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
    I am not a fish..., 10 Nov 2008 @ 1:02pm


    Law enforcement have chased prostitution for as long as it has existed, and guess what? It continues unabated. I realize that laws only have purpose when they are enforced, but prostitution is like mercury, it will always move where the pressure is least.

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