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
    re: child trafficking, 18 Aug 2010 @ 7:38am

    Coward - I've volunteered at homeless shelters and with organizations that rescue human trafficking victims and women who are exiting prostitution. The one observation that applies to all three populations is that there are different reasons for their situation.

    These are rough numbers on the homeless population based on my observations:

    10% lost their job, had medical problems or are exiting a domestic violence situation
    60% suffer from mental illness (depression, anxiety, bi polar disorder) and /or drug addiction
    30% suffer from severe mental illness (schizophrenia, multiple personality disorder or PTSD)

    You can say the same about the sex industry

    10% are adults who choose to work in the industry
    60% are runaways, homeless, foster kids or people trying to enter this country who are being manipulated
    30% are severely addicted to drugs and are merely working to support their habit day-to-day or hour-by-hour

    100% of trafficking victims are forced against their will

    "most people that end up there are emotionally broken and most of them beyond repair."

    I agree that most of these people are emotionally broken, but they are not beyond repair. The key is to understand what broke them.

    More than 75% of teenage prostitutes were sexually abused as children.

    One "repaired" prostitute explained it this way, "I was taught as a young girl that sex leads to reward. My abuser would give me candy when he was done. Of course I gravitated toward a job that rewards me for sex."

    The problem is that child sexual abuse is rampant. This is creating generations of young people who are sexually dysfuntional and "emotionally broken."

    JC - did you read what I wrote?

    "They say that 25% [8%] of sex workers are in the industry by their own choice and 75% [92%] are involved due to poverty, drug addiction, or forced trafficking."

    The 92% are not their by "choice" which is why they want to "escape immediately." If they were there by choice they would stay.

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