Craigslist Makes $36 Million
From Illegal Sex Ads
Today, the New York Times finally caught up with a story we at Change.org have been telling for over a year — that Craigslist is making bank off of illegal prostitution ads, some of which are for sex with human trafficking victims and children. Last year, the company made $36.3 million from sex ads posted on the site, the vast majority of which were for illegal activities. That means, officially, Craigslist is the richest pimp in the world.Craigslist is by far the largest single advertiser of commercial sex in the world. In the U.S. alone, a search on Craigslist is one of the easiest ways to find a woman or child who is being forced into the sex industry against her will. Then relative anonymity of posting allows pimps to sell sex trafficking victims with minimum risk of exposure to law enforcement. The euphemisms which are used on the site to describe the illegal commercial sex transactions being advertised are so transparent, a child could figure out what is going on. And, incidentally, a child could easily access the adult photos which often accompany these ads, a reason many schools ban Craigslist.Last summer, Craigslist claimed they were "reforming" the way illegal sex ads are posted on the site (note: not removing illegal sex ads, just reforming the process). But even that small change hasn't been made. All Craigslist has done is re-title the section where women and children are sold by pimps, from "erotic" to "adult" services. It's a face-lift, when what the doctor recommended was a quadruple bypass. And now I know why Craigslist is so reluctant to change.
Tell Craigslist to Make REAL Change in the Adult Services Section of Craigslist!
They have 36.3 million reasons, each with a picture of George Washington on it, to keep selling ads to pimps and traffickers. But they only have 2300 reasons to stop the ads, namely, the consumers who have sent them a letter demanding real change and refusing to use their site until that happens. You can demand this change from them too, and give them more reasons to reform, by signing this letter. This is the bare, bare minimum we are asking of Craigslist to prevent the sale and exploitation of slaves on their site — real transparency, real vetting, and a real commitment to preventing illegal sex ads.Craigslist is projected to make about $122 million in 2010, which means that even if they shut down all sex-related advertisements, they would still be raking in a tidy sum. But the fact is that, money aside, Craigslist just doesn't seem to want to change. They have begrudgingly admitted that their new status as America's most notorious pimp for trafficked women and girls is not a title they really love, but they don't seem to detest it enough to make real change. Craigslist founder Craig Newmark and CEO James Buckmaster know that their website makes it possible for more men to rape children, with greater ease, anonymity, and impunity. That they have yet to do anything about that is more than even the grossest corporate irresponsibility. It represents an intolerable level of greed and apathy. And it's time we stood together and told Craigslist that their tenure as the world's richest and most powerful pimp is about to end.
Drill baby drill, became Spill baby spill, then burn baby burn became, kill baby kill as all the sea life and the economy of the gulf dies.