Is Craigslist doing enough to fight crime?

by Carl Natale on August 10, 2010

Chris Brogan uses his blog today to write about human trafficking on Craigslist. Oh he’s against it. And he supports Craigslist stance against it.

For the record I’m against human trafficking and oppression. Just wanted to weigh in on it. I have to say that here because I can’t on Chris’ blog today. He turned off the comments on the entry:

(I turned off comments for this post, simply because I don’t want to debate the merits of the Adult section of Craigslist, which is where the argument seems to go most times. By all means, feel free to have an opposing view on this. That’s why we have the Internet.)

Which is his right. His blog, he can do what he wants.

The thing is with comments, you never know what you’re going to get. But I have the feeling he would get a lot of “You’re spot on Chris….” comments. Because who wants to argue for human trafficking?

And I suspect his readership is mostly Internet professionals. These aren’t people who will blame Craigslist for the illegal activity. There are people out there who believe we can reduce crime by not reporting it (all that does is give criminal wannabes ideas and information) and shutting down the places it happens. So if Craigslist went away, crime that has existed for centuries won’t be able to happen? You won’t see those kind of comments on Chris’ blog.

But I could be wrong. I often am. So it is in that spirit that I wonder if Chris is wrong too. Not about human trafficking. But is he right about the types of comments he will get?

Note that I’m not criticizing Chris for turning off comments. It’s his blog. His choice. We all have the same right.

But I wonder if people will debate more than the merits of an adult section of Craigslist.

Is there more the company could do to combat exploitation and criminal activity advertised on its site? Or are they doing too much?

These are good questions. Questions that anyone who runs an Internet forum should ask. Because someone will find a use for your site that you didn’t intend. Do you know what you would do? Or what you should do?

Let’s start with Craigslist. How are they doing?

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