Craigslist Cracks the Whip

Posted: March 4, 2011 by jerkmag in VICES -- sex, drugs & alcohol
Tags: , , , ,

We all check the “Missed Connections”, personal ads, and the most gag worthy of all, the “Erotic Services” sections on Craigslist on those boring nights spent procrastinating on our papers. But I’m sure only a few of you have noticed the disappearance of this popular section.
In September 2010 Craigslist shut down, without notice, the “Erotic Services” section on their website.  The site immediately lost 10% of it’s traffic. That’s a decent amount of disappointed horny folks (or people like us who still giggle at phrases like “horny hung male looking for anal play” and “soaking wet female looking for someone who loves to slip and slide”).
“Erotic Services” screams prostitution and selling sex so there is no surprise about how many complaints came in.  Deleting the section didn’t stop the problem though because most prostitutes and “madams” have switched over to Facebook to publicize their services.
According to “Sudhir Venkatesh, a sociology professor at Columbia University, has been analyzing trends of the world’s oldest profession, publishing his results in the latest issue of Wired Magazine. Venkatesh estimates that the average escort now finds 25% of clients through Facebook.”
Craiglist fought shutting down the section because people would just post the ads in different sections, increasing spam. To “fix” the situation Craigslist renamed the section censored and starting charging $10 paid by credit card. They also required a phone number to place an ad in that section. Oh, okay Craigslist, lets make prostitution a profitable service. The “Censored” cover didn’t last very long and now the section has been completely removed.
Soon there will be sex Tweets and dirty Tumbles and Flickrs popping up all over the nation. Come on people just keep it in your pants.

–Alicia Aiello


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