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  • Geebo 9:49 am on April 11, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , greg collier, ,   

    Geebo: Stemming the tide of human trafficking at home 

    Geebo: Stemming the tide of human trafficking at home

    An example of many of the trafficking ads we’ve been receiving lately.

    As I’m sure you’ve read, Backpage.com was seized this past Friday by the Federal government. Two of its founders were not only indicted, but are currently sitting in jail. From the beginning, Backpage’s business model was based on the sexual slave trade, collecting as much as 99% of their revenue from the ads placed by pimps and traffickers. While making hundreds of millions of dollars in such an illicit way, the seizure of Backpage was the only logical way this could have ended.

    Since Backpage’s closure, Geebo has been receiving a torrent of ‘adult’ ad submissions for review. The keyword in that sentence is ‘review’ as Geebo has always reviewed ads for objectionable content. Thanks to the great software used under the hood at Geebo and the human curation done by our moderation staff, we have never allowed and never will allow Geebo to become a haven for those who would sell women and children into sexual servitude. Since day one and with little fanfare, Geebo has committed itself to keep its ads free from the likes posted on Backpage while maintaining a profitable business. Toward that end, Geebo was an industry trend setter when CEO Greg Collier made the decision to remove personal ads from the site in 2010 in order to prevent the ads from being abused by traffickers, where on other sites many victims are tricked into being trafficked through their personal ads.

    Another great thing about Geebo is that these decisions weren’t made due to public pressure or pending legislation. These decisions were made out of something that appears to be rare in the industry these days, and that is common human decency. Craigslist shut down there adult services section only after massive public pressure from the media, and closed their personals after the passage of FOSTA/SESTA, which is almost an admission that trafficking was still taking place on their personals. When the credit card companies cut off Backpage, they became so desperate to stay in business they started accepting payment for prostitution ads in cash, Bitcoin and gift cards. If they hadn’t been raided by Federal authorities there’s no doubt that Backpage would still be collecting money for these ads. Geebo shows that a classifieds site can be run ethically without having to resort to questionable ads designed to make money off of the suffering of others.

     
  • Greg Collier 2:08 pm on October 1, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , gary wolf, , greg collier, jim buckmaster, wired   

    Craigslist Is Such a Mess 

    Craig NewmarkAfter reading The Tragedy of Craigslist in the September issue of Wired magazine I felt compelled to share some thoughts on CL and the people behind it.

    I applaud Gary Wolf and Wired for the well-researched article on the anomalous characters and odd decisions going on behind the scenes at Craigslist. For a business with this much traffic and this much income, the problems its users encounter day after day, post after post, are really beyond comprehension. They make enough money to fix this stuff, folks – and they refuse to do it!

    And that’s not all they refuse to fix. Over the last few years, newspapers and television news stories across the country have been reporting stories about victims – from theft to rape to murder – whose only mistake was responding to a Craigslist ad. Note to Craig: telling us that “most people are good,” is not a sufficient answer! For years, law enforcement agencies have been fighting with Craigslist to clean up the obvious illegal activities on the site – and Craigslist has repeatedly balked or stalled.

    The word is spreading that Craigslist is a dangerous place to buy, sell, or look for a date. This is sad state of affairs in an era when technologies exist to ferret out much of the illegal activity, and good old fashioned monitoring can clean up much of the rest – and yet Craigslist resorts to a flag system that, as your article points out, benefits troublemakers as readily as legitimate users. Yes, the criminals are in the minority; I’ll give Craig and Buckmaster that. But the problem is this: more than on any other site I’ve ever seen (and I work in this industry), criminals flock to Craigslist.

    Buckmaster’s analogy to GM seems an effort to confuse the issue. Autos come with safety ratings, and manufacturers go to great lengths to ensure their cars’ safety ratings – because people’s lives are at stake. And that’s just the point. Craigslist users have every right to expect that their safety come before some abstract concept of “democracy.”

    This is probably the most important difference between Craigslist and the community classifieds site I operate. At Geebo.com, we monitor our community classifieds to make every experience as safe and enjoyable as possible.

    We pay attention to our users, and we are constantly improving our technologies and systems. Given how hard we work at this, it’s hard to watch the arrogance and nonsense that go on at Craigslist. When users run into problems there, they get a haiku? Give me a break! Why would anyone intentionally create a system where users’ concerns are mocked rather than addressed?

    People aren’t fools: as long as Craigslist refuses to evolve, the site will increasingly be defined by bugs, scams and illegal activities – risks and frustrations that fewer and fewer users will be willing to put up with. Please let your readers know that there are alternatives to Craigslist – including ours. I welcome every Craigslist user to surf on over to Geebo where we work hard to make yours a safe, easy, enjoyable and successful community classifieds experience.

     
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