Jenny DeMilo

The end of prostitution

pressured to do something they didn't want to, why does that sound familiar

Craigslist adult services as of last night at 9pm PST is offline. The link is replaced with a black bar with the word censored. Adult gigs where people posted looking for content models is also gone.  It was only a matter of time. Craigslist has been under attack by headline seekers for a while and have been be targeted and painted as as the promoters of of child prostitution for a couple of years now. It heated up a year ago and Craigslist blinked and gave the inch the moralist and misguided do-gooders were looking for and they were on the case to get their mile. Craigslist started charging for advertising, required credit cards and collected information on its advertisers with the intent of passing it along to law enforcement in an effort to comply with the squeaky wheel. Recently 17 Attorneys General fulled by upcoming elections again took up the torch to vilify a website and blame them for the woes of underage prostitution and human trafficking.  Craigslist even though they had federal law on their side appears to have caved.

I say appears because there has been no statement from Craigslist as of yet. There are reports that for two days advertisers were getting their ads denied of renewal. Still other reports are of cards being charged up until the section disappeared.  That doesn’t come to a surprise as there has been very little “customer service” for the millions of dollars Craigslist has made off the backs of hard working sex workers.

Craigslist was never pro prostitution, they worked with law enforcement on a regular basis. They never came out in support of sex workers rights, they often treated sex workers with disdain and regarded them as a “necessary evil” often citing that they needed the Adult Services section to keep them off other parts of the site, they essentially ghettoised  in an intellectual way the sex workers they made so much money off of. I always resented them for this attitude.  Their position was one of who is responsible for the content of an ad. The publishing vehicle or the advertiser. According to federal law its the advertiser no ifs ands or buts about it. Craigslist had a stringent TOU, they manually checked ads to make sure people complied with it, but that wasn’t enough for some. They blamed Craigslist for prostitution and often acted as if they could only get Craiglist adult services offline that prostitution would come to an end.

Well its off line so those individuals can rejoice that now we have the end of prostitution. Huzzah! Unless you look at any number of the the other websites where sex workers take out ads. Like Backpage which is rumored to be owned by the Village Voice, which in turn is owned by Murdock. Yeah that Murdock, of FOX news.

Wanna bet this crusade doesn’t switch focus to the right wing mogul. He’s Australian and their views of prostitution differ from the uptight US but more then that, hes a money hungry, soul crushing, megalomaniac bazillionaire and escort money is jut as green as everyone else’s and hes about to get a multi million dollar bump to his pocket book when the business that was done on Craigslist migrates to Backpage.

This will be interesting to watch play out… I’ve got my popcorn.

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12 thoughts on “The end of prostitution

  1. Lacey

    I had hoped it would stay to facilitate the arrest of those who DO participate in human trafficking, child abuse and under-age porn. It seemed to be good for that…maybe they’re not really interested in arresting those people?

  2. kendra

    OMG….ME AND MY MAN HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT THIS SHIT FOR A LONG TIME NOW! THIS SHIT IS CRAZY! WOOOOOOOOW!

  3. Kenny Alexander

    Yep, no more hookers…wow do I feel safe.

    The moral minority have saved us again…

    I love how they cited one example of underage sex trade….ok….you got us…one….sure it happens…but I believe the MAJORITY in all the cities across the USA are of age adult escorts just making a living providing a service…but ya….one….Hey, how many preachers have been caught stealing and cheating…..uh…more than one I believe.

    Speaking of which…I am going to get laid…today…by an escort…in honor of the craigslist shutdown!

  4. Sensual Lina

    I moved to USA from one of the most censored and regulated societies in the world – good ole USSR. it is rather ironic that over last decade roles of government in regulating private lives of its citizens are pretty much reversing.

    As for demise of CL – it will end prostitution just as well as “Just say no” ended drug use. Oh, wait a minute, it did not!

    We have a saying “give them your hand and they will bite of the arm”. I think we are well beyond the arm point here.

    Lina

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  6. Ethan Lambert

    I’d noticed the sex worker ads slowly creeping back into the Casual Encounters section, and now I know why. Oh well, if abstinence education worked for Bristol Palin, than this will probably work for… oh wait.

