Ashton Kutcher & 'The Village Voice' Go to War on Twitter!

The actor trades insults with the New York newspaper over the facts surrounding child sex trafficking

One thing everyone agrees on is that child prostitution is abhorrent. After that, though, opinions on the subject diverge.

Ashton Kutcher and The Village Voice newspaper are currently battling on Twitter over the legitimate number of child sex slaves, and the best way to help teens in trouble.

Kutcher and his wife Demi Moore are longtime advocates for sex trafficking awareness, and they run the DNA Foundation, whose mission is to eliminate child sex slavery and human trafficking. In an April 18 interview with Piers Morgan on CNN, Kutcher, 33, reiterated a University of Pennsylvania finding that there are "between 100,000 and 300,000 child sex slaves in the United States today" -- a figure also used by the New York Times, USA Today, the U.N., C-Span, the Orphan Justice Center and others.

Two months later, The Village Voice came out with a story saying that the paper had researched the issue and found that the figures were way too high. "There are not 100,000 to 300,000 children in America turning to prostitution every year. The statistic was hatched without regard to science. It is a bogeyman," the paper says, adding that police make only about 800 child prostitution arrests a year.

The piece sparked an all-out Twitter war between Kutcher and The Village Voice. Among the actor's tweets were: "Hey @villagevoice if you ever want 2 have a productive conversation about how 2 end human trafficking as oppose to belittling my efforts {let me know}," and "Hey @villagevoice speaking of data, maybe you can help me... How much $ did your 'escorts' in you classifieds on backpage make last year?"

The last tweet was a reference to the fact that Village Voice Media, which owns Backpage.com, an online classifieds site, runs ads for escorts.

The Village Voice hit back about Kutcher's "Twitter tirade," with such comments as "@aplusk We debunked your numbers, and showed that real problem is teen homelessness and drug use," and "Any underage prostitution is repugnant, so @aplusk, how about treating real underlying teen problems, not pushing imaginary sex slave myths?"

As Kutcher and the paper continue to snipe at each other on Twitter, both sides may have inadvertently done a good thing by bringing way more attention to the issue than it might otherwise have garnered.

Ultimately, both sides are fighting the good fight to bring an end to child suffering. But we'd love to see them put an end to their feud, team up and use their considerable resources to find solutions to a harrowing problem.

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