Atlanta Mayor Blames Craigslist For Child Prostitution

from the a-little-confused,-perhaps? dept

Is it really that difficult for politicians to have someone explain the internet to them before they make a public announcement that doesn't make very much sense? Atlanta's mayor has decided to blame Craigslist for child prostitution after finding out that the site was used in some cases for child prostitution (though, the mayor only seems to hint at that, rather than detail any confirmed cases). The article is just as bad, never questioning the assertion, and adding to it by discussing an ad found on the site for a woman who claims to be 21, but the article notes that the mayor's policy advisor "doesn't buy it." Well, that's great. We don't need proof or anything. As long as someone in the mayor's office doesn't believe the ad, then clearly, Craigslist is a den of sin. The mayor's office also doesn't appear to realize that every Craigslist post lets you report it to the site if the post is problematic. Rather than grandstanding, why doesn't the mayor just click the link?

More importantly, though, is that this is placing any blame on the wrong party -- and actually doing so in a dangerous way. Craigslist is simply the service. The people the mayor should be going after are those actually involved in child prostitution. In fact, if they're all using Craigslist, that should make it that much easier for the police to track them down and arrest them. By blaming Craigslist, demanding that it take down these ads and making a big public stink about this, all the mayor's office is doing is pushing those who are really doing illegal activities to move elsewhere where they're less easily tracked and caught. But, apparently going after those who are actually doing illegal activities doesn't get you as much press as blaming some website.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    acm, Aug 23rd, 2007 @ 7:39am

    Meh, hot off the AP wire this morning comes word that the Atlanta City Council is considering a ban on 'baggy pants.'

    City is screwed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Sanguine Dream, Aug 23rd, 2007 @ 7:44am

    I know...

    The next time a child is kidnapped by a molester from a city park the parents of the kid should blame (and inevitalbly sue) the city for allowing the public to access the park.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    RandomThoughts, Aug 23rd, 2007 @ 7:46am

    Funny that the cops there actually use Craigslist to set up stings. Isn't that what you said they should do? Wasn't that clear in the article?

    "Legal or not, Atlanta Investigator Thurman said the vice squad goes to craigslist.org to arrange stings. Police go to the site, arrange to meet a man at a hotel and arrest the man when he arrives, Thurman says"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    RandomThoughts, Aug 23rd, 2007 @ 7:49am

    Sanguine, ummm, don't citizens hold its govt. responsibile for their safety?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    BillGod, Aug 23rd, 2007 @ 7:51am

    Craiglist?

    When I am selling prostitution I stick strictly to overstock.com!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    icon
    Tom Utley (profile), Aug 23rd, 2007 @ 8:03am

    LOL

    I love how this article is written. Your first mistake is assuming that anything anybody in the Atlanta government does will actually make sense or be based in any sort of reason at all. Atlanta government is a joke and anything they say should be taken as a joke.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    LOL, Aug 23rd, 2007 @ 8:09am

    The Mayor is a Retard

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    chris (profile), Aug 23rd, 2007 @ 8:23am

    Re: Craiglist?

    When I am selling prostitution I stick strictly to overstock.com!

    me too, it's all about the big O.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Jeff, Aug 23rd, 2007 @ 8:35am

    Woah

    Hey, give the guy a break, it's Atlanta, he probably drinks a lot.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    RandomThoughts, Aug 23rd, 2007 @ 8:35am

    Prostitution on overstock.com? Would that be fat chicks offering their services?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    GoblinJuice, Aug 23rd, 2007 @ 8:39am

    Ride The Butterhog!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    On One, Aug 23rd, 2007 @ 8:48am

    ATL

    This is coming from the same people defending Mike Vick and still we expect something classier from them...when will we learn?!?!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    The infamous Joe, Aug 23rd, 2007 @ 8:50am

    ...?

    Would these fat prostitutes on overstock.com be under "mopeds"?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    GoblinJuice, Aug 23rd, 2007 @ 8:51am

    Re: ...?

    Fun to ride, but you gotta hide! =D

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    D Man, Aug 23rd, 2007 @ 8:51am

    the real problem

    it all comes down to electricity....with out it you couldn't have the internet and services like craigslist...and with out services like craigslist there wouldn't be any child prostitution. so we just need to shut the power off in atlanta and the whole world will be a better place.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    GMS -, Aug 23rd, 2007 @ 8:52am

    Let's take it further, the crime is kiddie porn, the vehicle is not craiglist, but rather the internet. Perhaps the Atlanta Mayor should go after that guy that own's the internet....what's his name again....damn....I can never remember....I think it's Wilbur from Wilbur's Garage and BBQ pit that owns that sucker

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    The infamous Joe, Aug 23rd, 2007 @ 8:56am

    Re:

    Just go after its inventor-- Al Gore.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Nick, Aug 23rd, 2007 @ 9:04am

    Re: Woah

    Its a 'she'. Name: Shirley Franklin (sp?)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 23rd, 2007 @ 9:05am

    Why is the mayor and his buddies surfing craigslist for prostitutes in the first place? Shouldn't they be working?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    UniBoy, Aug 23rd, 2007 @ 9:09am

    Gov't provided safety?

