Alternative Weekly Papers See Spike In Adult Ads Following Craigslist Decision

from the and-there-they-go... dept

Back in November, when Craigslist first caved in to misguided complaints from various state AGs, we pointed out that this wouldn't do anything to stop prostitution -- it would just make it go elsewhere. And, indeed, that's exactly what happened. But, of course, that wasn't enough for the AGs who started grandstanding again a couple months ago, leading Craigslist to cave in again. So... what do you think is happening? Well, reader mikez points to a report noting a sudden and unexpected spike in adult classified ads in alternative weekly papers who had seen their business hit hard as such ads transferred to Craigslist. And, of course, as Craigslist had already pointed out, many of the ads showing up in those alt papers were already much more explicit than anything on Craigslist. In the meantime... with all these regular newspapers looking for additional business models, maybe they should start accepting those types of ads...


Reader Comments (rss)

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2009 @ 4:58am

    This is pretty normal. The people placing adult ads needs to advertise to be able to attract new customers, because they are in a super low retention business.

    I suspect that the ads in the weekly papers don't include graphic images or direct terms of solicitation that were in the CL missives, I also think that many of the scammers who used CL adult section to set up rip offs, web scams, and many other deals unrelated to the old profession won't have moved to the papers.

    As for your assertion that the ads in weekly papers are much more explicit, do you have something to back it up? your hot link in here is just to a generic techdirt opinion piece. Sort of hard to get to the data if you have to read another opinion piece with 10 more links to other articles that in turn point to other articles that might finally actually point to a source. You don't make it easy, and again, the "much more explicit" with a link suggests to me that you would be linking to a fact, when you are really just linking to another one of your opinions.

    Keep going.

     

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Jun 3rd, 2009 @ 6:50am

      Re:

      I suspect that the ads in the weekly papers don't include graphic images or direct terms of solicitation that were in the CL missives

      Actually, they do. Often much worse than anything on CL. Have you never seen an alt-weekly?

      I also think that many of the scammers who used CL adult section to set up rip offs, web scams, and many other deals unrelated to the old profession won't have moved to the papers.

      Why?

      As for your assertion that the ads in weekly papers are much more explicit, do you have something to back it up? your hot link in here is just to a generic techdirt opinion piece. Sort of hard to get to the data if you have to read another opinion piece with 10 more links to other articles that in turn point to other articles that might finally actually point to a source.

      There's a link there to the CL blog post with the details. I didn't link directly to the examples because they are clearly NSFW, but if you actually bother to click through, you'll find all sorts of extremely explicit ads.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2009 @ 7:56am

        Re: Re:

        Example: One of the biggest scams in the craiglist adult listings these days are amazing listings that show a truly hot girl, and in order to "schedule" an appointment, you have to join a "scheduling system", which really just turns into a massive credit card slamming system. They can do this on CL because they can more easily blame a rogue affiliate. Further, it is easy to do on CL because you can quickly and easily place similar ads in different cities all over the world without any effort, and without cost. More enterprising individuals have written CL spam bots to go do the work for them.

        Your alt-weeklys mostly take ads over the phone, and require a credit card for payment. it is amazing what happens to scammers when they have to identify themselves. It also reached the point where it is too much work to try to get ads in so many different weeklies, when you have to do each one manually, either on the phone on via online forms that are never the same from place to place.

        CL made it super easy to spam massively, and people do it every day.

         

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          Derek Kerton (profile), Jun 3rd, 2009 @ 1:49pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          This sounds like an argument for CL adding a fee to advertise. You argue the filter for the "bad guys" is the requirement that they pay and identify with Credit Card.

          You also argue that there is a higher marginal cost to advertise in local papers, so this too would be achieved with a per-region CL charge.

          So, instead of censoring it, which is what the AGs have done, they should just have forced CL to bill by CC for adult ads??

