Wall Street Journal: “Craigslist Gets Tougher On ‘Erotic Services’ Ads”

Today’s Wall Street Journal reports on new actions to reduce prostitution ads in Craigslist:

Craigslist Inc. agreed to crack down on ads posted by prostitutes, responding to government complaints that the classified-ad Web site has become a free clearinghouse for illegal sexual services.

In an agreement with attorneys general from 40 states, the San Francisco-based company said it will require posters of erotic-services ads to give a working phone number and pay a fee with a valid credit card…

San Francisco U.S. Attorney Joseph Russoniello said his office regularly sees Craigslist ads in cases it brings against human-trafficking rings that engage women in prostitution.

We’ll see if the mix of ads changes in the Western Mass Craigslist Erotic Services category. Here are the latest postings from today:

Meanwhile, over at the Valley Advocate…

11/6/08 ads:

10/23/08 ad:

See also:

Investigates Human Trafficking and Prostitution in the US; Valley
Advocate Advertises “Foreign Fantasies” Where “Everything Goes”

While MSNBC is busy investigating the sex industry, the Valley Advocate
is busy making money from it. The Massage/Escort ads in the 1/10/08
edition…include an advertisement of “FOREIGN FANTASIES” where
“Everything Goes”. The acronym GFE presumably stands for “girl friend
experience”, which MSNBC says can mean “sex without condoms”.

Prostitution: “It is high time to expose and challenge the liberal consensus”
According to Wikipedia, “A call girl who is ‘Greek welcome’ is willing to have anal sex with the client.”

Escort Prostitution: A Response to Tom Vannah, Editor of the Valley Advocate

New York Times: “As Prostitutes Turn to Craigslist, Law Takes Notice”
one recent day…some 9,000 listings were added to the site’s “Erotic
Services” category in the New York region alone: Most offered massage
and escorts, often hinting at more…

Children for Sale on Craigslist
significant percentage of these ads on Craigslist do not advertise
solely “legal escort services” as Craigslist may like to believe.
Instead, a considerable percentage of the ads are a thinly veiled guise
for one of the many faces of human trafficking that exists here in the
United States…

Craigslist: How to Report Exploitation of Minors

New Competitor to Craigslist Rejects Ads for “prostitution services
and other questionable listings”

“New York Press No Longer Marketing Arm for Prostitution/Trafficking”

Another Victory for NOW-NYC: New York Magazine Drops Sex Ads
National Organization for Women had accused New York of being a
“marketing arm of the organized crime world of prostitution and human
trafficking” because of classified ads at the back of the magazine with
such tag lines as “Asians Gone Wild” and “Asian Dreamgirls”…

Orlando Weekly Drops Adult-Services Ads in Wake of Police Sting; “Operation Weekly Shame”

Orlando Sentinel: “3 from Orlando Weekly’s staff charged with aiding prostitution” (10/20/07)
MBI Director Bill Lutz said the unusual arrests had nothing to do with the newspaper’s freedom of speech.

don’t see a First Amendment issue here,” Lutz said. “This is strictly
an advertising company making money off of prostitution.”

…MBI has made 80 prostitution arrests since 2003 connected to advertisers in the Weekly, the agency said…

“We’ve never called anyone dealing with these ads who was not providing prostitution services,” [Cmdr. Paul Zambouros] said.

Press Release: Action Network to use RNC and Minnesota State Fair to Bring Attention to Problem of Sex Trafficking
• The average age of entry into prostitution is 12­-years­-old.

• In a North Minneapolis research project on prostitution and sex trafficking, 56% of people involved had their first experience in prostitution or sex trafficking as a juvenile (under age 18). Studies in other US cities found similar figures (Chicago, 62%; San Francisco, 78%).

• 90% of people used in prostitution want to leave immediately and need a safe way out.

• Runaway, homeless, abused and at­-risk children are approached by pimps and drug dealers within 48 hours of landing on the streets.

• Women who have been used in prostitution and sex trafficking have a mortality rate 200 times higher for women who have not been used in prostitution and sex trafficking.

• Rates of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse are very high among people involved in prostitution and sex trafficking. In North Minneapolis, 84% have experienced physical, sexual, or emotional abuse sometime in their lives; 56% experienced all three forms of violence.

• Prostitution and sex trafficking causes many health problems, including higher rates than the general population of cancer (particularly cervical); chronic disease; pelvic inflammatory disease; traumatic brain injury and more.

Prostitution looks chic, but truth is ugly (Chicago Tribune, 4/27/08)
A comprehensive 2004 mortality study, funded by the National Institutes
of Health and conducted by the American Journal of Epidemiology, shows
that workplace homicide rates for women working in prostitution are 51
times that of the next most dangerous occupation for women (which is
working in a liquor store). The average age of death of the women
studied was 34.

Prostitution: Factsheet on Human Rights Violations (explicit language)

In one study, 75% of women in escort prostitution had attempted
suicide. Prostituted women comprised 15% of all completed suicides
reported by hospitals…

Newsweek: “A School for Johns”
[Says San Francisco’s district attorney, Kamala D. Harris,] “To suggest
that this is somehow an issue that only involves consensual adults,
that’s just not true. No matter how these girls and women are packaged
for sale, the reality is that for many of them, their life experience
is often wrought with abuse and exploitation,” says Harris…

News Roundup: Age of Entry into Prostitution Declining

New York Times: The Girls Next Door; Worldwide Sex Trafficking; Role of Porn

Realities of Teen Prostitution Mock Notions of ‘Sex
Work’, ‘Sex-Positive’, ‘Freedom’ and ‘Empowerment’; Media Glamorizes Pimps

Salon: Atlanta’s underage sex trade

Sweden’s Prostitution Solution: Why Hasn’t Anyone Tried This Before?

A Closer Look at Sweden’s Success with Reducing Prostitution; Skeptics Rebutted