Attorneys General Ramp Up Misguided Attacks On Craigslist

from the it-ain't-the-tool dept

This should come as no surprise at all, but following the mad rush to blame Craigslist for the fact that a psychopath used the site to find women to murder, various Attorneys General are falsely trying to pin some blame on Craigslist and get it to take actions that won't help at all. Both Illinois' Attorney General and Connecticut's Attorney General (who has a history of wrongly blaming Craigslist) are calling for the site to shutter the "erotic services" section.

If you don't think too much, you can see why people might think this makes sense. After all, some of the services being offered on those sites are illegal. But does that mean that those actions stop once Craigslist stops accepting those ads? Of course not. As we saw last year when Craigslist was pressured into restricting that section, those who are in the market for erotic services simply move elsewhere, and in scattering them around, it actually makes it that much more difficult for law enforcement to monitor the activity and stop it from happening. We've pointed to a few examples of police actively using Craigslist as a tool to track down lawbreakers. It's hard to understand why these Attorneys General are trying to take that tool away from the police. Craigslist cooperates with law enforcement, and gives law enforcement an easy way to track and deal with illegal activity. Shutting down parts of Craigslist doesn't help. It doesn't stop the illegal activity -- it just makes it that much harder to track and stop.
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Filed Under: attorneys general, blame, richard blumenthal
Companies: craigslist


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  • identicon
    Joe Smith, 28 Apr 2009 @ 7:37pm

    Makes as much sense as

    banning sreets on the grounds that many serial killers seek out victims from sex trade workers working on streets.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Thousand Oaks Video Gallery, 28 Apr 2009 @ 8:20pm

    health

    Dr. Rudman Dentist, in Thousand Oaks California has the only video gallery of dental procedures. It offers easy to understand explanations so you know what to expect from a dentist visit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Thousand Oaks Video Gallery, 28 Apr 2009 @ 8:21pm

    health

    Dr. Rudman Dentist, in Thousand Oaks California has the only video gallery of dental procedures. It offers easy to understand explanations so you know what to expect from a dentist visit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Eadwacer, 28 Apr 2009 @ 8:36pm

    The AGs aren't dumb

    You assume they are doing this to fight crime. They don't care about crime. They care about getting reelected and nominated to federal judgeships and moving up to governor. To do that they need tough-on-crime publicity. These are all publicity stunts that exploit a tenuous link between something voters care about and a scapegoat they (mostly) never heard of. If some crime gets fought along the way, well, that's not their fault.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Darren Tomlyn (profile), 28 Apr 2009 @ 10:25pm

    Hmm...

    What is it about the USA? - you seem to have a thing about shooting the messenger over there atm...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Scott Gardner (profile), 29 Apr 2009 @ 12:46am

    Sounds like an old George Carlin routine:

    “Today a man shot six people on the crosstown bus, got a transfer, and shot six people on the downtown bus. In order to prevent this from happening in the future, authorities are discontinuing the transfer system.”

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Apr 2009 @ 1:04am

    damned if you do damned if you don't

    although i agree that stopping the ads on Craiglist will just make users look elsewhere, but I am not sure that's the proper argument here, you say it your self those ads are promoting illegal services.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 Apr 2009 @ 8:33am

      Re: damned if you do damned if you don't

      Banning them on Craig's list != Stopping the Illegal services. They just go elsewhere to post them, at least if they're on CL the authorities can go there to keep tabs on them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jani, 29 Apr 2009 @ 4:25am

    It's almost as silly as the argument that if you make guns illegal - there will be no more crime.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Matt Bennett, 29 Apr 2009 @ 8:34am

    He's not a psychopath. He murdered a girl in what essentially was a botched robbery. (and robbed several other prostitutes, but didn't try to hurt them) He's certainly a bad person, but he's not a psychopath. I mention this only because I believe hyperbole doesn't get us anywhere.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Julie, 29 Apr 2009 @ 8:20pm

    Craigslist has to go because it's FREE

    The print media (large newspapers) HATE Craigslist because it cuts into classified advertising, which pulls in most of their advertising revenue. So... they will bash Craigslist whenever and wherever they can. As many as possible will jump on the bandwagon, just watch.
    Even just repeating "Craigslist Killer" over and over again might put a dent in Craigslist. It's like brainwashing or something - just keep repeating something and people will believe it, and without realizing it, will start associating "Craigslist" with "killer." I have seen so many headlines this week, with those two words together, it's almost like they're trying to make a brand name out of it!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Allen (profile), 29 Apr 2009 @ 9:15pm

    It's a distraction.

    If politicians didn't make a lot of noise about all of the many things they are going to do, the voters might notice how few things that have actually done.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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