          How about instead of going after the messenger, instead of censoring, instead of having AGs bully business for their own PR gain, we instead go after the bad guys? And I don't mean the working women, I mean the scammers.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2009 @ 7:53pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            It isn't just a question of a fee, it's the question of speed. The fee certainly has an effect, but it's the ability to easily create a bot that spams every version of CL all over the world with the same bullcrap ads, because CL's interface is simple and easy to write a form filler to do the job.

            Fees help. Being a little more intelligent in looking for matching ads, repeat spammers, repeat posters, etc is pretty much key.

            CL could do a much better job, they choose not to.

             

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2009 @ 7:57am

        Re: Re:

        oh yeah, I checked - your post has no links to CL blog, just links to other techdirt articles and the washtington post. If you want to link to something, perhaps you could do it directly rather than running us through a maze like rats.

         

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          Mike C. (profile), Jun 3rd, 2009 @ 8:38am

          You must be new at this...

          Took me all of 10 seconds to find this link:

          http://blog.craigslist.org/2009/05/target-practice/

          in the post Mike linked above. It's the link in the following sentence:

          "The company's CEO, Jim Buckmaster, has taken to the Craigslist blog to ask why they're being targeted when various newspapers in South Carolina have many more such "questionable" ads that are often a lot more explicit and graphic than those on Craigslist."

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2009 @ 8:58am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "oh yeah, I checked - your post has no links to CL blog, just links to other techdirt articles and the washtington post. If you want to link to something, perhaps you could do it directly rather than running us through a maze like rats."

          If you dislike Mike's method, why keep coming back for more?
          Is someone forcing you to read this blog?

          Or do you seek to "perfect" his method by pointing out every possible flaw?

          Mike, keep up the good work! Most of us come here because we LIKE to read your articles.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2009 @ 11:32am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Ever heard of dittoheads? People who's opinions are do much the same that they can be represented by ditto marks. Rush Limbaugh fans.

            I come here because it is fun as heck to watch Mike tie himself in knots trying to pin everything in the universe bad on copyright, patent, stupid government lackeys, and the evil movie and record companies. It's sort of like watching a blindfolded guy play whack-a-mole. There is a ton of noise and lots of fury, and it's funny as heck to laugh at him when he misses the target.

            Sort of like watching Steve-o at work, except nobody ends up in the hospital.

             

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              Derek Kerton (profile), Jun 3rd, 2009 @ 1:59pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Well, if you've been coming here for years, then you must also enjoy the way that, since 1999, Techdirt's predictions have turned out to be right - over, and over, and over again.

              The future Mike predicts is countered by shills and lackeys and people sans vision in the real time discussions, then a few years pass, they end up wrong, and him right. Then everyone can act like they knew it all along...except that darned written record.

              Let's just let the record speak for itself. Mike isn't right about everything, but he bats a lot higher than Barry Bonds, without the roid rage.

               

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        •  
          identicon
          mikez, Jun 3rd, 2009 @ 9:07am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The original post links to the Washington City Paper article that is the basis for Mike's post. The article has the link to the CL blog. This isn't making you click through a web of links to get to the CL blog, it's referring you to the source Mike used for the blog post.

          A responsible reader wouldn't just take Mike's word for it, but would check his sources.

           

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2009 @ 7:00am

      Re:

      Well, keep digging through the links. You'll find things like

      http://greenville.backpage.com/adult/classifieds/Results?section=4381

      Owned by Village Voice Media (from CL Blog). AT&T and M$ have their own sites that have lots of suspect listings as well, apparently. Besides, you can usually pick up one of these papers for free in a metro area.

       

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    zaven (profile), Jun 3rd, 2009 @ 6:23am

    Ads in Washington Post

    Not just weekly ads. I saw a pretty risque ad in the Washington Post this morning (I believe it was somewhere in the metro section). I don't have kids but if I did, I think I'd much rather see these types of ads tucked away on craigslist where people have to explicitly click on them than in my daily freaking newspaper for the children to see as they make their way to the kids section.

    Can't anyone think of the children!!!!!

    (Hint of sarcasm)

     

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    braindead (profile), Jun 3rd, 2009 @ 6:24am

    AG in the paper business

    im waiting for the article that explain how the AG is a shareholder in some of those papers

     

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    Trails, Jun 3rd, 2009 @ 6:39am

    Gotcha!

