Now I’ll admit I can be slow on the uptake sometimes, and this is one of those times, so bear with me.
It hit me that comparing craigslist to Oakland is like comparing the proverbial apples and oranges since craigslist isn’t a city. Even a city as crime infested as Oakland has a police department that does its best to control crime. In a city as bad as Oakland it has citizens that still report crime.
Craigslist on the other hand does not have its own police force. It does not monitor its ads and does nothing to discourage criminals from committing crimes on its website. Also on the other hand craigslist’s ‘citizens’ do not report crime, ie community policing. Instead the ads that are usually flagged on craigslist are flagged by people who are engaged in illegal activity in craigslist.
So in reality the crimes that were listed by the AIM Group study are only those that were officially reported to law enforcement then the media.
God only knows how many actual crimes have been committed using craigslist as a proxy.
Instead of the cesspool of crime that craigslist is being called it may be more like an entire sewer system of crime.
As usual Jimmy B responds in his sour grapes style by accusing the AIM Group of skewing the craigslist crime numbers since they were paid by Oodle for the report.
Classified listings scraper/aggregator and CL wannabe Oodle has paid AIM Group to falsely portray craigslist as fraught with criminal activity.
He goes on to call The AIM Group defamatory and claims that the statistics are false. Jimmy even goes on to say that if craigslist were a city it would be safer than Oakland.
James Temple at the SF Chronicle is reporting that, in terms of crime rate, or incidence of crime, craigslist is roughly 11,000 times safer than the city of Oakland.
Since Jimmy sequesters himself in the Bay Area I’m not surprised he picked Oakland but that’s like picking on a handicapped kid to compare your crime stats to Oakland.
Jimmy also says that the statement that AIM made that the ‘old rules of meeting public no longer apply’ and that CL users should exhibit some common sense. After the robberies that I have posted about that have happened in broad daylight in public places the old rules don’t apply anymore no matter how far in the sand Jimmy sticks his head in.
Rather than instituting such options as user profiles and moderated ads Mr. Buckmaster would rather tell the victims of crimes on craigslist that basically they deserve what they got because they’re stupid.
In his latest blog post craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster responds to CNN’s Amber Lyon’s alleged request for an interview.
He accuses Ms. Lyon of engaging in tabloid journalism by ambushing craigslist founder Craig Newmark with ads for prostitution on the website that bears his name. I say good on her. At least she’s out there doing real reporting instead of just regurgitating whatever the AP posts. This is was journalism is supposed to be like. How else do you expect the media to get any truth out of either one of you when both of you basically only speak through your mouthpiece Susan MacTavish Best.
And again Jimmy B is trying to deflect the true story here which is the fact that child prostitution and human trafficking is still taking place on the website that you run and Craig is the face of.
It seems they’re still not parting with that $30 Million in sex money anytime soon.
Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley has joined with other state Attorneys General in calling for craigslist to shut down the adult services section. You would think I would be happy about that and I am sort of but I think Coakley is just doing this for political gain.
While Philip Markoff’s suicide is still fresh in the news, especially in Boston, Ms. Coakley has gone on the offense against craigslist.
“Craigslist . . . continues to facilitate everyday prostitution and even human trafficking of men, women and children,” Coakley told the Herald. “Craigslist makes a significant profit from these postings and has refused to monitor the advertisements posted in this section. In the interest of public safety, Craigslist should immediately take down the adult services section of their Web site.”
Except previously Ms. Coakley had let craigslist alone while other state Attorneys General went after them. I think Ms. Coakley is using craigslist as a stepping stone to the US Senate since she previously lost a Senate election to fill the seat of the late Ted Kennedy.
In my opinion the only politician that actually cares about the human trafficking on craigslist is U.S. Representative Jackie Speier. She represents the district in California that contains San Francisco where not only is craigslist insanely popular but where prostitution is almost encouraged. She’s actually going against the grain of most of her voters.
Politicians aside craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster had his usual crap to spew about shutting down adult services…
“To do so would be a giant step backward for everyone concerned,” Buckmaster said in an e-mail exchange. “Not to mention the mayhem that would ensue from declassifying these ads back into our other categories, and off to other sites that could care less about best practices, or cooperating with law enforcement.”
What categories would the ads go to, Free Puppies? And as for cooperating with law enforcement most law enforcement claim that is a joke. As far as best practices go why isn’t shutting down the adult services section a best practice. That’s because it wouldn’t be a best practice for craigslist because they would be out of $30 Million.
In his latest blog post craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster criticizes eBay for blocking Loquo and once again points the finger at the Village Voice Media owned backpage. He still conveniently fails to mention that craigslist is still leading the way with the amount of prostitution and human trafficking ads.
However the majority of his post is about how craigslist does such a wonderful job manually screening the ‘adult services’ ads.
craigslist implemented manual screening of adult services ads in May of 2009. Since that time, before being posted each individual ad is reviewed by an attorney licensed to practice law in the US, trained to enforce craigslist’s posting guidelines, which are stricter than those typically used by yellow pages, newspapers, or any other company that we are aware of. More than 700,000 ads were rejected by those attorneys in the year following implementation of manual screening, for falling short of our guidelines. Our uniquely intensive manual screening process has resulted in a mass exodus of those unwilling to abide by craigslist’s standards, manually enforced on an ad-by-ad basis.
What I want to point out is Buckmaster’s point that an attorney screens the ads. Basically what he is saying is that the ads are screened on a legal basis but not a moral one. Then again how can someone make a moral judgment when they have no morals?
