Updates from December, 2010 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Greg Collier 9:07 am on December 23, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Tis the Season… 

    tistheseasonThis is a chaotic time of year. Between work and familial obligations, life seems to speed by when the holidays are upon us. We move so fast from one activity to the next that the adventure in getting to the destination fades into the background with last year’s must-have gadget. Is this hustle and bustle the antithesis of the holiday season? I used to think it was but have changed my holiday-inspired tune as of late.

    Starting in November and lasting until January 1st, I constantly hear people saying “tis the season.” They may be purchasing an extra expensive gift, ordering an extravagant dessert, or emptying their pockets into a collection jar when they spout off this holiday homonym. Such a sentiment used to bother me because it seems silly to only do or make over-the-top gestures once a year. Why not indulge in July? Or splurge in March? Why should a month and a holiday dictate when one chooses to treat themselves and their loved ones exceptionally special? The answer is easy…tis the season!

    You are busy the whole year through but only between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day do we cram a multitude of family-oriented holidays requiring big meals, big spending, and big patience within a six week timeframe. A recitation of “tis the season” is the opportunity to acknowledge such an undertaking and appreciate the moment. The more “tis the season” moments we can have while prepping for the holidays, the better.

    I know the whole “tis the season” comment can seem and sound very cliché when used in practice. The beauty of this mantra, however, is that it doesn’t require an oral admission, just a silent pause for reflection and understanding for the greatness you are experiencing. It can be anywhere, at any time, with anyone, and about anything.

    The other great power of “tis the season” is that it can transcend religious and cultural barriers. If you think “tis the season” is about Jesus, it is. If you think “tis the season” is about the Maccabees, it is. And if you think “tis the season” is about togetherness and love, you are right too. Whatever season you feel like celebrating, “tis the season” fits.

    My wish for you all is to have plenty of “tis the season” moments in the coming days and in the coming year.

  • Greg Collier 1:41 pm on December 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Hold Your Applause 

    not impressedCraigslist’s recent decision to quietly remove the adult category from their international locations is not one to be celebrated…yet. Though the category is gone, the problem is not. The issue is not having a specific category to post ads for prostitution within, it is about the absence of a review process that would prevent such solicitation from being published.

    Like many of Craigslist’s decisions, this one should raise a few suspicions. Why now? Why so quietly? When Craigslist suspended their U.S. adult section a few months ago they went to great lengths to make sure it was known. Placing the word “Censored” over the section caused quite a media stir. This time, unless you religiously read tech blogs, you are likely unaware that their adult category was nixed internationally. Perhaps their silence is quite a loud admission. They know they are not doing enough and they are not doing what is necessary to stop the illegal activity their site fosters.

    Craigslist’s decision comes on the eve of a U.S. House vote on the Senate-passed Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Deterrence and Victims Support Act. This is a fantastic piece of legislation that will establish pilot programs to provide counseling, education, and basic support for sex trafficking victims. Additionally, this bill will mandate participation by all levels of law enforcement, including educating officers and prosecutors on how to identify, investigate and prosecute human traffickers. Craigslist is hoping to insert itself into this progressive conversation and ride the positive coattails of this pending law without implementing anything consistent with the law’s intent. This is not okay.

    This move by Craigslist also comes right before the Lifetime movie “The Craigslist Killer” debuts on January 3rd, 2011, at 9pm eastern. My guess is they are attempting to generate as much good press, though not deserved press, prior to their site’s reality being brought to life and into millions of homes for the public to truly see.

    You can’t cure a disease without acknowledging and treating the symptoms. A submission review process is the ONLY way to combat the presence of human trafficking on a classified site. Craigslist can remove as many categories as they want but until they employ a thorough review procedure that prevents ads from automatically going live on their site, nothing will change. Today on Craigslist, the sex trafficking continues…

    We at Geebo, albeit preemptively, removed our personal ads section so as to guarantee we would never have a problem with sex trafficking. We did this in conjunction with our thorough and manual review process that has been employed since the beginning. The extra time it takes is worth the lives of our users. This should be a no-brainer for any classified site.

    For Craigslist the decision to remove the adult category throughout the world is more about strategy than security. This is not a mentality to encourage.

    Hold your applause until Craigslist does something worth clapping for.

  • Greg Collier 8:04 am on December 5, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Cheers to the Bold 

    borat-high-fiveGeebo has a lot to be thankful for. In the past year we have remained dedicated to our mission of providing an accessible, community focused classified site that prioritizes customer safety and security. Consistent with this pursuit, we preemptively removed our personal ads section more than two months ago. As a result of our thorough and comprehensive review process we had never had an issue with human trafficking, prostitution, or violence…and we never wanted too. Removing the personal ads section was the only way we could guarantee our users the type of security they have come to expect and the kind of safety we believe they deserve. Call us old fashioned but customer satisfaction, continued patronage, and life, is something we are thankful for.

    What else are we thankful for? We are glad you asked, and even more thrilled to answer. Olx.com, a widely popular international classified site, has joined Geebo on the short-list of sites that have removed their personals section. While Olx.com denies that their decision to terminate their personal ads is a result of sex trafficking or solicitation, their rationale for confiscating this category is not particularly relevant. What is important is that Olx.com and its worldwide audience is safer. For that, we are thankful.

    Geebo is also thankful for the optimism that Olx.com’s decision brings. Far too often classified sites proceed down the path of least resistance in the hopes of rising to a widely trafficked destination. Traffic is imperative to a classified site’s success…but the human trafficking that permeates sites similar to Craigslist.org and Backpage.com is intolerable. Every site that reforms their practices or begins with precautions in place renews Geebo’s faith in the power of social responsibility. Slowly, but surely, perhaps the “right” decision will become the only decision for classified sites.

    This holiday season Geebo would be honored for you to join us in raising your class and toasting the decisions of those, like Olx.com, that are bold enough to do what is right. Where reason fails to exist, the decision to act is what matters. Cheers!

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