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.

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Companies: craigslist

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Comments on “Atlanta Mayor Blames Craigslist For Child Prostitution”

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52 Comments
wanda wimpee says:

Re: 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.

RandomThoughts (user link) says:

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”

GMS - says:

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

UniBoy says:

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.

RandomThoughts (user link) says:

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.)

Hulser says:

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?

Richard Ahlquist (profile) says:

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

John (profile) says:

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?

RandomThoughts (user link) says:

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.

Goat says:

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…..

Holidae says:

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.

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