NYTimes Columnist Stirs Up A Controversy That Will Only Drive Human Trafficking Further Underground

from the dangerous-ideas dept

You may recall a couple years ago that a bunch of politicians, led by state Attorneys General, went on a huge grandstanding campaign against Craigslist, because some people were using Craigslist for prostitution -- including some human trafficking. As we noted at the time (repeatedly), Craigslist was incredibly cooperative with law enforcement, and smart law enforcement officials actually used Craigslist as a tool to help discover, track down and arrest those who were breaking the law. But, rather than recognize that Craigslist was a useful tool, a huge media campaign was set off, leading Craigslist to shut down its "adult services" section, despite plenty of legal uses.

Of course, exactly as we predicted, the people who were previously using Craigslist for illegal reasons didn't magically disappear. They just shifted to other sites. One popular one was Backpage, owned by Village Voice Media, publishers of the famed alternative newspaper The Village Voice. Unlike Craigslist, Backpage told the grandstanders that it wouldn't back down. It noted that it cooperates with law enforcement, and that it understands the law and why it's not liable for the actions of its users. A lawsuit filed against the company resulted in Backpage being declared legal.

You would think, maybe, that the media and the granstanders would get the message. But, no, they just keep at it. Nicholas Kristoff at the NY Times recently posted a ridiculously silly column, which first "outs" Goldman Sachs as a minority investor in Village Voice Media (leading GS to sell all its shares before the article went to press, despite it having nothing to do with how the company operates), and then goes on to insist that the owners of the site must be "held accountable."

This is, to put it plainly, stupid. Kristof even acknowledges that the real way to stop human trafficking and underage prostitution is to have "prosecutors... focus more on pimps and johns." You know how they can do that? By using sites like Backpage to collect evidence and to find out who's actually responsible. But, immediately after that, Kristof insists that:
Closing down the leading Web site used by traffickers would complicate their lives, and after so many years of girls being trafficked on this site, it’s time to hold owners accountable.
That's ridiculous. Two years ago, we were told that the "leading website used by traffickers" was Craigslist. And the same sort of idiotically short-sighted campaign closed down that part of the service, and it did nothing to complicate the traffickers lives, because they quickly moved on to a variety of other platforms, including some that don't cooperate nearly as closely with law enforcement as Craigslist did (and Backpage does today). If Backpage is pressured into stopping adult ads, then the traffickers will move on to other sites within hours -- and many will be less willing to cooperate. Blaming the service provider isn't just stupid and pointless, it's counterproductive. It's helping the very people that the grandstanders claim to be targeting.

It's really quite sickening. The best way to stop these awful acts is to go after those responsible. Adding some ridiculous (and probably unconstitutional) secondary liability to third parties doesn't help. It makes the problem worse. Kristof and others may have good intentions, but their simple (and confounding) inability to think more than a single step ahead is really disappointing. In an effort to do good, they're causing a tremendous amount of harm. Not only that, but they're advocating to set an awful precedent when it comes to secondary liability, taking away the basic principle that you don't blame the tool, you blame the person who actually is breaking the law. Kristof is an award-winning journalist, and clearly a very smart person. That he'd be so short-sighted on something like this -- and stoop to the level of trying to drag other companies through the mud -- is immensely disappointing.


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  1.  
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    Jay (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 8:53am

    Somewhat controversial

    I'm going to say a few things that people may not understand. The human trafficking problem is significant, but there really is a solution. If you notice, the problem with human trafficking is the same one we have for drugs, the same one we have for piracy, the same one we had for alcohol...

    It's prohibition. We put more cops on the street to enforce laws and it doesn't help the situation at all. We have people preaching about the morality of these girls being pimped and prostituted while we do very little to help these women get out of their situation. As evidenced by the NY Sex Trade, women can actually do better if they want to go it alone. But the key point here: we're not doing a lot to protect women from pimps or police officers.

    If women had a choice to be an escort (or a real estate agent...) and the trade is regulated (ie government taxes it) we could have less women forced into sexual slavery from out of the country. There are a number of countries that have proven this such as Ontario and the Netherlands. If that's to be your choice, the government shouldn't try to punish a woman who they have failed to protect. And they fail to protect these girls, not from the trade, but by creating unsafe environments that can cause them to be jailed for the world's oldest profession or having to rely on pimps that may physically hurt them (although the pimping business has shifted as well since most of the need for pimps in the form of protection are gone)

    What we have here is a recognition that our morality can not change what people do on a massive scale. We don't need to continuously attack areas where people congregate to force consumers (of whatever material) to purchase inferior goods. What is sorely needed is a recognition that markets are changing, be it the sex trade or music goods and that the laws might need to change along with our new realities.

