Craigslist censored? It’s been a long time coming. The so-called “Craigslist Killer” recently committed suicide in his jail cell, and it was that murder case which really opened up the lashing against the popular online classified ad site.
“Adult Services” has been replaced by a big black “CENSORED” block which is not clickable to users within the US. It is in this section where prostitutes, adult masseurs, and escorts posted their ads.
Of course, it’s only a matter of time before these so-called censored craigslist adult sex ads flood the personals section.
Several Attorney Generals of various states, including Arkansas, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia sent a letter recently to Craigslist stating that they haven’t done enough to block illegal prostitution and child trafficking made possible through their site.
The site takes the position that they are too big to painstakingly police all of the ads that were posted on this section of the site. This is a similar stance held by eBay when confronted over the sale of questionable items.
The CEO of eBay Jim Buckmaster said “Is moving advertising around our best hope for addressing these harms? Then the ads fall under personals, and how long before the demand is that we shut down personals? And where do those ads go next? What other sections of our site would they like us to shut down?”
Back in 2008, a prostitution ring was busted in Memphis Tennesse. Four people were arrested including the prostitutes, the driver, and the person running on the online service. Shelby County Sheriff deputies made arrangements via the site to meet women, and when they did the women agreed to perform sex acts for money. The arrests were made possible thanks to Craigslist.
A CNN video report showed Amber Lyon confronting the Craig behind Craigslist after posting an ad on the site. The phone rang off the hook for the “sweet, innocent” girl that posted the advertisement. It is apparent from the phone calls received that those responding to the ads were looking for prostitutes.
It comes as no surprised that Craigslist is being censored. Protecting underage children is crucial, and sex trafficking shouldn’t be tolerated. However, at which point does one start “going overboard”? Perhaps there is a way that can be negotiated to keep the Adult Services section up and running, while ensuring that Prostitution and Child sex trafficking doesn’t occur.
If Craigslist simply raised their post pricing to cover the cost of additional workers monitoring the site, instead of filing expensive lawsuits the problem would pay for itself. Those looking for a quick cheap way to exploit women would no longer want to pay the increased price, where legitimate companies that receive a good deal of their business from this site would be willing to pay the increased pricing.
Furthermore, law enforcement could still use Craigslist rather economically to bust both prostitutes and Johns – similar to the Memphis Craigslist prostitution bust of 2008.
San Francisco Gate
Memphis News Channel 5