     

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    identicon
    Trails, Jun 3rd, 2009 @ 6:44am

    Gotcha!

    Um, first, sorry about the empty post above, hit enter instead of tab.

    Anyways, actual comment follows:

    "Haha! We've blocked you from using this single solitary site" -irate moral majority tax money wastin' AG

    "Hmm, yes. Well, game, set, match, and we're licked. Good fight and all, but that does it for us. I guess we'll just switch to making fishing lures or something. Honest, we promise." -MPIAA (Madames And Pimps Industry of America Association)

    "Look, I have defeated or significantly reduced prostitution!! Vote for me!!" -irate moral majority tax money wastin' AG

     

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    Squard (profile), Jun 3rd, 2009 @ 7:40am

    Ha Ha! Parents can put an internet filter on their computer, but not on a newspaper. Thanks for protecting the kids from smut!

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2009 @ 7:43am

    MTV's Pimp That Comment

    You should really look into jazzing up your post comment background from the plain 1980s blue to something with real bad ass bling. So we know for sure it's you.

    I found a tutorial to help get you get started:
    http://www.gomediazine.com/tutorials/badass-bling-effect-in-photoshop/

     

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    identicon
    Still Anonymous Enough Though I Wrote A Name, Jun 3rd, 2009 @ 8:30am

    Ok?

    This really doesn't prove anything. It may prove that the ads wouldn't disappear, but saying "I am right" without a true analysis of how many ads appear in newspapers is just irresponsible blogging. I guess there is really no responsibility in blogging except trying to make yourself sound right and using wikipedia.

     

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      Robin Smith (profile), Jun 3rd, 2009 @ 10:31am

      SAETI

      Congratulations on your absolutely masterful cluelessness.

      May the gods wrest your weary mind.

       

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      Derek Kerton (profile), Jun 3rd, 2009 @ 2:09pm

      Re: Ok?

      You're right. Please accept this formal job offer. Your market research task is to count all the ads in all the alt and weeklies and report back to us the number of smutty ones. Please note in a separate column the circulation and geo coverage of each periodical. We shall pay you 8,500 quatloos per periodical for your research.

      Then, in a few months, Techdirt can take your research, and post a responsible blog post saying the same point as this one above. But it will be soooo much better. Totally worth it.

      PS: you an look up Quatloos on Wikipedia.
      (Mike, did I 'sound right' in this comment?)

       

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    Ronald Dumsfeld (profile), Jun 8th, 2009 @ 12:57pm

    blabber blah

     

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  •  
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    Ronald Dumsfeld (profile), Jun 8th, 2009 @ 12:57pm

    blabber blah

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 1st, 2009 @ 10:20am

    A lot of other online sites also picked up the slack, just look at Backpage (www.backpage.com), and other wannabe CL sites. The AG's made their year by making it tough on one site and not the others. Total grandstanding and they know it. You can't stop the oldest profession in the world, why not regulate and tax it? Religion is the only reason.

     

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    mikle, Aug 1st, 2009 @ 11:56am

    weary mind

    May the gods wrest your weary mind.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    AthenaM, Sep 7th, 2010 @ 7:53pm

    legalizing it is the answer

    This wouldn't solve anything. These girls will just move over to sites like VerifiedPlaymates or backpage.

    A better solution would be to legalize it, and take the black market element out of it, so that any victimized women can get protection from the cops.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    dick masters, Mar 16th, 2011 @ 7:22pm

    Take care of your own darn children!

    I am so sick and tired of these bleeding heart parents who don't know how to take care of their kids and want everyone else to take care of them. I am an adult. I pay taxes that help run this darn country. No kid ever came to my rescue when I needed help paying the rent. They live for free. They get food for free and they ride for free. I am responsible for everything that I do, not like a darn kid. I say, we adults stand up to children. If they don't like it,... then they can just hop a jet and take off to Irac. See how it goes there. If anyone agrees with me, email me.

     

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