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
    Matt, 29 Mar 2008 @ 10:53am

    Yeah, but...

    Craigslist hosts a section for "Erotic Services." Isn't that just a euphemism for dirty deeds done dirt... well, kinda expensive, but... That ain't how the song goes.

    This could, I'm sure, but argued that it's "intended" for things like the cambabes that want to charge you $5 a minute to watch them do whatever it is that you want for them to do. But c'mon, does anyone really believe that this is what that's for? Seriously?

    To be honest, I don't care if a woman (or a man, for that matter) wishes to sell their bodies for whatever purposes so long as the acts are not illegal-in-the-hey-how-old-is-she-seven?-eight? arena, and as long as these people are being as safe as they possibly can be and aren't spreading/contracting social diseases. I don't care, and I don't believe that the government should, either.

    But to say that Craigslist doesn't know what's going on with their own site? That they don't know what an ad talks about when the listing says "full service?" Hint: she's not gonna put gas in your car and check the oil level.

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