The good news is that another politician is speaking out against prostitution on craigslist. The bad news is it’s Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal.

If you’ve read my posts over at MyCrimeSpace you know I’m not a big fan of Mr. Blumenthal. As far as MySpace and child predators are concerned I think Blumenthal is picking on MySpace to garner votes instead of tackling the issue of inattentive parents.

As far as craigslist goes I think he’s equally as clueless.

In a letter to Craigslist today, he took the San Francisco Web site to task for failing to have someone on staff to review postings by prostitutes, many of which use a section for “erotic services.” Although Craigslist, a largely free online classified service, touts measures to ban illegal activities and to remove inapproriate postings, its actions are inadequate, he concluded.

“I’m astonished and appalled by Craigslist’s refusal to recognize the reality of prostitution on it’s Web site – despite advertisements containing graphic photographs and hourly rates, and widespread public reports of prostitutes using the site,” Blumenthal said.

He added in a press release that the Web site “has a moral if not possible legal responsibility to assure that it avoids serving as a conduit for prostitution and other illegal activity. My office will weigh all options, including possible legal action, if the site fails to curb content clearly prohibited by its rules.”

While I agree with Mr. Blumenthal’s point, he has no idea of how a website is run, especially as one as big as craigslist. Since he’s in government he has to make things more complicated than they need to be. Instead of craigslist hiring more people to moderate every single ad on their site there’s a much easier solution. Well two solutions really. The first is do away with the erotic services section. The second is take away the anonymity of the users. Hell will freeze over before either of those things happens but there’s a better chance than craigslist hiring a metric ton of more employees just to monitor ads.

And just because I think AG Blumenthal is sort of off his rocker doesn’t mean I’m letting craigslist off the hook.

Let’s see what craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster had to say…

Jim Buckmaster, Craigslist’s chief executive, said in a statement today: “Misuse of Craigslist for illegal purposes is absolutely unacceptable to us. This month we implemented new screening procedures for erotic service ads, which have dramatically improved compliance with our terms of use, and reduced the volume of such ads by up to 80 percent.”

He added that the company has additional improvements underway.

I have yet to hear what those improvements are. Again see my suggestions above for a real solution.

(Trench Reynolds blogs about craigslist related crimes at craigscrimelist.)

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