So if you have been following the news for the past few weeks, or if you or someone you know is a pimp, you may have heard about what recently transpired on Craigslist.
The short version, is that they eliminated the adult section of the site.
The longer version is that throughout this country, law-enforcement and a variety of DA’s kept threatening legal action, on the basis that the Craigslist adult section was a haven for prostitution. Which to be fair, was probably a very accurate assessment of the situation. And even though Craigslist has traditionally assisted law enforcement, to the point of setting up a special interface for police to examine and track posters, many felt that it was their responsibility to society to take the whole section down, and failing that, these folks tried to use the courts to take the whole site down.
And so, in order to protect themselves Craigslist took down their adult section. More specifically they blocked access to that section from any computer coming from America.
Now I’m not going to talk about the 1st Amendment or the Federal laws that protect websites from the consequences of third party content. Others who are more knowledgeable and frankly better writers than me have already done a more thorough job than I ever could.
I’m not going to talk about the legalities and morality of prostitution. Police, and to a lesser extent Government lawyers don’t have an ethical right to choose what laws they will enforce. For good or ill, prostitution is illegal, and they are duty and oath bound to do what they can to stop it.
But what I am going to talk about is how incredibly fucking stupid those folks are who tried to bully Craigslist into shutting down the adult section.
Your job is to fight crime. Hookers and their clients are criminals. Therefore, it is up to law enforcement and the DA office to find a prosecute them. So far so good.
And then along comes a website that has not only a list of every harlot in town, but also a picture, a phone number, a vague geographic location, and more often than not, a price sheet.
I’m sorry, America’s law enforcement, but I am calling bullshit on this one. Given the information Craigslist just dropped into your lap, every working girl (and both guys) should have been off the streets years ago. I mean, it would have taken literally just one police officer about 15 minutes to have the contact info of nearly every sex-worker in the city.
I mean, at this point, the fact that they haven’t busted every single strumpet, floozy, and bawd in the market is really just laziness. Which brings us to the actual problem. It’s not that these folks are worried about the internet being used to spread the sex-trade. It’s that they are worried about how obvious the Internet makes it that they aren’t very good at stopping it.