Craigslist Caving Shows The Perils Of Self-Policing... Or The Perils Of Grandstanding Politicians?

from the i'd-argue-the-latter dept

Following Craigslist's decision to cave in to demands and start monitoring every "adult services" post on its platform, the Wall Street Journal is running a rather odd article suggesting that this somehow shows "the perils of self-policing" by a community, and suggesting that such crowdsourced reviews don't work. Except, that's a gross misreading of the actual situation. The crowdsourcing worked just fine. The issue was that members of the Craigslist community didn't have a problem with the ads in question. Those who did have problems were grandstanding politicians looking to get elected to higher office. If anything, it doesn't show the perils of self-policing, it shows the perils of getting caught in the sights of grandstanding politicians who need to whip up populist anger even if they have no legal basis to do so.

Filed Under: grandstanding, politicians
Companies: craigslist


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  1. identicon
    anymouse, 19 May 2009 @ 12:10pm

    Lets back the 'pay' vs 'free' train up a little bit and see where it started

    It was only a while ago that CL instituted the 'fee' for erotic service type adds.... at the behest of various 'grandstanding' politicians.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122599588978005497.html

    So, CL was originally a totally FREE online classified listing service that would have definitely qualified for section 230 protection. But the government complained and politicians bitched and moaned and so they instituted the 'pay' for erotic services section to cut down on the number of these types of adds (before this there were free tools and multiple spammers posting various adds of this type, apparently).

    Now people are saying that because there is a 'pay' section, CL should be liable for the adds that are posted there.... What The Frack is this country coming to?

    Looks like it's time to start CL2 in antigua or aruba or some other small online 'friendly' country and go back to just providing free listings of all types of adds. At least that's what I'd be looking into if I was in charge of CL, but I tend to be spiteful like that....

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