Craigslist faces scrutiny over thriving red-light district
Reneges on promise to donate proceeds to charity
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. ®
There are already separate laws dealing with trafficking and the other crime related reasons that people drag up when defending the prohibition on prostitutes. Most of the "crime" that people bring up when defending the anti-prostitution laws, the physical abuse, the trafficking, drugs, etc., are in fact PROTECTED by the laws against prostitution.
Think about it, why doesn't a woman who has just been beaten by her pimp go to the police? Because she will get arrested for being a prostitute and the pimp will probably get a lighter sentence than she will.
If prostitution was legal these "Victims", that everyone seems so concerned with protecting that we put them in jail, would be able to go to the police and press charges, or get restraining orders, or even just try to get help without fear of being arrested for trying to take care of herself and her family.
How is renting your body for sex any different from renting your skills as an accountant, programmer or ditch digger to a company/individual in exchange for money?
And before you bring up STIs and "street walkers", consider these ideas;
Require a permit, renewed monthly, that requires a clear STI screening result from a clinic. (funny that one of the complaints I hear about hookers is that they leave used condoms laying all over the place, sounds like they are better at practicing safe sex than most people.)
Most of the hookers you see on the street would move inside where it is safer, if they could just advertise in the paper or on sites like craigslist.
200k? Poor bastards...
I don't claim to speak from experience, but if the harlots advertising their jubblies (amongst other things) on Craigslist are anything like the streetwalkers downtown on a weekend night, then I could well imagine it being the first investigation relating to grown women on t'internet where someones said "But can't you IT folks just turn the bloody pictures off?"
Anyway, it's nothing new. Been going on for thousands of years, now it's just in a directory online, like going to a stores website and ordering parts for the car (and nothing against these women but they're the ones who, for whichever reason, choose to offer their 'time' in exchange for fiscal compensation). They're aware of the format, how accessible it is, so Craigslist isn't preying on them. It's a business, and businesses run by making money, which they get from consumers - by providing a good or service the consumers desire. If they did make some donation to groups dedicated to helping women in general, and especially the ones who are coerced or somehow forced into this, then they should be applauded, but they can't give away all their profits from a substantial revenue stream indefinitely.
The DA or whoever is probably simply afraid that his wife has been busy perusing 'w4m'
follow the links, not just the money
This whole thing comes from the advertising for one "report" -- which sells for <a href="http://www.aimgroup.com/index.php/article/craigslist-revenue-profits-soar">$400</a>.
craigslist has been fighting bull like this for years, but it's peaking right now. <a href="http://blog.craigslist.org/2010/04/true-colors-are-showing/"></a> <a href="http://blog.craigslist.org/2010/04/sad-state-of-affairs-at-the-new-york-times/"></a> <a href="http://blog.craigslist.org/2010/04/coverage-of-ct-ag-grandstanding/"></a> <a href="http://blog.craigslist.org/2010/04/misdirected-outrage/"></a>