What Craig said today


Prostitutes Using Craigslist To Solicit For Sex:

This is just another local news article about prostitutes using craigslist to advertise. Once again Craig himself deflects the blame.

CBS13 went straight to the source in San Francisco to find out why you can find sex for sale, right next to an easy bake oven in Sacramento.

Pallas: Clearly prostitution is illegal, you know prostitutes are selling sex on your website.
Craig: There are prostitution ads on our site and people who care flag them and they do get removed but the message from our community overwhelmingly is live and let live message, people’s priorities are elsewhere.

Craig Newmark makes it clear the user driven, open forum, free speech philosophy behind/foundation of Craigslist puts what the customer wants first and he argues very few are complaining.

“People tell us to prioritize scammers and we’ve had very few complaints about prostitution…it’s something like one out of every one hundred thousand users or one out of a million,” says Newmark, “I want ’em off our site.”

So why not shut it down? He sites two major reasons.

“We wanted to draw away suspect ads from more on conventional sections like women seeking men, another is we wanted to offer legitimate erotic services to people who want them to give people a break,” says Newmark.

Again, users flag what they suspect is illegal.

“Right now we have overwhelming feedback from our community. They don’t want us to monitor the site, not in that way. People are happy with the flagging mechanism,” says Newmark.

Newmark says his company won’t police the site because he might be held legally liable for what people post and he doesn’t want to get sued.

That’s the bottom line right there. He doesn’t want to get sued. So rather than worrying about his user base getting robbed, assaulted, or killed he’s more worried about lining his own pocket. So since Craig makes money off of craigslist which provides prostitutes with a place to advertise doesn’t that make him the world’s largest pimp?

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Comments 3

  • I would say no, as he doesn’t make much:

    “Could there be holes in his argument? How much money could he make off of democracy, really? It turns out he and his 13 other employees make “just enough to pay the bills” by charging employers and recruiters to post jobs in the San Francisco Bay area only – a method of income voted upon by the site’s users. “We’re driven by a moral imperative,” he declares. “We don’t owe anyone any money, we have no investors, no venture capital money, so we have no pressure to make money.”

    http://www.austinchronicle.com/gyrobase/Issue/story?oid=oid%3A200238

  • Craig is not a police officer: he is/was a webmaster. The flag system in place is such that ANYONE who wants to participate can monitor craigslist for such ads (as well as other less sensational problems), including you.

  • http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/sep2004/nf2004098_1574_db051.htm Since then, the site’s revenues increased to an estimated $7 million in 2003, and Buckmaster, who stands a full foot taller than Newmark at 6’7″ when not slouching, has expanded the list to 45 cities in three countries.On Aug. 14, craigslist announced that eBay (EBAY) had purchased a 25% stake in the company, a move that pushed many diehard craigslist fans to cry sellout. After all, with its homey informality, spartan design, and no ads, craigslist’s cult-like following of 5 million visitors per month call it the anti-eBay. BusinessWeek’s Jessi Hempel caught up with Buckmaster recently to discuss eBay, online classifieds, and what makes craigslist so appealing. Edited excerpts from their conversation follow:Q: Where does craigslist’s revenue come from?A: Our exclusive revenue source comes from the fees we charge businesses to post jobs. In the Bay Area, businesses pay $75. This August, we also began charging New York City and Los Angeles employers $25 per posting.

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