So, you want to sell your couch? Maybe buy a used camera? Find a babysitter? Craiglist is a useful tool for these and much more. Lately however, there has been a firestorm in the media about how Craigslist is also being used by traffickers and pimps to sell the bodies of young women and children. I wrote a blog post a couple weeks ago about a Chinese woman selling girls via Craigslist on Long Island, but found some more interesting material this week that is share-worthy. Check out this visual summary created by Online Schools.
I also found a clip by CNN which shows an interview of sorts with Craig Newmark, who started the company. Wow. It’s pretty awkward. He does not have much to say when it comes to defending his company’s approach to protecting women. Watch the clip below:
In Newmark’s defense, Craigslist has posted a warning and disclaimer on their website under their personals section, encouraging people to report trafficking situations. They have also provided a list of trafficking hotlines. I can only imagine how frustrated Newmark must be as the media links his name with sex trafficking.
Recently Ashton Kutcher, who along with his wife Demi Moore is passionate about ending modern day slavery and exploitation, challenged Craigslist via twitter and made several suggestions about how Craigslist services can better protect women and children. According to an article by DoSomething.org, here are some of Kutcher’s suggestions to make Craigslist more ethically responsible:
- People who use the adult services section on the site should have to provide credit card info, allowing Craigslist and the police to have access to some personal information.
- User names should be made public. If what they are doing is legal, they can do it publicly.
- Craigslist should put some of its profit toward a tech solution to stop child trafficking
One comment on the CNN video clip said that the Craigslist team is too small to properly scan and monitor every ad in the personals section. My suggestion, then, would be to hire a professional (or ten, if that is what they need), to do this. Surely Craigslist makes enough cash to hire some extra people?
What do you think? What is Craigslist’s responsibility in this? What approach do you see as being most effective and economically feasible?