It's been well-reported that sex traffickers use Craigslist to sell "services." I've watched a stories on CNN, Dateline, MSNBC, and other news reports of law enforcement using Craigslist to track down predators and traffickers. Due to added pressure from attorneys and abolitionist groups, Craigslist made some changes to their "adult services" section in 2008.
But the question is, are they the right changes and are they enough? Many believe it was just a cosmetic change and more needs to be done.
Here are the Craigslist Changes.
1. Changed the name to "Adult Services."
2. More clearly specified rules for posts along with a message to report any child sex posts.
3. Doubled the "Adult Services" posting fee from $5-$10.
4. Vowed to work with law enforcement to combat trafficking.
Here are two problems I have.
1. It appears that doubling the "Adult Services" posting fee did not deter posts. In actuality, Craigslist is making more money than ever before off of the "Adult Services" section. It's estimated they will make $36M of their annual $122M directly from "Adult Service" advertising. That would make Craigslist the richest pimp in the world.
2. Craigslist still posts over 3.5 million "Adult Service" ads per year with no real screening for child prostitution. If you're making that much money off the advertising, you can afford to hire people and put a screening process in place.
Evidence can be seen that sex trafficking continues on Craigslist with the new charges of the Gambino Mafia using Craigslist to run a sex trafficking ring. Below are 3 stories regarding the Gambino Family and Craigslist. I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter.
NY Daily News: Gambino Mobsters Running Craigslist Teen Prostitution Ring
If you feel Criagslist needs to do more screening and prevention, please sign the Change.org petition.