Feeds

Craigslist founder defends 'erotic' listings

Masseuse murder microscope

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

There's only a few PR predicaments worse than having a sensationalized killing named after your business*. Yet, despite intense coverage of the so-called "Craigslist murder," Craig Newmark - founder of the popular online classified service - says there's no plans to shutter the site's "erotic services" section.

Newman told ABC News on Friday evening he disagrees with claims that the site facilitates prostitution. Responding to recent criticism from Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, he said the site already has measures to let users flag "inappropriate" material for removal.

Last week, Blumenthal publicly advocated a series of new "strong and specific" measures to fight prostitution and pornography on Craigslist. The proposed changes include eliminating photographs in the "erotic services" section, hiring of staff to screen for images and ads that violate the site's terms of service, charging a "significant" fee to those who post a listing that violates the TOS, and offering a portion of that fine to anyone who correctly flags and reports an ad for prostitution.

The site's erotic services section is once again gone under the public microscope after the arrest of a 22-year-old Boston University medical student Philip Markoff, accused of murdering masseuse Julissa Brisman after arranging a meeting on Craigslist. Markoff is also charged with robbing another masseuse he met on Craigslist in a separate attack.

Craigslist is also involved in a federal lawsuit filed by the Illinois Sheriff Department in March, which claims the enormous amounts of prostitution solicitations on the site strains the department's ability to enforce the law.

The site has taken some action against stifling classifieds-of-ill-repute months earlier by requiring phone verification and credit card authorization for all erotic services listings. Craigslist boasted the changes prompted a "spectacular" 95 per cent drop in erotic listings in recent months.

Of course, most criticism of the site's "erotic services" listings seem to ignore that risks of meeting a stranger from the internet isn't necessarily tied with any "erotic" dealings. For example, in 2007, a Minnesota woman was shot to death after being lured by a Craigslist advertisement for a baby sitter. But apparently, folks figure that since sex and murder are "sinful" both most must be related.

There's a few folks trying to advocate a boycott of Craigslist until the site shuts down its "erotic services" listing – perhaps assuming the issue will simply go away if Craigslist removes it, rather than forcing it to another site that requires even less accountability of its users. ®

*Conversely, having a disease named after you is an honor. Go figure.

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.