Craigslist Blamed Yet Again For Something It Didn't Do

from the just-can't-help-it,-huh? dept

Weren't we just pointing out that everyone seems to want to blame Craigslist for things that it has no responsibility for? The latest is Connecticut's Attorney General, who has attacked Craigslist for allowing ads for prostitution. This is hardly a new charge. Last summer, the mayor of Atlanta lobbed similar charges at Craigslist. But, of course, just like that time, the blame is misplaced. Craigslist is the tool provider, not the content provider. To blame Craigslist isn't just wrong, when it comes to illegal acts like prostitution, it's downright backwards. Why? Because as some police have realized, Craigslist is actually a really useful tool for police to track down and arrest people breaking the law.

So not only is it placing the blame on the wrong party, it's doing so in a way that would only drive the prostitution further underground, making it harder for the police (and the Attorney General's office) to do their job. How smart is that? But it sure does generate headlines... The Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal, had this to say in a letter to Craigslist:
"I am astonished and appalled by Craigslist's refusal to recognize the reality of prostitution on its Web site -- despite advertisements containing graphic photographs and hourly rates, and widespread public reports of prostitutes using the site."
To which I can only reply: I am astonished and appalled by Richard Blumenthal's refusal to recognize the reality of liability and section 230 safe harbors -- despite it being the law of the land and widely known and discussed in legal circles.

Filed Under: blame, craigslist, prostitution, richard blumenthal
Companies: craigslist


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  1. identicon
    Keith, 31 Mar 2008 @ 7:39am

    Re: Re: Craigslist and prositution

    Perverted men would love to see it legal? What a narrow minded view. You said yourself that it wasnt given away that easy so what was it that you got that made you give it up? My guess is is that you may be a religous person, a zealot maybe even, so sex to you is rooted in morality rather than biology. When you stop thinking of Johns as perverts and prostitutes as sinners maybe you could see the real sin of keeping sex between two adults who happen not to agree with your puritanical views as empowering to women. Regulate it as with any other business and those who chose to do so could make good money, pay taxes, afford medical care and not have to worry about getting the crap beat out of them by some worthless pimp trying to get them hooked on heroin.
    In my local newspaper there are hundreds of personal ads. Do you honestly think all of those people are looking for an honest loving committed relationship? Come on! As long as advertising for companionship is legal then Craigslist cant be held responsible real time for what might turn out to be illegal later. Just as Ebay cant know real time that a product may turn out to be a ripoff or defective. If someone advertised "sex for money" then I'm sure they would immediately remove the post just as Ebay might if someone advertised "fake Rolexs at real Rolex prices" Even if the intent of the add is clear until someone finds a way to vet every single ad then you start down the slippery slope of censorship. Theoretically two ads worded exactly the same could have two entirely different intentions.

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