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USA: American Express, Visa & MasterCard prevent their cards from being used to pay for sex ads on Backpage.com

Critics claim the site is used to sexually exploit young women and plays a role in sex trafficking in the USA by hosting thousands of ads for prostitutes.

The company is suing an Illinois sheriff for damages after he convinced the credit card companies to stop processing payments for sex ads listings on the site. Liz McDougall, a lawyer for Backpage.com LLC, said the goal of the lawsuit "is to ensure that one elected official, particularly a county sheriff, cannot dictate what speech is or is not appropriate."