Feeds

Craigslist faces scrutiny over thriving red-light district

Reneges on promise to donate proceeds to charity

The essential guide to IT transformation

Craigslist is expected to boost revenue by a whopping 22 percent this year thanks in large part to fee-based postings in its adult services section, a new report concludes.

About one-third of the $122m Craigslist is expected to bring in in 2010 will come from the adult ads, which often promote the services of prostitutes, analysts from the Advanced Interactive Media Group estimate. Over the past year, the Web's 35th most trafficked website has doubled the fees for such ads and reneged on a promise to donate the proceeds to charities that work to prevent child exploitation and human trafficking.

As a result of the controversial move, sales from adult services will triple to about $36.3m compared with sales from 2009, the AIM Group said. It estimated profits would be about $88m. If correct, the figures mean Craigslist generates revenue of more than $4m per employee and per-employee profit of $2.9m to $3.2m.

Law enforcement authorities and anti-trafficking groups have criticized Craigslist for cashing in on the ads. The fees account for about 30 percent of its revenue, the second-largest category behind job recruitment postings, which generated 50 percent of its sales.

Last week, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal sent a letter to Craigslist officials complaining of the continued presence of prostitution ads and asking what steps they were taking to curb them, according to The New York Times. He also called on Craigslist to disclose exactly how much money it's making from the ads and criticized the decision last May to stop donating the proceeds to charity.

In late 2008, Craigslist announced changes that for the first time required people posting to the site's red-light district to register using a valid credit card and telephone number. Those caught posting "inappropriate" ads were threatened with being blacklisted.

Since then, officials in the Illinois attorney general's office have counted more than 200,000 sex ads in the Chicago section of Craigslist alone, The Times said. Last week, federal prosecutors accused members of the notorious Gambino crime family of using Craigslist to sell the sexual services of girls as young as 15 years old. ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft exits climate denier lobby group
ALEC will have to do without Redmond, it seems
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?