Internet

Craigslist: Making Prostitutes and Cops Safer and More Successful

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clients?

A great piece from Slate on how attorney general grandstanding has made life worse for cops and prostitutes:

Leading the campaign against Craigslist prostitution is Richard Blumenthal. The Connecticut attorney general, hot off a war on Facebook and MySpace for their alleged exposure of young people to sexual predation, started a crusade against Craigslist last March. (He was joined by 39 more attorneys general in November.) Sure enough, when Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster announced the company's decision to kill the site's sex ads, Blumenthal and his supporters declared victory. What exactly has Blumenthal won, though? By organizing and consolidating a sector of the informal economy, Craigslist was certainly helpful for sexual-service providers. But it also was a major boon for law enforcement, which could centralize its sting operations—thanks to Craigslist, a bust was only a mouse-click away. While the death of the erotic-services section is a PR win for Blumenthal—and for Craigslist, which can claim that it's cleaned up its act—it's terrible news for sex workers, who will lose a measure of safety, and for beat cops, who will now find it harder to crack down on the sex trade that Blumenthal supposedly wants to end.

Not sure the folks at Craigslist consider this a win, though. They're calling this a "witch-hunt" and suing the attorney general of South Carolina for similar P.R. stunts.

More me on prostitutes here. Me on online predators here. And me on Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, here.

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  1. and for beat cops, who will now find it harder to crack down on the sex trade that Blumenthal supposedly wants to end.

    Well that is a bit of a silver lining to craigslist’s backing down.

  2. Well, in Nevada they’re still running prostitution ads in the “adult services” section, though toned WAY down, both in pics and text.

    In Hawaii, the CL “adult services” section has no ads in it at all. Nada.

    Dunno where the hookers are advertising now, besides the yellow pages under escort services.

  3. Those sure look like Katherine Mangu-Ward’s feet. Discuss

  4. From the local alternative paper online classified ad section.

  5. I’m confused. If Craigslist was such a great place to bust people, why was it so popular?

    Protection of the herd?

  6. I don’t use Craigslist. From what I can tell, it’s the ghetto of the internet. Whatever it is you’re trying to do on Craigslist, there’s a much better site you could be doing it on. Want to find true love, eHarmony or Match.com are gonna be much better bets. Wanna sell some old stuff for a few bucks? Try ebay. Reality sites, job hunting sites, social networking sites, etc. etc. all better than Craigslist.

    Same is true for prostitution. Craigslist sex adds weren’t a blessing for anybody. The junkie whores, and disturbed johns that hooked up there weren’t any better off for having done so.

    1. eBay is a great place to sell stuff- if you want to pay fees, get ripped off by paypal (just look up “Paypal horror stories” or “beware of paypal” on google) and have to deal over the internet. But Craigslist is and has been a great place to deal locally, if you just follow the rules on the page and use common sense.

  7. That picture might run afoul of the anti crush-porn law.

  8. Warren:

    Tell me where I can peruse free stuff available for pickup within my neighborhood? (With pics?)

  9. FEET? THE URKOBOLD COMES TO READ A PROSTITUTION THREAD AND THERE’S A PICTURE OF SOME FEET? WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?

    VIRGINA POSTREL WOULDN’T HAVE ALLOWED THIS TO HAPPEN.

  10. You gotta love a hooker who brings her own gerbils.

    The junkie whores, and disturbed johns that hooked up there weren’t any better off for having done so.

    I suspect that the parties to the transaction would beg to differ. And their opinions are the ones that count, no?

    1. Hear! Hear! Well said.

  11. Warren, if you would just add “…and get off my lawn” to your little rant there, it would be perfect.

    You do realize that craigslist lets you post ads for selling stuff for free, right? No charge like putting something in the paper; no percentage taken when/if you sell, like eBay.

  12. Craigslist is great for buying and selling stuff locally. Free is nice, and it works pretty well from what I’ve seen.

    The wife and I recently bought two loft beds (bed on top, desk on the bottom) when we conned the boys into sharing a bedroom. Retail, we would’ve dropped $1,500. However, by using eBay (local search) and Craigslist, we were able to find two almost identical lofts for around $150 each. The Craigslist loft bed was in the next neighborhood!

    We also used Craigslist to buy a ginormous desk for $200 (retail nearly $800).

  13. CL only had that “erotic services” section in the first place to get the spammers out of the personal ads.

    -jcr

  14. What exactly has Blumenthal won, though?

    Exactly what Richard “New England’s Spitzer” Blumenthal wanted: publicity for his attention-whoring self. He’s going to be governor of CT one day, and he’s merely getting his ducks in a row first to assure his electoral victory.

  15. Used furniture on craigslist is awesome. Also the best place for used cars. The cheapest, the widest selection, and unlike ebay, not every single person on there is trying to scam you. It’s more like 70%.

    Why yes I am a penny pinching miser why do you ask?

  16. thanks to Craigslist, a bust was only a mouse-click away

    Evidence, please?

  17. EPISIARCH’S CHARACTERIZATION OF BLUMENTHAL IS CORRECT, BUT THE URKOBOLD HAS A QUESTION: WILL THE WHORE THAT BRINGS HIM DOWN BE MORE ATTRACTIVE OR LESS ATTRACTIVE THAN SPITZER’S?

  18. GOD DAMN YOU, VIKING MINION, ANOTHER TYPO DURING DICTATION? WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?

  19. Who is this “Urkboold”?

    I’m hoping Blumenthal’s will be a boy, or a goat, so I can’t really speak to attractiveness on that.

    1. Well I can tell you from the way he talks about women that he’s a misogynist, for one.

  20. Why yes I am a penny pinching miser why do you ask?

    I like the way you think

  21. THAT’S THE FUCKING TYPO! VIKING MINION, YOU HAVE TAINTED THE URKOBOLD’S GOOD NAME AND FEDERALLY REGISTERED TRADEMARK!

