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

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Keith, 30 Mar 2008 @ 10:30pm

    Legalizing Prostitution

    I meet a girl in a bar whom I don't know. I offer to buy her dinner and drinks. We hit it off and after i pay the $100 tab we go back to her place and have sex.
    I meet a girl in a bar whom I don't know. I offer her $100 to go back to her place and have sex and we do. She takes the $100 and buys herself dinner and drinks after i leave.
    One is legal the other isn't. All sex costs money. Even in a committed marriage the subtleties of sex for "money" are there. What is a "lap" dance then? I can go to the local strip club and and pay a girl to simulate sex with me. Perfectly legal but if she is outside the building and i ask her if she will take money to simulate sex with me it's illegal. Actually in the city i live in the former is legal but in the county it isn't but the later is illegal in both.What about girls in Playboy or Hustler or a porn video. They are paid to pose and people pay for the mag or video for the purpose (generally) to bring themselves to orgasm alone. Nothing illegal about that at all. Pay that same model to stand in front of you while you bring yourself to orgasm alone and its illegal. Oh wait, isnt that what a peep show booth is? So in some places its legal and some it's not.
    Governments of all sizes can and do regulate how we can have sex with absolutely no regard to the absurd and contradictory nature of those regulations. They allow tens of millions to be made legally from sex while at the same time spending tens of millions jailing those who dont have sex in the proper way. Are porn actors not prostitutes simply because both get paid and its a two way transaction rather than a one way transaction? Take the final step and make it legal. Prostitution is not a victimless crime as some claim. Drugs, abuse, violence, diseases. Make it legal and many of those problems would dissapear. Just look at prohibition.
    And to the person who thinks Jews control everything. As a Christian it makes me sick to think you put me in the same group as you. A hate crime pure and simple. Put the same energy into reconciliation and enlightenment as you do into hate and denial and you might realize how truly wonderful people really are.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: Copying Is Not Theft
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.