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. icon
    Mike (profile), 18 May 2009 @ 11:38pm


    Velvet Jones School of Technology, "I Wanna be a Ho" (Eddie Murphy on SNL) at least had redeeming value. Can't say the same for much of the stuff on CL. Seriously, an ad calling for a "donation" of "100 diamonds for 1/2 hour" hardly strikes me as something that should be a poster child for "keep the internet free".

    Yes, so the issue is with the PERSON WHO POSTED THE AD. I'm not sure why this is so hard for people to comprehend. It is not Craigslist's responsibility, nor should it be.

    Why not just restructure CL by spinning-out it's "erotic services" group as an LLC, and then having this new entitiy publish online ads under the by-line "Craig's Hos for Hire"?

    Huh? That makes no sense. CL made no profit from this section.

    If a magazine publisher did this I rather doubt it would be in business very long. But, if you are an on-line service, then 230 should be an absolute if's, and's or but's.

    Oh come on. Is this really that confusing? First of all, many magazines DO publish such ads and don't get in trouble for it -- but why let facts get in the way of ignorance? Second, the difference between a magazine and Craigslist (and this has been noted many times before), is that the ads in a magazine are all hand reviewed by the publisher before hand. That's not the case with Craigslist.

    Section 230 has nothing to do with it. It's just common sense.

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