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 9:29am

    Stupidity + good intentions = Road to Hell.

     

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    Josef Anvil (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 10:17am

    Re: Well put...

    Your comment was extremely rational and well written. That said, morality does not really care about rationality. In other words, the smart thing to do or the common sense thing to do will never be done if it conflicts with the moral thing to do.

     

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    Leigh Beadon (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 10:20am

    Re: Somewhat controversial

    Ah, the beautiful country of Ontario, just across the lake from the country of New York and the state of Buffalo. ;)

     

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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 10:27am

    Re: Somewhat controversial

    Yes, precisely!

    Increase supply, and demand will no longer be high enough to make trafficking profitable.

    A simple, straight-forward solution which could (should!) be implemented the world over, putting an end to the despicable practice of forced sexual servitude.

     

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    tsunku, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 10:28am

    since when did prostitution become human trafficking? far as i know that is the process of selling slaves, which still goes on today. also no snakehead would be using a website to sell his slaves.

     

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    lexieliberty (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 10:32am

    Sometimes I forget that most successful people are actually stupid as fuck. Traffickers/Pimps don't give a shit what you do. They will find their own way because they just really don't care what law enforcement does. Duh!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 10:51am

    The main goal of these sorts of campaigns always seems to be pushing something that is bad (piracy, human trafficking, counterfeiting, etc) away from people's view, as if that would magically solve or even reduce the size of the problem.

    That's lazy and counter-productive. Tearing down what is, essentially, a poster, does nothing to fix the problem. It's just a really lazy (but actually rather visible) way to say that "I care and I'm doing something about it". And then you can come to television and say that you dealt a strong blow against the particular problem, by making an entire section of a website dedicated to it disappear. And finally, you can go home and fell like you "made a difference", while, in truth, you did absolutely nothing to fix the problem.

    What we should do is tackle to core problem, not a symptom of that problem. Treat the disease, and the symptoms will eventually fade away.

     

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    Lord Binky, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 10:53am

    So it's not law enforcement that's having a problem with the services, it's a random reporter that is upset that the criminals have it easy? At the expense of making it harder for police to work, we need to make criminals work harder, just because.

    Sounds like a plan. Stupid crimals while easier to catch, are not near as newsworthy the smart ones, although they're harder to catch. The smart ones do take great photographs, it must be the fancy mustaches....or maybe the tophat.

     

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    Kenneth Michaels, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 10:58am

    Kristof and others may have *bad* intentions

    The article says that "Kristof and others may have good intentions." I think Kristof's intent is to cause controversy, generate headlines, induce clicks, and promote himself. I don't think that is "good intent," but may be "bad intent," given that it harms those he purports to help.

    Regards.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 10:59am

    Re: Re: Somewhat controversial

    Country of New York is really almost as valid as the Country of California. They both forget that they are states.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 11:05am

    "The best way to stop these awful acts is to go after those responsible. "

    Mike, while I appreciate the sentiment of your post, I have to say that you really seem to be missing the boat here.

    Human trafficking happens regardless of the promotional mediums that are available. However, just like many other illegal acts, they spread more rapidly and expand their scope when they are able to operate in the daylight.

    You have to understand that, just like drug rings, these are not flat organizations. You don't have the guy doing the importing selling the product on the street corner. What happens in public (or in this case on CL) is just the equivalent of a street corner drug dealer, nothing more. That guy is so far down the chain, that you could arrest 1000 of him and still not change the situation one iota. This is a situation that has often been discussed here on Techdirt.

    The problem of open, public anything is that it encourages people who might not otherwise engage in the services to do so. When there are tons of prostitution ads available, and plenty of activity going on in the public eye, those who might have only considered it as a fantasy might actually take part. They might enjoy it and come back again and again (human nature). The demand for these trafficked girls gets larger, and more of them are dragged in as a result.

    There is no simple answer to any of this. However, taking the product out of the public eye, making it harder to find new clients, working to lower demand... those are all things that can hurt the market and change the way things happen.

    Allowing the ads and then acting won't do much, you take out another greedy ass low level pimp, who gets replaced by another one 10 minutes later. You may even waste much of your time hitting legit girls who are just doing this stuff for money. You can waste a ton of time trying to whack the mole. You just don't get the sorts of results you are looking for.

    The CL ads disappearing doesn't cure the problem, nobody is suggesting it does. It does however work to perhaps change the public perception of these types of services, and make them less tempting to those undecided potential customers.