  7. mdrider

    Election year and boy do those sanctimonious,two-faced,squirrel-like,ego-centric states attorneys want another term on our dime,and they’ll say or do anything to try to convince scared and uninformed people(their favorite voters).

    The government needs to stop attempting to legislate and regulate morality,it is not their job! Many of these jurisdictions are getting fat(even in these lean time) on busting, penalizing,and incarcerating people with archaic statutes that they seem to conveniently dust off and abuse every time it suits their publicity or financial needs.

  8. Gabrielle

    The adult gigs section had nothing to do with “erotic services” They were ads posted by companies looking to hire girls for promo work, etc. It had nothing to do with prostitution. Not that I’m aware of, or at least not in my city…that I noticed anyway.

  9. James

    Well, the unproven allegations of “Rampant” human trafficking, and being called the “Walmart of child trafficking” on CNN was popcorn worthy, as was the ambush journalism of springing out at Craig (yes, THE Craig) after he gave a talk to some group. This all unfolded on Anderson Cooper 360…What is hilarious is that the 360 is supposed to represent the degrees they examine a story…in other words every angle was that CL is a horrendous child trafficking supermarket of doom. The other side of the story? Yes, there’s also prostitutes too!!

    The pathetically simple nature of scaring Americans into begging to have their civil liberties ripped from them (ripped? No way! We GIVE them away!) is a sham and a complete slap in the face to everything America is supposed to stand for.

    The main thing is that Craig’s List didn’t advertise “Prostitution”…In fact they had lawyers on staff to reject any ad that was blatantly advertising anything illegal. The Reader newspapers, same deal. Village Voice? Well, they can get PRETTY blatant about avoiding saying they have sex with you. But generally, in a country of innocent until proven guilty, an ad that reads “Come on over and bring your friend Benjamin and If he stay with me, you and I can have a wonderful time” is NOT an ad that promises sex for money. No crime is committed until the police catch the person soliciting prostitution. This is why you always see the stings that NO CRIME EXISTS until the MONEY changes hands. Yet, Craig’s List, which is protected by Digital Millenium Act and the 1st Amendment, get a letter restraining them from doing business.

    What I’d like to see is the legal sex workers…The bachelor party stripper and the model, webcam girl, panty seller, picture seller, etc. Get a class action lawsuit together against the DAs for ruining their legal business. That would show em’!

  10. Rachael Benedict

    I fear that the vocal sex-obsessed conservatives will think they have “gained” something from this Craigslist drama… I see it as a way for big old media (which owns the old print newspapers) to “get back” at CL for so drastically diminishing their classifieds sections (estimated by one study as a 55-65 Million dollar loss in San Francisco alone from employment classifieds in 2004). This doesn’t even count the huge financial loss that the yellowpage industry has taken, correlated with Craigslist. It was in the “big” media’s best business financial interests to go to bed with the right wing on this issue.

    I think there are easier, more clearly legal, and cheaper ways to accomplish a true “war” on prostitution other than by attacking Craigslist. It doesn’t make financial sense…

    Maybe, at a deeper level, Americans are being forced to see sex-work as a more complex field than the streetwalker aspect. If that is the case, then I am curious to see if Twitter is attacked next for all the escorts on there. I get the feeling that alot of people would just rather escorts keep to their own websites and message boards.

    If we move all adult ad sites overseas, which aren’t already based in more liberal countries… will the next step then be to censor so our “pure” american citizens can’t access those sites that the organized minority find offensive?

    Blaming Craigslist for prostitution and human trafficking is like holding Match.com accountable for date-rapes.

  11. jennydemilo Post author

    @lacey You make a very good point

    @kenny You go!

    @Lina I agree with ya on that one

    @Ethan ha!

    @Mdrider Legislating morality never works

    @Gabrielle You are correct, but they removed them too.

  12. Marion

    Hi Jenny,

    Thanks for providing an insider’s perspective into this way of life – I enjoy your writing and attitude.

    Totally off-topic question that you may be able to answer for me after clicking through random escort links: why is the “no black gentlemen” request so common?

    Warm Regards,

    Marion