Monday, April 27, 2009

Craig Might Be In Trouble

The founder of Craigslist does not plan to close the "erotic services" section of the website despite criticism that has intensified after a medical student was accused of killing a Boston masseuse who advertised there. Craig Newmark contends his site already allows users to flag inappropriate material they believe should be removed. "Sometimes a bad guy of some sort tries to pull a fast one on our site," he said in an interview that aired Friday night on ABC News. "We don't want it there, it's wrong, and that's why we have the help of the general community and the law enforcement community getting rid of things like that." Newmark's comments defied a request by Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who asked Craigslist to immediately eliminate photographs in the "erotic services" section, hire staff to screen images and ads that violate the site's terms of service and fine users who violate those terms.


Craig and his list are catching a lot of heat these days. The Craigslist killer story seems to be affecting people on a personal level. Hundreds of murders happen everyday and most of them don't get any media coverage. This story is more compelling than others because the murderer took an unconventional path to get to his victim. People use Craigslist everyday to search for apartments, sell furniture, find graphic designers, and a host of other things. I'm pretty sure that the majority of these people do not think about the safety risks associated with online transactions. Nowadays, one really cannot afford to be that care free. The young lady who was murdered may have known these risks and its possible that she tried her best to fight off her killer. Even if she was an unsuspecting victim, her death is really a tragedy.

The people that want Craig to eliminate the "erotic services" section mean well, but their anger is misguided. I think the website is doing a relatively good job of thwarting criminals. If the "erotic services" section is removed, those who break the law will find another way to get to their victims. The stigma attached to erotic services probably contributes to the public's outrage. People opposed to those services need to get over themselves. We all have to do what we have to do to get by these days. This story reminded me of Devin the Dude's "Do What You Wanna Do". Craig can run his site however he wants and people have the right to complain about it.

Hallelujah can tell this
Devin's got some shit wouldn't give a fuck if you dissed
Because shit to each's own and each owns voice
You can be stealin killin or chillen whateva your choice
Smoke some weed smoke ya pipe fuck it
Life if how you live it
I grab the mic while the DJ groove it