Last week a Vallejo woman was kidnapped and sexually assaulted, repeatedly, by two individuals she met via Craigslist. How could this be? Craigslist removed its adult services section weeks ago. You mean there other places to post? Yes. The rest of the Craigslist site is fair game for such postings. The cycle of violence has therefore, and unfortunately, continued.
Security and safety for online classified sites come from their internal processes, not their external offerings. Sure, eliminating an adult services section from the homepage can reduce illicit behavior, but it won’t stop it. All Craigslist has done by removing their adult section is to make it minutely harder for a john to get a date or a criminal to find a victim. This “safeguard” is nothing more than a roadblock. To provide genuine online protection, Craigslist needed to implement a posting review procedure that would prevent postings involving illegal content from ever making it online.
Yes, Geebo also removed its personal ads section a couple of months ago. We, however, have never had a problem with such illegal and dangerous behavior being solicited on our site. Our step was a preemptive one in the interest of our community members. Geebo has employed a thorough and rigorous review process for ALL submissions from the beginning. If someone tries to post an “adult service” through our “real estate” section, we know and we stop it before it becomes live. Not Craigers, Bucky, or any other member of their staff has any idea about the contents posted on their site. Their way of finding out is the same as you or I… the news, in the wake of another tragedy.
This horrific and horrendous crime is another brutal reminder that Craigslist has not done enough. They haven’t even come close. Unfortunately, more rapes, kidnappings, burglaries, and even murders that can be credited to Craigslist’s correctable deficiencies, are more likely to occur than a change in Craigslist practice.