    Random,

    That's BS. The only safety is what the private citizen provides for themselves, unless you are talking about safety from foreign invaders. We are not a bunch of dumb children who should be standing around helpless waiting for a gov't mommy and daddy to come rescue us.

    Look around at some unsafe incidents. In almost every case, the gov't provided professionals only show up after the fact. For the cleanup.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Sanguine Dream, Aug 23rd, 2007 @ 9:12am

    Re:

    Yes but I don't recall any cases in which a child was abducted and the family openly blamed the owners of the location where the abduction took place.

    John Walsh didn't blame Sears(or whatever story it was) for what happened to his son.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Amazetbm, Aug 23rd, 2007 @ 9:20am

    Re: Woah

    The Atlanta mayor is a woman. LOL.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    RandomThoughts, Aug 23rd, 2007 @ 9:25am

    If the locations fail to exercise reasonable care to prevent harm to victims, they can be held liable. Determining reasonable care is the issue.

    Personally, I think its great that Atlanta actually uses Craigslist to catch criminals. Hopefully Craigslist turns over any information they have (logs, IP's, whatever) to help catch these folks (sex with kids, the prostitution with legal age not so much.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Synonamous Howard, Aug 23rd, 2007 @ 9:31am

    Re: Baggy Pants

    I live in metro ATL. The baggy ban also covers unsightly bra straps.

    Too bad it doesn't cover wearing big ugly flowers...Mayor Franklin and Monica!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Overcast, Aug 23rd, 2007 @ 9:44am

    Yeah, well the internet, DNS Servers, Routers, Operating Systems, Network Cards, Cables, Telco Connections, Power... and more...

    Was all 'used' to provide this too

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Overcast, Aug 23rd, 2007 @ 9:46am

    it all comes down to electricity

    Hehe, well - actually the problem comes down to water. Without Water the power plant wouldn't be able to operate.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Cdog, Aug 23rd, 2007 @ 10:41am

    I suppose we could ban breeding in Atlanta.
    That way they would not have any children to prostitute.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Cdog, Aug 23rd, 2007 @ 10:42am

    I suppose we could ban breeding in Atlanta.
    That way they would not have any children to prostitute.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    MC, Aug 23rd, 2007 @ 11:10am

    Thanks for the sensationalist crap...

    Not only does she not BLAME Craigslist, nor does the article to which this one is linked say she does.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Bill, Aug 23rd, 2007 @ 11:20am

    Re: Woah

    Actually the mayor is a she and not everyone in Atlanta drinks. Mayor Shirley has said and done some less than intelligent things from time to time but over all she's done a good job with the city

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Hulser, Aug 23rd, 2007 @ 11:26am

    Re: Thanks for the sensationalist crap...

    Uh...are you reading the same article I am? The very first sentence says this...
    "Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin has called on a popular Web site to take responsibility for what she said is the company's role in promoting child prostitution."

    Since the "popular Web site" is later identified as Craigslist, how can you construe this as anything but her blaming them?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    icon
    Richard Ahlquist (profile), Aug 23rd, 2007 @ 11:39am

    This from the mayor...

    ...who was part of an advertising campaign last election that said if a republican was elected to one office or another in the city that it would signal a return to the days of using dogs and hoses on folks.. Yeah she is a great person. We should listen to her more often.. NOT.

    http://politicalvine.com/outrage/BroandSistaGrimm.mp3

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    inc, Aug 23rd, 2007 @ 11:48am

    I work at a web hosting company and if we get reports of child porn sites when report it to the FBI and leave the site up. They then find the guy and bust him. If we take down the site right away then the person will probably realize they are caught an flee. Instead of the mayor bing an id10t maybe he should work to catch the sick fucks.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    RandomThoughts, Aug 23rd, 2007 @ 11:59am

    Richard, if a republican was elected it would return the days of using dogs and hoses on folks, since the mayor is a dem, I guess it was right for Mike Vick to off the dogs.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    reed, Aug 23rd, 2007 @ 12:09pm

    Re:

    "Hehe, well - actually the problem comes down to water. Without Water the power plant wouldn't be able to operate"

    Ahh but without warmth from the sun the water would not move at all, so therefore it all comes down to the sun.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Sloth, Aug 23rd, 2007 @ 12:45pm

    Re: reed

    NUKE IT NUKE IT!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    John, Aug 23rd, 2007 @ 1:02pm

    Publiclity

    It all comes down to publicity.