    The real answer? I don't think there is any one solid solution, but certainly making the "product" less desirable and less accessible has to have ripples through the entire system.

     

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    Jay (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 11:12am

    Re: Re: Somewhat controversial

    D'oh! To be fair, I didn't think Canada as a whole had legalized prostitution. And they did make French the official language despite no real reason to do so.

     

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    Chosen Reject (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 11:21am

    Re: Re: Somewhat controversial

    I completely agree with points raised. However, Mike's point still stands. We can legalize prostitution for consenting adults, and awe at the effect that will have on the demand for non-consenting adults involved in human trafficking, but that does nothing to stop the human trafficking of children. Jay's proposition (which I agree with, BTW), by legalizing prostitution, merely removes a subset of the people harmed in human trafficking, it does not eliminate it.

    Mike's point still stands, that grandstanding and secondary liability of tools does not help the situation.

     

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    BentFranklin (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 11:25am

    Okay, Mr. Kristoff, have it your way. And while we're at it, let's hold NY Times responsible for their share of the Iraq War deaths caused by Judith Miller.

     

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    Chosen Reject (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 11:29am

    Re:

    I think you missed the solution even though you quoted Mike and then went to say it yourself. Going after the tools doesn't help, whether those tools are websites, or those tools are "greedy ass low level pimp[s]". Use the tools that are being used to get to the core of the problem.

    If the tool is CL, go after the person that posted the ad, not CL. If the tool is the person that posted the ad, find the person or group that hired him. It's just as stupid to go after CL for these ads as it is to arrest the guy at the bottom of the chain and call for a press conference.

    Stated another way: "The best way to stop these awful acts is to go after those responsible."

     

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    Jay (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 11:36am

    Re:

    TL;DR version

    "We are making the situation worse by forcing law enforcement to work with less reliable resources. Even though the war on morality (piracy, prostitution, drugs, women...) has failed we must continue bad policies that do nothing to solve the problem but more to make people believe the problem is ' solved'."

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 11:46am

    What happens at the NYT

    How many NYTimes employees and executives use prostitutes? What % of that do you think have been with a person that has been trafficked (knowingly or not)?

     

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    cjstg (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 11:49am

    Re:

    i think what you are referring to is the broken windows theory. if people see it advertised it must be okay. if it's okay then i can do it too. therefore, i can become a pimp, prostitute, or john with no repercussions. this drives up the demand and the whole thing grows.

    makes sense, but i don't know if it solves the problem.

     

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    Ryan Diederich, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 11:53am

    First Post Nails It

    Jay seems to hit the nail on the head. This is what it really boils down to.

    We can try to form our laws and regulations to the 'average' morals of the land, but we can never be spot on.

    Abortion is a moral decision made by the affected party (the woman).

    Prostitution is a moral decision made by the affected party (the woman).

    Both of these should be VERY legal (though frowned upon and hopefully taught against). For example, most women never engage in either of these activities.

    And to the guy that said that removing the posts from CL changes the public perception of the issue, how could it? Do you think that everyone sees every post on CL? Im pretty sure that the people who travel to the adult services page on CL are the ones looking for adult services.

    The solution to trafficking is not to hide it from the public eye to make sure that the "undecided offenders" don't commit the crime. That is simply moronic, frightening in fact.

    Dear anonymous coward, reducing supply/availability does not reduce demand, go back to school.

     

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    weneedhelp (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 11:57am

    I long for the

    days before the internet when there was no human trafficking or copyright/trademark infringement. /s

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 12:18pm

    "Closing down the leading Web site used by traffickers would complicate their lives, ... "

    It also complicates the lives of law enforcement & law enforcement has plenty of other things to do.

    That, I think, is the best reason to have allowed CL to stay open.

    That said, I agree with other folks who've said that legalizing & regulating the trade is a better solution for everyone but the prison industry.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 12:27pm

    Re: Re:

    No, Mike misses the point, because he appears to be unable to understand what is driving the market. He seems to make this sort of error in other places as well.

    "Stated another way: "The best way to stop these awful acts is to go after those responsible.""

    That is true, but it is only part of it. What Mike is actually trying to say is "The best way to stop these awful acts is to go after those responsible, and let's do that by knocking off a bunch of low level guys that mean nothing and claim success".

