Tell the Washington Post to Stop Supporting Brothels
  • Petitioned Ken Babby

This petition was delivered to:

Vice President of Advertising, The Washington Post
Ken Babby
Ombudsman, The Washington Post
Andrew Alexander

Tell the Washington Post to Stop Supporting Brothels

    1. Sponsored by

      Polaris

  1.  
  2.   
September 2010

Victory

The Washington Post was one of the few major newspapers in the U.S. which advertised for massage parlors and escort services, often used as thin veneers for brothels full of trafficked women. After Polaris Project and other anti-trafficking organizations, as well as over 4,000 Change.org members, asked them to stop advertising for trafficking, they did. Now, this success has inspired other activists to ask their local papers to pull similar ads

Update: On the heels of Craigslist's shutting down of their adult services section and Backpage.com's lawsuit from a child trafficking survivor, The Washington Post has announced they will no longer run ads for massage parlors. The announcement comes after over 3,400 Change.org readers and several NGOs complained that these massage parlors are often fronts for human trafficking operations. The WaPo's decision exemplifies the continued trend of businesses making socially responsible decisions

The Washington Post is one of the few remaining large U.S. newspapers that accept advertisements for massage parlors, many of which are thinly veiled, legal fronts for brothels.  The women in many of these brothels are lured by human traffickers under the guise of a legitimate job but then forced into prostitution, subjected to manipulation and false promises, threatened with harm to family members, and/or coerced through debt bondage.

The Washington Post is one of the primary sources used to find these types of brothels in DC Metro Area, through ads in the Sports section.  The Washington Post's disregard for this reality and lack of action to stop the ads makes it complicit in sex trafficking and sexual violence against women. 

Most other well respected newspapers, including The New York Times, Boston Globe, and Los Angeles Times have long banned advertising for certain massage parlors, spas, and other related fronts because of their connection to brothels.  However, The Washington Post is not only turning a blind eye to the victims of human trafficking in brothels, but also profiting from advertising them.

Help end The Washington Post's support for and advertising of brothels by letting them know that it is unacceptable and inexcusable, and that they should stop advertising for them immediately.   Please take action by signing and adding your own message below (as individualized letters are more effective than form letters), and sending it to The Post today.

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