Online-classifieds listings – especially Craigslist – are fiercely disrupting traditional classified advertising models, mainly newspapers. When I hear about this disruption, I rarely think of the gritty, alternative urban weekly papers, like the iconic Village Voice, whose classifieds for decades have brought together buyers and sellers of everything to do with city life. Of course, “everything to do with city life” also includes adult fare, and lots of it: casting calls for porno flicks, phone sex, domination and casual relationships. In other words, everything short of blatant prostitution, though it seems actual sex is being promoted, bought and sold. It’s just advertised in an indirect way.
But Craigslist, which serves the adult market in a big way, occasionally goes one step further by becoming a blatant marketplace for prostitution. According to the AP, police in Bucks County, PA have charged 12 women after an investigation into prostitutes who allegedly have been advertising on the Web site. Of course, the management of Craigslist didn’t purposefully venture into prostitution – some bad members of the Craigslist community did. “Craigslist spokeswoman Sue MacTavish Best said the site cooperates with law enforcement and has a flagging system that allows users to bring prohibited content to the company’s attention so it can be removed.”