Yesterday I did an interview with Matthew B. Stannard of the San Francisco Chronicle about craigslist’s new security measures. Let’s get my media self-back patting out of the way first.
On the other end of the criticism spectrum was Trench Reynolds, a pseudonymous crime blogger who tracks Craigslist-linked crime at trenchreynolds.com.
“I still say the best way to crack down on that is to do away with the erotic services section altogether,” he said. “I think (the deal) will cut down on a lot of the erotic services ads, but I don’t think it will cut down enough to put me out of business.”
And I still stand by what I said.
Now let’s move on to a quote by craigslist’s CEO himself Jim Buckmaster…
“It raises the accountability for people posting to the category,” said Craigslist Chief Executive Officer Jim Buckmaster. “Our well-intentioned users don’t want to see illegal activity on the site, either.”
Buckmaster said the company is trying to strike a balance, keeping the erotic services section – in part to keep such ads from appearing elsewhere on Craigslist – but trying to do so responsibly, protecting free speech and preventing exploitation. Hopefully, he said, Craigslist can be a pioneer in this kind of cooperation as it has been on the Internet.
“In our humble opinion this is the way to go, and we would invite other online services to follow suit,” he said. “We all would be better off if we all voluntarily do what is necessary to curtail illegal activity on the Internet.”
I keep hearing this theory that if craigslist did away with erotic services that the ads would appear in other parts of the site. Well, if erotic services ads appear in other parts of the site won’t the users then be able to flag them? I mean that’s what Mr. Buckmaster was touting prior to the new measures. Has Mr. Buckmaster lost faith in his user base that he has so highly touted in the past? Or did he never have it to begin with and just wants the traffic that the erotic services section provides?