Before I get to Jimmy B I have to address this Facebook group. While eBay Classifieds (the former Kijiji in the US) has a pretty good human trafficking record I can’t endorse this group as the typical scams that plague craigslist also run rampant on eBay Classifieds.
Now back to Jimmy. In his blog post Jimmy basically says that since eBay Classifieds also has ads for prostitution that it’s ok for craigslist to have them too. Except it’s not eBay Classifieds that Mr. Buckmaster actually cites. The links that he provides are to a classifieds site called Loquo that is basically a craigslist like site based in Spain. eBay did not develop Loquo, they bought it in 2005.
As usual Mr. Buckmaster leaves some details out such as the fact that while eBay has a possibly rogue site in Spain that has prostitution ads craigslist has prostitution ads all over the world.
Not to mention the fact that according to Wikipedia eBay owns a 25% stake in craigslist. So even if you use eBay classifieds you’re still indirectly supporting craigslist.
I received the following comment on my post about Jim Buckmaster saying that craigslist is vigilant in screening its adult services ads. I’m going to let it stand on its own without any commentary from yours truly. It was posted by Cynthia Caron. The comment explains who she is.
In Mr. Buckmaster’s own words he stated “we will continue to work tirelessly, in tandem with law enforcement and key nonprofits, to ensure that any victims receive the assistance they desperately need and deserve, and that those responsible are imprisoned.”, So I ask… why has Mr. Buckmaster not responded to any of our requests to offer a reward for the safe return of Ms. Waterman?
If Craigslist is striving to keep a “clean site” and they’ve been scrutinizing the ads…tell me how Megan Waterman’s escort “services” slipped past Mr. Buckmaster’s radar?
Explain, Mr. Buckmaster, how a young single mother of 22 years of age, who worked two jobs to raise her toddler daughter, was able to become accessible from the State of Maine to “johns” in the State of NY had it not been taught to her and encouraged by her “boyfriend” , of only 11 months, via Craigslist?
On June 06, 2010 at 1:30 am Megan left the hotel in Hauppauge, NY alone and has met a terrible fate… whether it be she was abducted and trafficked or murdered by those who utilize Craigslist to catch their prey. Were not these horrid crimes learned enough from the actions of Phillip Markoff?
How can Craigslist completely ignore the fact that the family has asked repeatedly for them to step up and HALT all Craigslist personal services and to take responsibility in their share of the missing status of Megan Waterman by offering a reward for her safe return? If they REALLY cared…they would.
If a personal service was legitimate, those who run their services would have websites, advertisements and other means of marketing as any other reputable business. Perhaps the IRS needs to become involved in researching those who are posting on Craigslist? All I can say is…if Ebay can keep those from selling personal services, there is no reason that Craigslist cannot do the same. I am in agreement that it does come down to the loss of money. Hence, that means that Craigslist IS indeed contributing to sex for profit by enabling a venue to exist that contributes and enables illegal prostitution.
I’ve blogged about Malika Saada Saar before here. She’s the Executive director of the Rebecca Project for Human Rights. She is also the person responsible for bringing the plight’s of sex trafficking victims MC and AK to light and helping to place the ads with their story in the San Francisco Chronicle and the Washington Post.
In his blog post Jimmy B keeps using the sarcasm quotes by calling Ms. Saar an ‘advocate’ implying that she’s not really an anti-human trafficking advocate for those of you that are sarcasm deficient. Buckmaster says that by taking the court records to CNN Ms. Saar has put the lives of MC and AK in jeopardy since he claims that the court record numbers are visible from the report. Which may be true since I have yet to see the report.
However Jimmy fails to see the flaw in his twisted logic. Craigslist is where these girls were trafficked. It was the site that he runs that made the most available avenue for not only MC and AK but for scores of other women and children to be trafficked with so much of a mouse click. If it wasn’t for the ‘adult services’ section (now that’s how you use sarcasm quotes) the majority of these women and children would not be trafficked.
Yet Mr. Buckmaster plays the proverbial ostrich by continuing to stick his head in the sand of reality.
Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster has finally blogged his official response to the ads that were taken out in the San Francisco Chronicle and Washington Post by the Rebecca Project about human trafficking victims MC and AK. What he wrote just astounds me and not in a good way…
To AK and MC:
We saw your recent half-page newspaper advertisements in the Washington Post and San Francisco Chronicle. Hearing your accounts of being victimized by criminals who you mention also misused our site, we are anxious to know that the perpetrators are behind bars. Would you or the advocacy groups who placed the ads please let us know where the police reports were filed? We have been unable thus far to identify police reports matching the crimes you describe. If craigslist was misused, we want to learn more so we can improve our preventative measures. If anyone committing such crimes has not yet been apprehended and prosecuted, we want to do everything in our power to assist the police in making that happen. You can send the information to email@example.com. We work with law enforcement to bring to justice any criminals foolish enough to incriminate themselves by misusing our site, and want to make sure everything possible has been done in your cases.
What he’s basically saying is ‘We don’t believe you. Where’s the proof?” He’s also basically asking MC and AK to reveal their identities. Could he be any more of a child? He might as well just made a blog post that said “nuh-uh”. He also blathers on about craigslist’s commitment to stop human trafficking except shutting down adult services and casual encounters which would do the most good.
Craig closes his blog post by saying “Don’t be one of those who makes allegations without backing them up with substance — be a part of the solution.” Again basically calling MC and AK liars. Not the classiest tactic from two people who are supposed to be so socially conscious.
If you’re not outraged by the actions of Buckmaster and Newmark then you have no soul, just like them.