Craigslist Responds to Letters from Trafficked Kids

It took him a month and a couple high-profile news stories, but Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster has finally answered the ads two young girls who were sold for sex on his website placed in the Washington Post and San Fransisco Chronicle. He published the response as an open letter on Craigslist’s blog. And while he points out some good stuff Craigslist has done to combat sex trafficking, he also makes some pretty problematic claims.

You can read the full response here, but I’ve pulled out a few of the highlights and points of contention. First and most laudably, they point out that anyone with any information about illegal activities going on on Craigslist can email them at If you’re on Craigslist and you spot something sketchy, please let them know about it. You can also call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888- 3737-888 or local law enforcement if you suspect human trafficking on Craigslist. However, after their request for more information, their defense starts to crumble pretty rapidly.

The basic gist of the response is that while it sucks a few criminals are using Craigslist to sell sex with kids, it’s really not Craigslist’s fault and they’re doing more than their competition to prevent sex trafficking on their site. They point out that they manually screen ads, and that they’ve worked with law enforcement in the past to identify pimps selling children. This is true, though demonstrably ineffective since the trafficking of children for sex on Craigslist continues. And they’re comments don’t address the lack of transparency about the screening process. However, some of other their statements are even more problematic. For example, “Craigslist is one of the few bright spots and success stories in the critical fight against trafficking and child exploitation.”


Published in: on August 10, 2010 at 3:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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