    HMMMM, TAINTED? THAT GIVES THE URKOBOLD AN IDEA. NO, KEEP TYPING WHILE YOU SCREAM, VIKING MINION.

  22. Warren, others beat me to it but I’ll add my 2 cents – Craigslist is the LEAST ghetto place on the internet, at least in a major metropolitan area. You take the bad with the good but it’s not very hard to filter out the scams.

    I’ve found an apartment, a house, a car, several bikes, a motorcycle, and most of the furniture that I had in my bachelor pad on there. You really are missing out if you haven’t been taking advantage.

  23. Episiarch,

    Urkobold is a bunch of folks who try to be humorous; sometimes they even pull it off. 😉

  24. I’m still pissed that Craigslist folded…Screw those Attorney Generals…

  25. Seward,

    Rarely, and only when under extreme duress.

  26. So it’s back to the street corner for MNG?

  27. Pro Libertate,

    Yeah, roughly 95% of their jokes fail something like this.

  28. Those attorney generals and cops should be arrested for participating in prostitution if they went on a date with a woman, spent money on her, and then had physical relations with her.

    They are johns and their dates are prostitutes. Arrest those fuckers.

  29. Well, the DAs are making noises they are going after “other” adult services sites. Which makes me wonder if the TER or the other review sites are next. Perhaps Date Check.

  30. “… me on prostitutes here. Me on online predators here. And me on Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, here.”

    I sooo wanted those links to be pictures. The hopes and dreams of millions dashed.

  31. There is over a 1,000 yr history of cracking down on prostitution with the only result of moving it to another venue.

    In the good old days of street walking, law enforcement would concentrate on an area of high use and would shut it down in that area but it always reappeared somewhere else.

    Same is true for internet prostitution – which btw, got the whores off the street which used to be the big complaint.

    I think us John’s will be OK:

    eros.com, backpages.com, girldirectory.com, cityvibe.com, femalecompanions.com, escortdaddy.com, escorts.com, foxylocalescorts.com, uniqueescorts.com, escortkisses.com, adultfriendsfinder.com, adultaction.com, switchboard.com, cityoflove.com, sexyescortads.com, naughtynightlife.com, independentladies.com, escortcityguide.com, epicdreams.com, eroticserviceproviders.com, usaescorts.com, insiderpages.com, openadultdiretory.com, cuties.com, sipsap.com, + thousands of local pages.

  32. It’s getting to where just about everything I want to say to politicians starts with, “Look, stupid…”

  33. I’m hoping that Craigslist beats the snot out of the DAs, then backpage.com can ride their coattails.

  34. One wonders if we’ll ever stop putting whores, douchebags, and fucking idiots in office.

    Isn’t that the unstated theme of almost every discussion post here? That we can’t stop electing to office jackoffs who subvert the Constitution and make us poorer, dumber, and less free? We’re like children, who simply can’t see past the short-term gain we think we’ll get by putting a Blumenthal in office (“he’ll make us safer”, “he’ll clean up the streets”), to view the loss of liberty that will inevitably follow.

    We get the government we deserve, it seems. I am so frustrated about this sort of thing I’d like to weep, and tear out my hair.

  35. That we can’t stop electing to office jackoffs who subvert the Constitution and make us poorer, dumber, and less free?

    That, my friend, is exactly why the Constitution tried to limit and disperse the power of the State. Because there is no way to keep the levers of power out of the hands of greedy, venal, incompetent, malicious buffoons.

  36. We get the government we deserve

    I don’t. Most of the sheep though get better than they deserve.

  37. This has got to be one consequence that only a few people saw coming, of course I never really used this section of craigslist so I don’t know, maybe a lot of people saw it coming, but it seems a little crazy that an enabler for prostitution has caused such a consequence by being disabled.
    cabinets

  38. Sounds like something that we really should be concerned about. Those people that are looking for “adult services” on craigslist really isnt something that I think should be there. Since kids are on there all of the time and they don’t need to be exposed to all of that. Hopefully this may be blocked somehow or have some way that it can be resolved.

  39. What? Law enforcement (along with anyone else) will be two mouse clicks away from finding advertisements for sexual services now. I applaud the attorneys general and Craig’s List for furthering the cause of decency. Your criticism is too cynical for my taste. As a side note: Those shoes are outrageous!!

  40. That sounds like a tough situation. Could they implement an age verification on craigslist? The attorneys tried to do a good thing, but maybe they didn’t see all the consequences

  41. Craig’s List has always been having problems. The prostitution thing is a little weird for me to hear about though. It’s good that they’ve fixed that. I just wish that Craig’s List would re-design their website.

  42. I can see how this can be good, but I can also see how this is bad. Cops just lost the place where all dumb criminals go to confess their crimes online.

  43. I’m glad that something is being done. This really needed to be addressed. Craigslist needs to be held responsible for their company.

  44. Your efforts to eradicate exploitation of minors through Craigslist’s adult services are certainly commendable. It sounds as though your manual screening has made a difference. However, wouldn’t it be in the best interest of the scores of exploited children, if online adult services were to be discontinued altogether? The private nature of online shopping lends itself all to well to the continued supply and demand for this heinous abuse of young people. Discontinuing all adult services would cut into the profits for such companies of yours; but I believe it would be the most socially responsible course to take.
    http://www.mirei.com

  45. This seems like it’s going to need to be regulated more and more, and not just on craigslist, there are plenty of sites that are out there where people are still soliciting sex and where there are still predators out there.

  46. They may start out with a little card-table and selling a couple of things, but then who is to say what else they have. Is all the produce made there, do they grow it themselves
    Abilene Roofing Company

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