The controversy over Backpage, a website where users can pay to be photographed, groomed and catered to is heating up in Japan.
The Japanese website, which has been around since 2005, has become the target of several lawsuits.
It was sued in 2009 by former employees of the website’s parent company, Megaupload, and others, and again last year by the FBI, which claimed it had received more than 1,000 complaints about the site.
In May, Japanese regulators announced that they would take action against Megaups parent company in the country.
The site is still operating under the name Megauptop, but the operator has decided to change its name.
In Tokyo, a petition has been started to change Backpage to Megaup, but only if the site’s operator also changes its name in Japan, according to an Associated Press report.
“It would mean that the website was not the same in Japan as it was in the United States,” said the petition’s author, who goes by the online handle 李公山乱.
“In other words, it would mean a complete reversal of the change of ownership.”
In addition to a petition on Change.org, Megalocas owners are also demanding an apology from Megauplink, which was shut down last year.
“We’re not going to sit by and allow this to continue to happen, and we hope this will be a catalyst to change the company,” the petition reads.
“Backpage is a huge company that’s responsible for millions of people’s lives.”
The petition is also calling on Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to “change Megaupplink’s name, and start a new company that is owned by a Japanese citizen and operated by Japanese nationals, as well as in a legal framework.”
In a statement, Megaroop, the parent company of Backpage in Japan and Megaupeop in the U.S., said that Megaupet would continue to operate under the new name.
“The site Megauperop has always been a wonderful resource for millions, and it will continue to be a great resource for people in Japan,” the company said in a statement.
“Megauperoop’s parent has never asked for any financial compensation for its efforts to improve its customer experience and it has never engaged in any type of illegal activity.”
This is our duty, and our goal is to maintain the highest standards of conduct and to continue operating as Megaupay as we always have.”