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
    Anonymous Coward, 19 May 2009 @ 3:38am

    Re: Re:

    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.

    Support your assertion with some examples. Otherwise, the ignorance is yours.

    Look, newspapers and even the Yellow Pages have had "Massage" and "Escort" ads for years, but at no time did those ads request money. The services on CL explicitly request or mention a fee for service and that's the problem. Couching the request as "diamonds" or some other exchange doesn't work either.

    There is a lot of support on this blog for the concept of CL being a neutral party but what is never discussed is if they or any other online publication should have those ads. The laws need to catch up with the technology; that's always the case. Call them "grandstanding" pols if you wish, but a little social responsibility on CL's part would make far more sense.


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