We’re receiving inquiries about the gross inaccuracies and absence of fact checking I cited in Monday’s New York Time article by Brad Stone. There are quite a few, but I’ll start walking through them. Let’s start with this one:
The ads, many of which blatantly advertise prostitution, are expected to bring $36 million this year, according to a new projection of Craigslist’s income.
Each ad submitted to “adult services” on CL is manually screened by one or more human reviewers. Ads that “blatantly advertise prostitution” are summarily rejected. The phrase “many of which blatantly advertise prostitution” is so patently false (and damaging) that another phrase comes to mind - “actionably defamatory”. In fact, the NY Times article probably violated multiple tenets of the Society of Professional Journalist’s Code of Ethics. More on that later.
Although you won’t find them in CL “adult services,” there are plenty of places where such ads *can* be found in great abundance.
For example, most if not all adult service ads featured by The Village Voice’s backpage.com (which carries more adult ads than CL in most US cities) would be rejected by our manual reviewers — and in fact, quite a few of them, if submitted to CL, would be reported by our reviewers toNCMEC’s cybertipline.
Here’s an ad with photos (NSFW) of bare genitalia (CL reviewers reject ads with nude pictures), describing specific sex acts offered (CL reviewers reject ads with sexual language or code words):
Watch closely as i bounce my fat luscious, juicy apple bottom booty up & down ure big ****!!! 80Roses** Quk $e$$ion 100Roses** Half Hr 140Roses** Full Hr200 Roses.
This ad offers “greek” in exchange for 100 “kisses” in the ad title (CL reviewers reject such ads):
The following ad, if submitted to CL’s review team, would have been reported to NCMEC’s cybertipline:
my parents are at work and im all alone jus waiting for someone to c** inside and invade my young, barely legal, juicy, suculant love nest.
I’m now hearing that AG Blumenthal was quite taken aback this morning when a CNN reporter had the audacity to ask him why he was spending all of his time on craigslist when Village Voice carries more adult ads of a far more graphic nature — but does not manually screen them or take any of the other steps CL does to combat trafficking. Senatorial candidate AG Blumenthal hemmed and hawed (as he’s done for the past year) but really does not have a good answer for this question.
My response to Craigslist
I was on your site for less than 30 minutes and found ads offering sex for payment, saw MULTIPLE (at least 15) ads with pictures of genitals, as well as MANY that suggested VERY explicit sex acts.
I would strongly encourage you to take a stand if you are really against prostitution and sexual slavery (girls as young as 11 being offered on your site! - source: an Open Letter by Rachel Lloyd of GEMSGirls who says she talked to you about this 18 months ago!).
Instead of defending yourself with points that are obviously not true (as I found in less than 30 minutes) why don’t you come up with a solution. You could eliminate this dept and charge a small fee for others? Or raise your fees elsewhere.
Either way, if it were your daughter being sold online, I bet you wouldn’t care what it would cost you to stop it. I just wish you’d feel the same way when it’s someone else’s daughter.
PS I’m wondering if you’ll publish this. I have heard that others have had their comments deleted.