Obfuscation By Circumnavigation Puts Ortega In No-Win Situation

More details out today following the explosive news we first reported to you in our last post about a young woman who had been one of the many children trafficked by Backpage.

The young woman — who has requested anonymity in the case — was bought and sold to be raped during a time when Tony Ortega was busy haranguing the nation, trying to convince us all that we were taking the issue of child sex trafficking far too seriously.

What happens when two adults find each other through Backpage.com?” Tony Ortega once infamously asked his readers, “I couldn’t tell you…

Couldn’t tell us or wouldn’t dare to, Tony?

With the benefit of years of investigation under our belts, we here at the blog can tell you with full confidence it was most certainly the latter. Tony Ortega must have had full knowledge of the dangerous game Backpage was playing by employing the shady marketing company Salesforce (also named in in the young woman’s suit) to cover its tracks.

Using a shameless tactic utilized by sophisticated organized crime outfits across the decades, Backpage tasked Salesforce when they hired their services back in 2013 to engage in a highly unethical practice known as ‘obfuscation by circumnavigation.’

As the young girl’s lawsuit makes clear:

Backpage.com was the leading and most notorious marketplace for online sex trafficking and commercial sex in the United States between 2004 and 2018…This was in large part due to the custom-ready data and marketing tools designed by Salesforce, tailored to Backpages operation.”

According to the complaint,by using this tailor-made marketing smoke-screen Salesforce netted Backpage more than $135 million by the end of its first fiscal year, primarily from its illegal ads for sex.

The lawsuit goes on to explain that:

Salesforce provided extensive customer relations management and marketing support for Backpage.com and helped Backpage thrive and operate on a much larger scale than before.”

To suggest that Tony Ortega, whose Village Voice was a direct beneficiary of this ‘thriving, much larger scale operation’ was unaware of what was going, or where this sudden influx of dirty money was coming from, is nothing short of utter lunacy.

Could this be why Tony Ortega hasn’t so much as breathed the name Backpage since his unceremonious firing? To admit he knew what was going on would be to expose himself to legal jeopardy, to deny under oath he knew what was going on would be to expose himself to potential perjury.

For a dyed-in-the-wool con man like Ortega it is a no-win situation.

Indeed, at that point, no amount of obfuscation or misdirection could stop the courts from bringing him to account for the part he played in purposefully trying to throw an outraged public — and by extension, the authorities pursuing the case against Backpage on our behalf— off the trail.

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