    Leaving the CL ads up was just ADDING to the problem. The CL issue isn't one that solves the problem, it's one that helps to shrink the problem. People in human trafficking are there for the money, plain and simple - shrink demand, you shrink the money.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 12:52pm

    Re: Re:

    Jay, you are wrong. It's not about making people think the problem is "solved". It's about addressing one of the many ways that the human trafficking networks make their money - RETAIL.

    The problem is the retailers aren't the real criminals here, so leaving the CL ads up and then trying to build cases against the low level "playah" types is no different from knocking off street drug dealers - it does nothing.

    Taking down the ads from CL, and make it uncomfortable for any other publication to pick them up hurts the playahs where it counts - in their ability to easily attract new customers / money to their "services".

    That ripples all the way up through the system to the very top people.

    It's not about making the public think anything - except perhaps to making it harder for some people to choose to use a hooker to start with.

     

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    Chosen Reject (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 12:55pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Please explain how you shrink demand by removing a CL ad.

    Also, please show where Mike said get the guy who posted the ad and stop there.

     

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    Chosen Reject (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 12:57pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Your right, taking down the CL ads is no different than taking down the low-level players. So why are you advocating one ineffective approach over another ineffective approach?

     

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    NAProtector, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 1:01pm

    Thoughts

    When I read this, an odd thought popped in my head. Lets say I picked up some New York Times papers and through the magic of paper mache, make a bat and beat the BEEP out of someone. Now under their logic, because I used something they created to educate the masses and inform people of what is happening in the world to lower the IQ of one person, it is their fault. It doesn't matter that I changed it's shape or used it a different way that they intended to use it. What matters is that I (and potential any other person with a creative spark in them) can use their paper to terrorize and hurt the masses. But then, I forget that it is already being used that way BY THROWING IT IN THE TRASH. So, why are they not getting a huge fine for littering?

     

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    Lord Binky, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 1:02pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    The FBI only spent FIVE years tailing an expensive, not so discrete, prostitution ring. I think the BIG problem is how law enforcement focuses on the less dangerous criminals that's crimes are minor out of a category. Human trafficking ring with killers or Housewives servicing politicians... Potheads that just say "oh shit" or Crackheads that attack....

    This is just about hiding the problem so that reality looks prettier. The demand doesn't go away, these aren't impulse buys at a grocery store. The people willing to that much are willing to use one or 10 other websites. It is easier for law enforcement if they all just used one though. So the answer to the correct method is whether using the website to their advantage such that law enforcement stops more crimes than it spreads or if it spreads more than law enforcement can stop it. The answer I would think would come from law enforcement and not a random reporter complaining about how it makes him a sad panda that he can't ignore it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 1:09pm

    Re:

    The thing you miss here is that if they are able to use services in public that is a failure of law enforcement not a problem for the public or companies, drafting others to help out the government have tremendous costs which is why people pay taxes so the government would do it.

    Further why would you make it more difficult to locate those people?
    If law enforcement was doing their job those people wouldn't be posting in public places because they would be afraid to be arrested, how dumb can you be to do something illegal and put an ad on a newspaper?

    Which brings me to another point are newspapers obliged to veto ads they are contracted for?

    http://tv.nytimes.com/classifieds/personals/

    Because to find prostitutes on the NY Times doesn't seem so difficult either, is just the adult section there is called "personal ads" :)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 1:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Somewhat controversial

    You know what the ironic part is?

    Prostitution is against the law, pimping is against the law, but doing it on camera is legal.

    You can trade sex for money if it is to be in a video, so in a sense prostitution is already legalized, you can sell sex to others if it is to produce a video.

    Pimps should call themselves video producers and put ads on the NY Times saying "Porn video producer looking for male actors that would pay to be in a porn movie".

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 1:21pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Actually that is how police work used to be done, you go after the criminals not others, you don't close the streets because prostitutes walk on it, you don't close communication channels because prostitutes use phones do you?

    The NY Times itself has an adult section is just they call theirs "personal ads", would you go after the NY Times because of it?

    I want to see you people go after adultfriendfinder, fling or any of the hundreds of social places people can find that stuff.

    Leaving the CL ads was adding to nothing except the incompetence of law enforcement to actually do something about it, if people are so bold to do it in a public places that is a failure of law enforcement not others.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 1:24pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Really?

    Why is that newspapers adult section(aka personal ads) is not talked about it then?

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 1:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Somewhat controversial

    You can trade sex for money if it is to be in a video, so in a sense prostitution is already legalized, you can sell sex to others if it is to produce a video.


    It's not quite as straightforward as that. When the customer pays the service provider for sexual favors, that's prostitution. In a porn video, though, none of the people engaging in sex are paying to do so -- they're all getting paid by someone who is not involved in the sex. That's not prostitution.

