demographic.
Attorneys for the men say the charges are baseless.
Backpage said in a statement that scrutiny of the site by government officials has made it too costly to keep operating the adult section.
The panel has been investigating Backpage since June 2015.
Initially, the company refused to turn over subpoenaed documents, but a federal court ordered the company to comply with the probe last summer. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Claire Mc Caskill (D-Mo.), who spearheaded the investigation, said Backpage’s decision to close the adult section showed that it was “complicit” in online sex trafficking. It was to shut down their site,” the senators said in a statement.
The block features stylistically varied animated and live-action shows including original programming, syndicated series mainly consisting of Fox animated programming, short films, original video animation, and anime, generally with minimal or no editing for content.
In the United States, Adult Swim has frequently aired adult animation features, anime, mockumentaries, sketch comedy, live-action, and pilots.