Feeds

Craigslist faces scrutiny over thriving red-light district

Reneges on promise to donate proceeds to charity

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
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?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.