    If the mayor of Atlanta went after "JoeSleaze1234" for using craigslist to look for child prostitutes, there probably won't be a story. "Mayor goes after a sleazy guy", end of story.

    But, if the mayor attacks craigslist or Google or YouTube or MySpace or eBay or (insert big-name Internet site), then it makes the news.

    No offense to the people at TechDirt, but I doubt this story would even be mentioned if it was a simply a "mayor goes after a sleazy guy" story.

    On a more sarcastic note, how long will it be until politicians go after Microsoft, Apple, and other computer makers? After all, the people who post messages on craigslist must have used a computer. And obviously, that computer was supplied by someone. Why not go after these companies and charge them for some kind of "accessory to the crime" charge?
    And how about the person's ISP? They have to be responsible since the person used their service to connect to craigslist. If the ISP didn't provide service, then obviously the person couldn't have posted a message on craigslist.

    Do none of the politicians see how absurd this quickly becomes?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    RandomThoughts, Aug 23rd, 2007 @ 1:13pm

    On a less sarcastic note, hotels are closed because prostitutes frequent it, bars are shut down because drugs are sold there, internet companies would do well to remember that even if they are doing nothing wrong, if their business or technology becomes known for illegal activities by its users, sooner or later someone will shut them down.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    name, Aug 23rd, 2007 @ 1:29pm

    Re:

    Al Gore!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    name, Aug 23rd, 2007 @ 1:31pm

    Re:

    it comes down to the Big Bang. without a universe you can have any problems!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    You are retarded, Aug 23rd, 2007 @ 1:32pm

    Random Idiot

    and should be banned from commenting, FOR LIFE!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    StromThurmond, Aug 24th, 2007 @ 5:27am

    What do you expeck from dem peoples?

    Dey do tings diffuntly in Lanta. Dey eat skrimp and then dem drive down da skreet to see dey baby momma. Den dey use dey comprooter to surfs dey chillin ho's while dey smile wit dey gold teef.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    wanda wimpee, Aug 24th, 2007 @ 7:49am

    baggy pants

    Children should be given rules and taught a certain amount of decency. Baggy pants is not making a statement of freedom but simply showing the "world," that you have no pride and therefore,exercising your "right" to be inconsiderate, vulgar, rude and proud of it. The fathers of the children wearing baggy pants should be forced to wear them when their child does and try to work while holding their pants on to walk.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2007 @ 1:19pm

    Re: Re: Baggy Pants

    Well if they ban those they should pay for people to have well-fitted pants/tops.
    heehee

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Rachel, Sep 15th, 2007 @ 10:01pm

    Hey Randomthoughts

    It sounds like the police only use the site to find Johns and not actually the pimps. Instead of setting up false ads, they should answer ads that look suspicious.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    Miyoko Lapalnte, Oct 18th, 2007 @ 3:57am

    love Shirly

    Well done Mayor of Atlanta.
    I love your work.

    miyoko

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    Intelligent, Jan 23rd, 2008 @ 7:37am

    Re: What do you expeck from dem peoples?

    The race card has been thrown in...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    Goat, Jul 31st, 2008 @ 10:57pm

    Atlanta PD and City Council are WORTHLESS

    Believe me, Atlanta PD and City Council are WORTHLESS!!!
    I live in the City. My Home was recently burglarized.
    To say the Cop NEGLECTED to investigate is an UNDERSTATEMENT.
    It's almost as if taking the pen out of his shirt pocket was "work" for him to do.......
    Predators, Gangsters, whatever.....on CL or on Peachtree Street...Atlanta PD ain't gonna do squeeze about it.....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    Holidae, Jan 26th, 2009 @ 11:07am

    Re: Random's thoughts

    I am responsible for my safety, not the government.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    Holidae, Jan 26th, 2009 @ 11:10am

    Child prostitution is a freakin' farce

    Anyone looked at CL and actually seen "children" in these ads? Come on. The media and cops use children to stir up anger in the public, when they are really busting consenting ADULTS.
    Legalize the shit already.
    Crimes of consent in a free society are absurd...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    Holidae, Jan 26th, 2009 @ 11:12am

    Re: baggy pants

    If you don't like baggy pants, don't wear 'em lady.
    It's not the gov't job to tell us how to dress.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Holidae, Jan 26th, 2009 @ 11:15am

    Re: Atlanta PD and City Council are WORTHLESS

    The Atlanta PD investigate and arrest only things which makes the city money in fines and such.
    That's the reason they don't give a rats ass about REAL crime. They might get hurt, and the city doesn't make any money. It's easier to arrest ho's than risk getting shot going after gangsters. ATL PD is worthless.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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