     

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    Chosen Reject (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 1:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Somewhat controversial

    The reason is that porn is not strictly the trading of sex for money. Porn is the trading of acting for money. That sex takes place during the acting is ancillary. In fact, if you said that trading money for any act that eventually led to sex is prostitution, you'd pretty much bar any movie that had sex in it, whether it was for prurient entertainment, high class art, or medical documentaries. You would eliminate the possibility of paying people to test a new birth control method. You would make it illegal to study human sexuality if it involved paying people to have sex for your research.

    The only state I am aware of that has ever tried to equate the two was California. Their Supreme Court eventually found in favor of porn for two separate reasons, one of which was first amendment grounds. However, since the other reason had to do with California state law, the SCOTUS decided against hearing an appeal. Another state can try to contest it, but no AG wants to be the one that definitively made porn legal in their state.

    See here for more.

     

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    dt, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 1:50pm

    Re:

    You are operating under the completely wrong assumption that you your morals/ethics can and should be applied to everyone else. I.e. that "prostitution is bad".

    The reality of the situation is that there will ALWAYS be a demand for prostitution. It has been that way for as long as we can remember. There's a reason it is known as the "oldest profession". Trying to change this is futile, unnatural and even stupid, not to mention offensive to anyone that works in the sex industry or that patronizes it. If someone wants to have sex for money, or pay for sex with money, that is their business, NOT yours or anyone else's. Your morals and ethics do not apply.

    So what happens when the state tries to apply the morals of a few to the many? They criminalize it. And what happens when something is criminalized? Criminals profit from it and control it. It forces these things underground, putting sex workers (and customers) in danger, diverting profits to criminals and opening up the door for all sorts of seedy and terrible things such as forced prostitution and more.

    The answer, though your poor, virgin, innocent (ignorant, naive) ears may not like it, is to decriminalize these things. Regulate them, to ensure the safety of the workers and tax them to benefit the state. Opening a line of communication can lead to benefits for all involved.

    These grandstanding fools do nothing except push things further underground, endanger more people and basically make everything worse.

    Reality, you should check it out sometime.

     

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    Chosen Reject (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 1:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Somewhat controversial

    That's not true. The one doing the paying could very well be involved in the sexual activity. The difference isn't who is doing the paying, it's in what is being paid for. It might seem like it's splitting hairs, but it has important consequences. See my other post in this thread.

     

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    dt, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 1:54pm

    And though it should be obvious from what I've said above, the decriminalization will flood the market with LEGAL alternatives, thereby strangling the profits of the criminals involved in human trafficking, etc.

    Basic economics.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 2:08pm

    Re:

    "There is no simple answer to any of this. However, taking the product out of the public eye, making it harder to find new clients, working to lower demand... those are all things that can hurt the market and change the way things happen."

    In the case of prostitution: maybe.

    In the case of human trafficking: no way. The clients of these services are rich, powerful, careful, well-connected, secretive, and patient. They want young, vulnerable girls (not women) and they'll do whatever they need to in order to get them.

    (Don't see what I'm getting at? Okay, try this: can you afford a prostitute? Yes, you can. Can you afford one of these girls? No, you can't. You don't have anything close to that kind of disposable income. You don't have anywhere to hide one. You don't have the money or the means to handle the logistics. But...who can think of, in places like NYC, who might have wealth, a big house, power, the ability to keep the wrong people from asking too many questions?)

    These people are the economic drivers behind human trafficking because they ARE the demand. And as much as the suppliers, they need to be busted. And the best way to get at them is to use publicly-available leads and claw up the food chain until they're found at the end of it.

    Kristof has just done them a huge favor: he clearly supports human trafficking and child prostitution as long as he can make enough self-aggrandizing noise -- and thus personally profit from this tragedy. If he actually opposed what's going on, he'd STFU and stop destroying the best tools that law enforcement has for busting these creeps.

     

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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 2:17pm

    Re: Re: Well put...

    That depends what you mean by "morality". My morality cares very much about rationality and common sense. If you mean the "morality" of an incredibly vocal minority who get most other people who don't really care to think about it one way or another to follow along then I'll agree with you 100%

     

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  40.  
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    Sad but true, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 2:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Somewhat controversial

    Exactly. I am not paying that hooker to have sex with me. I am paying that actor to be in my porno movie, that I happen to star in.

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 2:33pm

    Re: Thoughts

    Third party liability for littering... genius, genius, genius.

