Many people use Craigslist every day. Some use it to find items for sale. Some use it to find jobs or places to live. But according to an advertisement in the Washington Post, some are using it for prostitution.
Two women have made a public appeal to the site to close their adult section because it is being used to destroy lives. The women claimed that they were put into prostitution via the popular website at very young ages. They recalled memories of sitting among young girls with laptops in hand responding to ads and posting pictures of themselves.
In the ad, one girl states that her childhood memories do not consist of normal memories like family time and proms. They are instead of making arrangements of sex for sale and fear of beatings. It accused Craigslist of being easy to use for these activities because there are virtually no consequences for doing so.
Craigslist has responded with questions of their own. Chief executive Jim Buckmaster wanted to know if the assailants were behind bars and if police reports were filed. Craigslist maintains that it wanted to aid the police in helping to capture such people and to take precautions against the illegal use of its services.
Last year, the site bowed to sustained pressure to shut down its “erotic services” section, replacing the nude images and explicit descriptions with a monitored section and a $10 charge to make a listing.
Some groups now say that Craigslist is profiting from the illegal activities it says it is trying to protect against. Andrea Powell, of Fair Fund, has labeled the site the ‘Wal-Mart of sex trafficking’.