An escort on craigslist

I got an e-mail over the weekend from a professional escort who we’ll call Mary. She pointed me in the direction of and their Wayback Machine. Now I was familiar with the Wayback Machine but I never thought to run craigslist through it until now.

Mary says that craigslist has been building their fame off the backs of hookers since almost the beginning but they don’t dare tell the public how long they’ve been doing it.

Thanks to Mary’s tip I went through the Wayback Machine and the earliest I found that craigslist had the erotic services section listed on the front page was October 29, 2002. So for most of craigslist’s life they’ve been using prostitution to attract users. If anything craigslist should give the prostitutes a cut. Also we now have a date to ‘celebrate’ the day that craigslist started dallying in child prostitution and human trafficking.

Getting back to Mary she says that craigslist has basically used the women to build their site and now they act like they have no clue of what’s going on. Mary also says that she has been harassed and stalked by craigslist users in the past and that craigslist does nothing to protect its users. She says she has posted warnings about stalkers and lost clients because of it so basically like I’ve been saying it’s the inmates who are running the asylum at craigslist. Mary finds it ironic that the stalkers get the last say since craigslist was built on the backs of hookers.

Do I think that Craig Newmark and Jim Buckmaster are pimps? Not in the least. Pimps at least pay their girls.

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Comments 4

  • Is it wrong that I laughed a little when you wrote “off the backs of hookers?”

    But seriously Craigslists does owe the women on their money if we’re being honest. I always saw CL as similar to the Village Voice or The Courent papers in that all the content wa window dressing for six pages of hooker ads.

  • Craigslist’s official position is that they have an Erotic Services section in order to isolate adult services ads in one section rather than have them show up in personals, etc.

    I don’t expect you to believe this CL statement of intent given your mindset. But if you were trying to be fair to CL you might use a web archive (e.g., the Wayback Machine, with which you are familiar) to browse CL prior to the introducton of the Erotic Services section, and see whether there were ES ads in other forums.

    If the ES section actually ads to CL’s profits, as you state, that’s not CL’s fault. If I had authority at CL I would not eliminate ES and risk a soccer mom from Schenectady being scandalized in Personals by a stray hooker ad when all she was looking for was an LTR with a nice doctor.

    If you’re so interested in influencing CL policy re ES, why don’t you get a job there? Then you will see some of the constraints on their business that you so easily dismiss from Mt. Olympus, er, I mean your blog.

  • Here’s a thought. Why don’t the ‘hobbyists’ and escorts start their own site so they don’t have to befoul craigslist at all?

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