    I am all for it. Charge Coca Cola $0.15 for every can on the street. Charge MCD for all the strewn to-go bags, cups and wrappers. Whoever makes those packing peanuts is fucked. This would do wonders for our environment from both a reduction of improperly disposed of goods and resources used. Win-win. Plus it would give the lawyers something to do.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 2:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Somewhat controversial

    "The reason is that porn is not strictly the trading of sex for money. Porn is the trading of acting for money. That sex takes place during the acting is ancillary. In fact, if you said that trading money for any act that eventually led to sex is prostitution"

    It's not something that leads to sex. It is paying someone to have sex. The difference between prostitution and porn is only the goal. Porn is made to release a product that people will use to get off, prostitution happens to get someone off. You are still trading money for sex, the only real difference is the desired outcome.

    "you'd pretty much bar any movie that had sex in it, whether it was for prurient entertainment, high class art, or medical documentaries."

    Not really because in most non-porn movies with a sex scene, the people are not actually having sex and most people who are subjects in a documentary are not being paid.

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 2:40pm

    Re:

    The two are very interlinked. The are not selling slaves on the website, they are selling the services of other people slaves. Meaning an organization takes girls from another country ships them here and their new owners rent them out as cum rags.

    There are other places where the consumer can by the slave directly, they call them mail order brides.
    http://www.stickboydaily.com/wtf/mail-order-brides-for-6k-pic/
    wish I could find the original

     

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  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 2:46pm

    Re: Re:

    Who is that comment aimed at? You seem very hostile with......no one in particular.

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 2:54pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    So hide the problem so we can pretend it is not happening even though there will always be a demand?

    I mean I can turn your logic right around on you; If we don't constantly arrest the low-level pimps other people will start to see how safe and lucrative it is and try to get into the pimping business.

    Even if you were able to keep every prostitution ad off the internet do you not think people who want a hooker couldn't find one? They are on the same corners they have been on since the dawn of time.

    People don't accidently stumble onto ads for hookers on backpage and say "hmm you know I always wanted to try this," they find and use hooker ads when they go looking for a hooker. If backpage didn't exist they would just go to the shitty neighborhood or seedy bar where their town keeps its hookers.

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 3:10pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I see so taking down low level pimps does nothing, but taking down ads made by low level pimps, that really brings down the system. Because those pimps can just be replaced but those ads, WHOA when those ads come down they are down for good and after Backpage there will be nowhere these pimps can post ads.

    Your argument is stupid.

     

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  47.  
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    Rekrul, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 3:15pm

    Re: Thoughts

    No need to use magic, just roll it up really tightly and use it in a jabbing motion. Hitting someone in the throat with it would be quite effective.

     

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  48.  
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    Rekrul, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 3:16pm

    It's easier to sweep the problem under the rug and appear to have cleaned things up than to actually dispose of the dirt.

     

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  49.  
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    Chosen Reject (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 3:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Somewhat controversial

    the people are not actually having sex
    Depends on what the legal definition of prostitution is in the state. In California
    "prostitution" includes any lewd act between persons for money or other consideration.
    Which means coitus isn't necessary. Paying a woman to lick her nipples would fall under prostitution laws, but doing the same in a movie is not prostitution.

     

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  50.  
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    mischab1, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 4:15pm

    Re: First Post Nails It

    As much as I hate to disagree with you, sometimes reducing supply\availability does reduce demand, especially when you know the thing is bad and you really shouldn't do it.

    I'm dairy intolerant. Eating any sort of dairy causes me excessive pain the next day. Lactaid pills don't help. :-( Unfortunately, I love the taste of cheese. It is easy for me to be dairy-free when it isn't visible. Out-of-sight really is out-of-mind. I don't crave cheese so much that I go out of my way to find it, but if it is right there easy to see. If it is melting and gooey and smelling yummy. 98% of the time I'm going to eat it and feel bad the next day.

    It's even harder with sex trafficking because the only pain felt by the offender is their conscience.

    That said, I don't know that the gain of preventing "undecided offenders" is a net positive against the loss of making it harder for police to find the problem.

     

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  51.  
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    mischab1, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 4:17pm

    Only for adults, not for children.

     

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  52.  
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    Michael (profile), Apr 5th, 2012 @ 4:58pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Jay isn't paraphrasing Mike's stance on the issue. He is paraphrasing the grandstanders.

     

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  53.  
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    zippy, Apr 5th, 2012 @ 5:10pm

    Re: Re:

    So, dt, this is what you want? Free for all! Free for all! No ethics! No morality! Do whatever you want! No consequences! No accountability! Total anarchy! Total, gluttonous orgy! Nothing can ever be wrong! Because we can't ever have guidelines, ever! Or standards! No, can't have those!

