back to article Craigslist boasts 95% drop in 'erotic services' listings

With Chicago's sheriff accusing Craigslist of being one of America's top sources of prostitution, the online classified ad-broker has opened its books to illustrate what it calls "spectacular" reductions in the volume of "erotic services" listings. In a Monday blog post, Craiglist says implementing new verification policies in …


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  1. Mike Flugennock


    ...maybe now they can do something about the fake jobs (temp shops looking to pad out their resume databases, companies trying to fill out their Affirmative Action numbers), cheapskates and freeloaders advertising in their "art/media/design" and "creative gigs" listings (at least in Washington DC).

    Hell, why punish the hookers for being the only ones able to find work these days?

  2. Peter Stern
    Thumb Down

    Bogus and cynical

    All that means is that people who want to sell sex will just advertise somewhere else and nothing much will change.

    Just more unrealistic and unenforceable government policy...

  3. Henry Wertz Gold badge

    Seems like a double standard...

    Seems like a double standard. Maybe it's different in Chicago, but here I've seen PLENTY of hooker ads in the classified in the newspaper and online, in fact even in the phone book.

    @Mike Flugennock, here here!! I used to look on craiglist, along with a few jobs sites... they'd vaguely talk about "job opportunities" in "eastern iowa region" or "midwest", and then have a New York City phone #. Yeah. Makes the sites almost useless when almost all listings were just temp agencies anyway, you know, if I want to sign up with a temp agency, I'll sign up with a temp agency, that's not what job sites are for. Disturbingly, looking through craigslist now the NEWEST jobs listings for my area are from like mid-Februrary, almost 3 weeks ago. Looks like the jobs (real or not) may have dried up! 8-(

  4. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle


    True success of anti-prostitution campaigns can only be achieved if a givernment program would succeed in bringing male sexual desire down to zero.

    Which would have the convenient side effect to wipe out within one generation any idiot nation that enforces such a policy.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    What the hell?

    OK I'll concede that law enforcement should receive some compensatory settlement for policing Craig’s List, however, what about the poor souls who have wasted countless hours, wading through all of the bogus adds? Doesn’t their time count for anything? I, for one, would be absolutely livid if I found out my wife-to-be was actually some hooker trying to scam me out of more money!

    What is an out-call anyways, is that like an in-law?

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Did Oetiker ever imagine this?

    Yeah, serious story n all, but that image bears all the hallmarks of having been built with RRDTOOL. I am truly impressed that the sysadmins at craigslist are tracking hookers with this stuff. Is there a MIB? Do they call get iso.dod.enterprise.massage.parlor.hooker? Are there traps when the cops break down the door? I think we should be told.

    I'll never look at mrtg the same way again.

  7. Jeremy
    Paris Hilton

    Can't see it, so it isn't happening!

    Do the Chicago Sheriff's Dept (or Craigslist themselves!) honestly think that just because they can't see as many postings on Craigslist, that the volume of prostitution in their city has gone down?

    <~~ Even she's not that dumb...

  8. Shane McCarrick

    Cynical- yes

    Have to agree with Peter Stern on this one- all it heralds is adverts for prostitution migrating elsewhere- or as is the case on other Craigslists sites- being rephrased so it appears the ladies in question are offering indeterminate services other than sex.

    Perhaps its time to look at prostitution from a different perspective. In Ireland (believe it or not) prostitution isn't illegal- however soliciting is. The good sheriff might be better serving his community by getting a log of the IP addresses of those seeking the aforementioned ladies, and chasing them instead? He could even geographically limit his search to the limits of his own jurisdiction very easily- instead of imposing his will on members of other states?

    Obviously the oldest profession in the world is catering to a non-diminished demand. Its deluded to imagine that chasing it from the public consciousness is in any manner diminishing its occurrence.........


  9. dave

    Value for money policing?

    It seems to me craigs list is letting the police catch criminals faster and for less - didn't the last article state over 200 convictions? That's $500 per conviction, an absolute bargain by any measure.

    Is the real problem that the police don't actually want to enforce these unworkable laws but having it in a very public place like craigs list causes them political embarrasment?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I've worked in Chicago. The problem is that they aren't getting their "piece of the action" with online ads. If the girls are on the streets, they can slip the cop a fifty as he walks past, then he just keeps walking. The entire city has been corrupt since before Al Capone's time.

    It occurs to me that if they really wanted to break up the Craigslist ads, they should (when they were still free) have posted 500 new ads every day listing random (invalid) phone numbers. "Customers" quit looking, because half of the ads are bogus, and "advertisers" quit advertising, because customers quit calling. End of problem.

    Personally, I prefer the "It isn't hurting anybody, leave it alone" approach.

  11. NoCo37
    Thumb Up

    @ dave

    "Is the real problem that the police don't actually want to enforce these unworkable laws but having it in a very public place like craigs list causes them political embarrassment?"

    You are absolutely correct on this one; and here in Chicago, we have had enough political embarrassment.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    You can't eliminate it, you can only move it around

    Personally, I'd rather the tarts stick to promoting themselves on the 'net, where only those actively searching for their services will be subjected to their come-ons. Nothing more annoying then being approached on the street by women of negligible or negotiable virtue while I'm just trying to go about my business. Much better to have a quiet, discrete location for them to arrange their business transactions without offending the non-participants.

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