Craigslist's Response To Adult Service Criticisms: Hey, eBay's Worse Than Us!

from the um...-a-bit-tone-deaf dept

While I think the political and media campaign against Craigslist's adult services section is seriously misguided, I'm not so sure the company's latest strategy will help win over its critics. CEO Jim Buckmaster has taken to the Craigslist blog to point out that eBay is a hell of a lot worse at policing that type of content, highlighting multiple cases where classified ads on eBay owned sites blatantly (and in very not-safe-for-work fashion) pitch prostitution. This came about after Buckmaster was pointed to a Facebook group laughably claiming that using eBay's classifieds will help stop human trafficking. That's obviously ridiculous -- and even more ridiculous as Buckmaster points out how eBay's classifieds' sites do seem to be used for much worse than the questionable behavior that Craigslist is accused of enabling.

So I understand the reasoning behind Buckmaster's post. It's certainly a pretty ridiculous situation when you're accused of doing something downright evil, and your competitors are being promoted for doing the opposite -- when the actual evidence suggests quite a different story. On top of that, there's a bit of a nasty history between Craigslist and eBay (which owns a percentage of Craigslist, which Craigslist is not at all happy about). However, I'm not so sure the "hey, they're worse than us, even though everyone thinks they're golden," response is going to win over many people. It comes off a bit tone deaf, honestly. Yes, the situation is ridiculous, but this is an emotionally driven topic, and the response people want to see is what Craigslist is doing proactively, not how others are worse.

Filed Under: adult services, blame
Companies: craigslist, ebay


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  1. identicon
    Coward (Anon), 17 Aug 2010 @ 3:07pm

    Child trafficking

    I'll admit to having perused the adult sections of Craigslist on occasion but never have I seen anything resembling child or underage prostitution. Most of the ads are from college girls working their way through school and bored MILF housewives looking for a little excitement mixed in with a few old-line escort agencies (most of these know better than use CL). These ads have always existed, they used to be in the personals in your local free paper and as well as the major paper's classified section. The ads were more subtle but still there if you knew what you were looking for. The agencies advertised in the yellow pages openly.

    Until CL started their personals sections, the ads appeared randomly in other sections. Nothing like looking for an apartment or used computer and having picture of a naked women appear. The personals section at least isolated those ads to a single place. If you don't want to see those ads, don't look in those sections.

    I'd also like to see a reference to the 25%/75% numbers quoted above. It certainly hasn't been my experience, but maybe I'm just looking in the right place.

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