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
    Lili Balfour, 17 Aug 2010 @ 4:16pm

    re: Child trafficking

    Coward - the underage victims I've met didn't look underage to me. Some 12 year olds look 20. Miley Cyrus is 15, but could pass for 30.

    There is a bunch of research on the topic at www.prostitutionresearch.com

    Below is the study that I mentioned. I was wrong, it wasn't 75%, it was 92%. It would be interesting to see the US only numbers. I've yet to find them. If it's only 50% in the US, that's still too many people.

    In a study of 475 people in prostitution (including women, men, and the transgendered) from five countries (South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, USA, and Zambia):

    62% reported having been raped in prostitution.
    73% reported having experienced physical assault in prostitution.
    72% were currently or formerly homeless.
    92% stated that they wanted to escape prostitution immediately.
    (Melissa Farley, Isin Baral, Merab Kiremire, Ufuk Sezgin, "Prostitution in Five Countries: Violence and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder" (1998) Feminism & Psychology 8 (4): 405-426

    Here's another interesting statistic:

    In 1993, 42% of women arrested in Seattle on prostitution-related charges were convicted.

    In 1993, 8% of men arrested in Seattle on prostitution-related charges were convicted.

    (Seattle Women's Commission, 1995, "Project to Address the Legal, Political, and Service Barriers Facing Women in the Sex Industry" Seattle, Washington.

    Why are women, who are generally not there by choice, the ones that are convicted? Any female who claims to care about gender equality should be concerned about this.

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