Lawsuit alleges email platform facilitated sex trafficking

A woman has filed a lawsuit alleging she was sex-trafficked as a result of using a certain email platform.

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She is suing Mailchimp, saying the company allowed a sex trafficker to match a victim with an online market for sexual exploitation, according to Buzzfeed News.

The lawsuit will test the immunity of tech platforms from legal responsibility and damages.

Tech companies have been protected since 1996 by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act from being held liable for content posted on their services.

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In 2018, however, President Donald Trump signed a law removing that section's protections when it comes to facilitating sex trafficking.

The suit claims Mailchimp worked with the site YesBackpages, a copycat site of the previously shutdown Backpages, which facilitated sex trafficking.

An email promoting YesBackpage, sent via Mailchimp, landed in the inbox of a trafficker who had withheld a Wisconsin woman's identity documents and physically forced her into sexual exploitation and made her provide sexual services, according to the woman's lawyer.

YesBackpage did not respond to a request by Buzzfeed News for comment.

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A Mailchimp spokesperson told BuzzFeed News that YesBackpage was no longer a client and declined to discuss the specifics of the suit.