    I was exaggerating, I admit, but perhaps not by as much as you might think. Also, how would you prevent regulatory capture if it were to be legalized and regulated? It happens in every other industry, how would it be prevented here?

    Also, just because you think the ethics are only of a few doesn't mean they are. Most regular people feel as we do, more or less. It would be more accurate to say that certain individuals attempt to impose a standard upon society and leave it at that.

     

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  54.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2012 @ 7:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Somewhat controversial

    I can see the ads now:

    Be a porn star, for just $100 we will make a video of you starring in your own porn movie.

     

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  55.  
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    Brendan (profile), Apr 6th, 2012 @ 12:25pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yea, felt by raising prices on goods that are now more illicit. You're right that it works the same way as drugs, in that the endless war against them has made it that much more profitable, and thus appealing for the importers (in both goods).

    The way to combat the trafficking is to break the market. Make certain forms of drugs/prostitution legal and regulated, and demand for some of the worst parts of the black market disappears. Why would somebody risk jailtime to import a sex worker forcibly if he can find willing girls and make money above board?

     

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  56.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2012 @ 2:42pm

    Human trafficking is the new piracy is the new terrorism is the new communism is the new witchcraft. Yada, yada, yada.

     

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  57.  
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    Eponymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2012 @ 1:11am

    Re: Re: Re:

    In your first reply you responded with a bunch of hypotheticals; might this, might that, a perfectly upstanding person might decide to be a client all because they read an ad and then might come back for more because they liked it... Pretty silly for you obviously have no data to support your claims, yet you make them anyway. Though what really triggered me to respond is the contradictory logic in your follow up replies. First you state that leaving up the ads and going after the "playahs" does nothing, while on the other hand claim taking down the listings will somehow ripple all the way to the top? Its absurd in that you think the listings are more valuable to their enterprise then the so-called playahs are. Secondarily it's strange that you assume only the low level "retailers" will go down in a sting without those higher up also facing police action, with the potential that the network will be destabilized. What data and/or info are you using to determine such outcomes as being plausible in the case of site closure, and implausible in the case of actual law enforcement? This all sounds to me as just conjecture on your part, and worth no further attention.

    BTW I agree with both Jay and the anon further up that this/your approach is the bastard cousin of TSA's Security Theater that is yet nameless...

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    Eponymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2012 @ 1:54am

    Re: Re: First Post Nails It

    The pain felt by a john isn't only JUST their conscience, for they also face legal jeopardy and potential life threatening situations. Yet still this isn't enough to deter them from purchasing sex.

    Also closing down sites does nothing to reduce supply/availability, it just shifts access from site to site, platform to platform. The exploited girls are still being exploited whether or not its by johns discovering them through CL or in person on the street...

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    Eponymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2012 @ 1:58am

    Re: Re: First Post Nails It

    The pain felt by a john isn't only JUST their conscience, for they also face legal jeopardy and potential life threatening situations. Yet still this isn't enough to deter them from purchasing sex.

    Also closing down sites does nothing to reduce supply/availability, it just shifts access from site to site, platform to platform. The exploited girls are still being exploited whether or not its by johns discovering them through CL or in person on the street...

     

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

  60.  
    identicon
    Eponymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2012 @ 1:59am

    Re: Re: Re:

    In your first reply you responded with a bunch of hypotheticals; might this, might that, a perfectly upstanding person might decide to be a client all because they read an ad and then might come back for more because they liked it... Pretty silly for you obviously have no data to support your claims, yet you make them anyway. Though what really triggered me to respond is the contradictory logic in your follow up replies. First you state that leaving up the ads and going after the "playahs" does nothing, while on the other hand claim taking down the listings will somehow ripple all the way to the top? Its absurd in that you think the listings are more valuable to their enterprise then the so-called playahs are. Secondarily it's strange that you assume only the low level "retailers" will go down in a sting without those higher up also facing police action, with the potential that the network will be destabilized. What data and/or info are you using to determine such outcomes as being plausible in the case of site closure, and implausible in the case of actual law enforcement? This all sounds to me as just conjecture on your part, and worth no further attention.

    BTW I agree with both Jay and the anon further up that this/your approach is the bastard cousin of TSA's Security Theater that is yet nameless...

     

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

  61.  
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    Jay (profile), Apr 7th, 2012 @ 2:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Somewhat controversial

    I don't think you have to advertise for porn...

