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Craigslist Founder Craig Newmark Rendered Speechless

By question "What are you doing to protect these girls"



6:55 pm on Aug 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Video [cnn.com...]

According to the video, the adult services section accounts for approximately 1/3 of Craigslist.com's revenue.

The Craigslist blog says that they will immediately contact law enforcement when ads exploiting women for money are posted. The video also shows examples of some of the ads in question. Note that these are ads that cost $10 to post.

Bryan Bray from the D.C. Metropolitian Police Department says they have never been contacted by Craigslit, to his knowledge.

Craig was rendered speechless by the question "What are you guys doing to protect these girls?"

Craig tried to turn it around by asking the reporter if she had reported the ads she saw to Craigslist.

The reporter then asked "Why do I have the responsibility to report this to you when it's your website?" which rendered Craig speechless again.

The video then shows him walking away.


7:23 pm on Aug 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

Lot's of guys named "John" in the video.

Pretty appropriate I guess.

It illustrates how easily an adult oriented (read: prostitution) ad can be posted. 10 bucks to post and 5 bucks to repost. It also shows how quickly those ads get responded to.

Craig was rendered speechless by the question "What are you guys doing to protect these girls?"
And he literally was rendered speechless. It's embarrassing.

Newmark comes across looking like a doe in the headlights. Do I go left, do I go right? He does nothing. Stands there with this huge vacant pause in the air, looking well dressed as always but unable to even stutter.

I look for him to be indicted in the next year or two....


11:01 pm on Aug 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Uber Twitter Master Ashton Kutcher now has his 5.6 million followers on Craig Newmark's case [twitter.com] and has engaged him in a very public Twitter dialog. Fascinating to watch this issue play out so fast - and not die when the next news cycle rolls around. And to Newmark's credit, after being caught offguard he now seems to be engaging in this process and looking for an approach to do the right thing.

Social media really is changing the way things work - and you don't have to be Ashton Kutcher to make it work, but it sure helps.


11:07 pm on Aug 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

And to Newmark's credit, he seems to be engaging in this process to do the right thing.

I guess that's what surprised me most about the video. I thought he'd have more to say in response to the questions. It was really uncomfortable to watch him stand there and apparently try to think of something to say that wouldn't be bad pr or get him into legal trouble. It may be that he figured saying nothing was better than saying some of the things he was thinking. I don't know enough about the issue to really side with one party or another, but I will say that if they are making $10/post then they should probably have better moderation of the content. Will be interesting to see how it plays out.


5:54 am on Aug 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

This has been in the works for a while. Most have heard of the craigslist murder [msnbc.msn.com]. It may have gotten the most publicity but there have been others as well. A quick search turns up numerous examples of craigslist being involved in hundreds of cases of criminal activity. By "involved" I mean as a factor in. Culpability is for the courts to decide and I'm certainly not pointing any fingers here.

The Portland Tribune [portlandtribune.com] goes as far as to compare Craigslist to a Crimelist. It's a juicy article written to sell copy but if you can get around the sensationalism there are a few facts in there as well.

The daily newspaper in my own city allows advertising for massage parlors and escort services, both of which are widely known to be fronts for prostitution. They've yet to be sued or even taken to task for allowing these ads. I suspect it's only a matter of time.

Plausible deniability. I'm sure Newmark realized anything he said could and probably would be held against him in a court of law but geez, that pregnant pause was, well, it was pregnant. I'd have just walked away. If you can't answer - Defer it to counsel or turn around and leave. Don't stand there like a bleeping idiot and let the entire world know you can't answer a question like "What are you guys doing to protect these girls?" His silence lasted a full 7 seconds and was uncomfortable to me even as I watched it. I mean Jesus do something.

Where does culpability start and end? Does craigslist foster prostitution. Of course it does. But so does my hometown newspaper. Where is the line drawn?


6:07 am on Aug 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

Uber Twitter Master Ashton Kutcher...

Yeah, the guru of social media. The champion of worthwhile causes he only learned about yesterday because someone told him about it.

When I get to be big like him, I'll parlay my good looks and box office draw into meaningless advice to millions of young girls, and boys as well, and I'll do so shamelessly. I'll act like I even friggin' know what I'm talking about.

Oh the rain forests..

Oh the undocumented workers...

Oh this damn oil spill (where was it at again?)

Like a politician, his handlers point him in the direction that is socially acceptable for him to follow. If he dried up and blew away tomorrow I wouldn't miss him a bit. In fact I wish he was gone already.


6:16 am on Aug 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

This is why the Craig is not the CEO. The CEO is supposed to handle the tough questions ;-)


6:38 am on Aug 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Craig Newmark is the epitome of the kind of pretentious lowlife who is dragging San Francisco down and making it shallower and boring. I lived most of my life in San Francisco but don't live there anymore, I cannot stand to be around his kind. His kind are so out of touch and shallow they don't even realize San Francisco is not cool anymore and that the mojo moved across the bay to Oakland years ago.
Newmark and his kind are living in a bubble of imaginary impunity where they think because it's the Internet they are free to do whatever they want. It's great to see it popped.

[edited by: engine at 3:53 pm (utc) on Aug 5, 2010]
[edit reason] requested by martinibuster [/edit]


7:06 am on Aug 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

Amber Lyon [twitter.com] is hot though. Her twitter base will surely increase now.

Investigative Journalist. I live to expose corruption and love helping others.

I love young, idealistic women.


7:47 am on Aug 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

I love young, idealistic women

Check out Craigslist, you can probably rent one from there.



7:58 am on Aug 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

Check out Craigslist, you can probably rent one from there.

If I was inclined - sure.

Your point was?


9:09 am on Aug 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Your point was?

My point was that in a story relating to the horrific exploitation of under-age girls for prostitution your comment was that the reporter was "hot", and that such objectification of women was probably less than appropriate in this context.

Hope this helps.



9:34 am on Aug 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

Your point is taken Samizdata. I should have known better than to ask you.

I'd delete that 'hot' comment if I could. Maybe. I don't know. I need some sleep. I wrote it but it now seems inappropriate.

It's 4:00 am here and I'm going to bed. Finally.

My apologies if I offended.


11:11 pm on Aug 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

From Craig Newmark (@craignewmark) on Twitter

@Autumn_Beck @physic @billwjohnson folks, thanks! and remember to check facts, start here: [cnn.com...]


2:36 am on Sep 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Wow, I can't believe he took it without giving an explanation. Didn't even try. As if he was caught stealing from the candy store with the cndy stuck to his hands. I wonder if this is the interview that triggered the annoucement of getting out of the adult services ads?

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