US police have shut down TheReviewBoard.net, one of the best known and highly used escort review forums in the Seattle area.
TheReviewBoard.net operated for several years. The site describes itself as
Seattle hobbyists and providers gather to share information, or chat in a relaxed environment.
The website's home page has now been hijacked by police and shows a message indicating it has been:
Seized pursuant to a promoting prostitution investigation conducted by the King County Sheriff's Office, the Bellevue Police Department, the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
According to KIRO-TV, eight men associated with TheReviewBoard.net site were arrested for promoting prostitution, money laundering, and various other charges.
The Sex Workers Outreach Project, known as SWOP, condemned the
site's seizure and noted that there is resulting collateral damage.
SWOP believes the closure of TheReviewBoard.net is the latest in a long history of abuses of people in the sex trade that puts these communities in
more vulnerable and often more dangerous situations.
Along with raids, attacks on web-based communities like TRB harm both native and non-native sex workers. In addition to a discussion forum, TRB functioned as a free advertising
platform for adult workers. Many adult workers in the Northwest relied on the site as a low-barrier and free way to advertise and work without management, indoors, especially subsequent to MyRedbook's closure new barriers for using Backpage to advertise.
Capri Sunshine, a local sex worker and the SWOP-Seattle media coordinator, said:
The site was valuable to a lot of sex workers. It was free, undocumented workers without ID or credit cards could use
it, and it was where most girls got the majority of their work