     

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  62.  
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    Jeff Lewis, Aug 8th, 2012 @ 4:07am

    Sex Trafficking

    Sex Trafficking Sex Slavery is used by many groups as a attempt to outlaw all prostitution around the world by saying that all women are victims even if they do it willing. This hurts any real victims because it labels all sex workers as victims.

    This is done by the media, aid groups, NGOís, feminists, politicians, and religious organizations that receive funds from the government. There are very strong groups who promote that all adult women who have sex are victims even if they are willing, enjoy it and go out of there way to get it. These groups try to get the public to believe that no adult women in their right mind would ever go into the sex business unless she was forced to do so, weather she knew it or not. They say that 100% of all sex workers are trafficking victims.

    They do this in order to label all men as sex offenders and wipe out all consensual prostitution. Which is what their real goal is. There is almost no one who challenges or questions them about their false beliefs. Therefore, the only voices you hear are of these extreme groups. These groups want to label all men as terrible sex offenders for seeing a willing adult woman. No one stands up to say this is foolish, the passive public says nothing.

    These groups even say that all men who marry foreign women are terrible sex predators who take advantage of these "helpless foreign women wives".

    These groups believe that two adults having consensual sex in private should be outlawed. Since they believe that it is impossible for a man to have sex with a woman without abusing the woman in the process.

    A key point is that on the sidelines the prostitutes themselves are not being listened to. They oppose laws against prostitution. But no one wants to listen to the prostitutes themselves. Only to the self appointed experts that make up numbers and stories many of which have never met a real forced sex slave or if they did it was only a few. The media and government never ask the prostitutes themselves what would help them in terms of laws

    Mostly, the police found and arrested adult prostitutes and pimps. When the police go after underage prostitutes they mostly find and arrest adult prostitutes and johns. Why are the police wasting their time on adult prostitutes? Instead of spending that time going after underage prostitutes?

    Why arenít the police finding millions of children forced against their will to have sex for money? Because their arenít millions of them. And what proof do they have that they were forced against their will?

    Why are the police just finding, and arresting consensual adults? Because the child victims either donít exist or are very few in number. They use the excuse of children to arrest consenting adults. If they are just after children, they why donít they leave the consenting adults alone? The police arrest the consenting adults that they find Why?

    If there is no children involved Ė why arrest the consenting adult prostitutes, johns, and pimps? They are no children involved? Why are the police wasting their time on adult prostitutes? Instead of spending that time going after underage prostitutes? Because the police are mostly after adult prostitutes, not children.


    When the police arrest customers of prostitutes and the prostitutes themselves:
    They try to get the adult women prostitutes to say that they were forced and victims of sex trafficking even though they werenít.
    These adult women just flat out say, ĎNope, thatís not whatís happening.í No one is forcing meĒ
    Then the U.S. Attorney general, senators, the police and government officials say:
    ďWe have to help them realize they are victims,Ē
    They must be brainwashed by their pimps, and johns.
    They say that adult women do not have the ability to make decisions for themselves about sex, therefore
    The government must make all their decisions about sex and who they have sex with for them.
    SoÖ the police are trying to invent victims? Where no victim exist?
    The adult women say that no one is forcing them to work in prostitution and the police donít believe them?
    So the police want these adult women to lie? and the police are forcing the women to lie about being forced?
    I thought lying was wrong? And isnít it against the law to lie? -Not for the police, attorney general and other government officials.


    Sex trafficking is illegal and the pentities are very severe. It is very difficult to force someone to be a sex slave, they would have to have 24 hour guards posted and be watched 365 days a year, 24 hours per day. Have the threat of violence if they refused, and have no one notice and complain to the authorities or police. They would need to hide from the general public yet still manage to see customers from the general public and not have the customers turn the traffickers in to the police. They would need to provide them with medical care, food, shelter, and have all their basic needs met. They would need to have the sex slaves put on a fake front that they enjoyed what they were doing, act flirtatious and do their job well.
    They would have to deal with the authorities looking for the missing women, and hide any money they may make, since it comes from illegal activity. They must do all of this while constantly trying to prevent the sex slaves from escaping and reporting them to the police. They would need to prevent the general public from reporting them into the police. This is extremely difficult to do, which makes this activity rare.
    Here are some good websites about this:
    http://bebopper76.wordpress.com
    http://sextraffickingfacts.wordpress.com/
    http://sextraffic kingvictims.blog.com
    http://www.lauraagustin.com/
    http://sextraffickingtruths.blogspot.com/

     

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