As Expected, Prostitutes Move Elsewhere After Craigslist Change

from the good-job-doing-nothing dept

We pointed out how little sense it made for various state attorneys general to force Craigslist to charge for the "erotic services" group. It would appear that at least 40 states' attorneys general are not chess players, because they only were thinking one move out. That is, they thought: "Well, there's prostitution happening via Craigslist. Let's stop Craigslist from allowing that." But, of course, they didn't bother to think of what would happen next: which is that the prostitutes would scatter to numerous other sites, meaning that the amount of prostitution would continue pretty much unabated, but it would be more scattered and much more difficult for police to track down and stop. You would think that the folks in charge of such things would recognize that the way you stop crime is by going after the actual criminals, rather than the tools they use.

So, what happened after Craigslist implemented the change? Exactly what you'd expect. Ed Kohler checked it out and noticed (as you'd expect) that the number of ads on Craigslist's erotic services dropped significantly, but the number of ads elsewhere jumped up somewhat (including some on Craigslist's "Therapeutic Services" -- suggesting that some are trying to skirt the new charging system). Kohler only looked at one other site, so it may look like the increase in ads isn't that big -- but if you add up a variety of similar sites, you can bet that it's quite likely that in total it added up to quite a lot. It's just that, now, it's a lot more work for police to actually monitor.

Filed Under: attorney general, liability, prostitution, richard blumenthal
Companies: craigslist

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  1. identicon
    Lucretious, 10 Nov 2008 @ 2:40pm

    The push to remove the ads ended up forcing a lot of the girls back on the street which only caused quality-of-life issues for residents and a general rise in crime (and lets not forget STD's). Most women who advertise on Craigs build a small clientele, insist on protection from their clients (condoms etc) and give those who wish to use such services (widowers, etc) a respite from the shame and embarrassment society often places on them for trying to fulfill a basic human need.

    Of course Jesus and Allah don't approve so every politician gets on his soapbox and spews the same tired rhetoric as to why prostitution is such an "evil" blight on society. The fact that it involves two adults who do things in the privacy of their own residences is an annoyance they'd rather do away with.

    FWIW Craigs has stopped trying to remove ads. Also, the providers have simply tailored their ads to coincide with Crags posting guidelines. They can still get a message across without being blatant about it.

    by the looks of it, Craigs just paid the politicos the lip-service they wanted for a few weeks and eventually everything is back to normal.

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