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
    Rekrul, 29 Mar 2008 @ 12:07pm

    Blumenthal is an idiot. Toward the end of last year he tried to block AT&T from offering its U-Verse TV service on the grounds that it should have to abide by the exact same rules as traditional cable TV, even though Connecticut had recently passed a law giving the ok to just this type of service. He eventually relented after a public outcry.

    Supposedly, this was to protect consumers. Since AT&T started offering TV service for less, I've gotten a couple ads from the only local cable company offering me an even cheaper deal. Are lower prices what he was trying to protect me against?

    As for prostitution; If authorities really wanted to protect people, they'd legalize and regulate it. Less diseases, no incentive to submit to a pimp, they can stop watsing money to catch and prosecute non-criminals. Everyone wins. Well, except for the bible thumpers who would start screaming that the end of civilization is at hand...

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