The NY Times on craigslist crimes

Law Enforcement Targets Prostitution on Craigslist:

It’s nice to see the NY Times write a sizzling expose about craigslist prostitution. Never mind that I’ve been writing about it for the past year. However this article does have some merit as it has some great quotes.

First let’s hear from craigslist president Jim Buckmaster…

Law enforcement officials have accused Craigslist of enabling prostitution. But the company’s president, Jim Buckmaster, said its 24-member staff cannot patrol the multitude of constantly changing listings — some 20 million per month — and counts on viewers to flag objectionable ads, which are promptly removed.

“We do not want illegal activity on the site,” he said. Asked whether the company supported the police’s placing decoy ads on Craigslist, Mr. Buckmaster said: “We don’t comment on the specifics” of law enforcement.

Like I’ve said before the problem with users policing the ads are that people who use craigslist for normal items aren’t going to venture in to the erotic services section and people using the erotic services section sure as hell aren’t going to flag the ads.

Now let’s hear from a pro-prostitute advocate…

Tracy Quan, a member of the advocacy group Prostitutes of New York and author of the autobiographical novel “Diary of a Married Call Girl” (Harper Perennial, 2006), acknowledged that “the Internet became a virtual street for people in the sex industry,” but said that “the police are as inventive and as wily as sex workers are.” She said that the stings amounted to entrapment of consenting adults, and that “it seems like an enormous waste of time resources by authoritarian busybodies.”

Translation: I think I’m above the law so I’m going to complain about police doing their job.

And again from Mr. Buckmaster…

Law enforcement officials ask why Craigslist even includes Erotic Services among its 191 categories. Mr. Buckmaster, the company president, said the site created that category “at the request of our users” for legitimate massage, escorts and exotic dancers. In an e-mail interview, he said that the police had praised the company’s cooperation, though he did not give examples.

Letting the inmates run the asylum is never a good idea.

And for those of you who think that prostitution is no big deal I leave you with this quote…

The police say the focus on such misconduct is worthwhile because prostitution is often linked to other crimes involving drugs, weapons, physical abuse and exploitation of minors and immigrants.

But I guess you’re ok with all of that.

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