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Craigslist founder has no plans to shut down erotic services

By Chris V. Thangham     Apr 25, 2009 in Internet
Despite the recent case where a woman was murdered after meeting someone on the popular website Craigslist, its founder says he has no plans to shut down the “erotic services” section of the website.
Julissa Brisman was killed after meeting someone who responded to her masseuse ad on the website Craigslist. After her murder, two other Craigslist members were injured in attacks allegedly by the same person. Now, several people are calling on Craigslist to shut down its “erotic services” section.
Martin Bashir of ABC Nightline spoke with Craig Newmark and Jim Buckmaster of Craigslist. Newmark is the founder and Buckmaster is the CEO of Craigslist.
Both told Bashir they will not change their minds, and they have full intentions of keeping the “erotic services” section open on their website.
Bashir asked Newmark if he was a law-abiding citizen, to which Newmark said he was and he was “very consistent” about it.
When Bashir pointed out prostitution ads to Newmark, Newmark said they have a clear-cut policy: If the ads are of “criminal nature,” he wants help to get rid of it immediately. The website's members can report the ad as abusive and website officers will review it and remove it if it's breaking the site's rules.
Bashir asked Newmark if he will shut down the erotic section based on the fact a woman was recently murdered after meeting someone through that section. Newmark said:
"The decisions we make on our site are consistently based on feedback from the entirety of the community."
For now, he said he will keep the section on the site.
Craigslist supposedly donates the money it generates from the erotic services to charities. Bashir asked Buckmaster whether the charities may find it strange that they're getting money from the “erotic services” section. Buckmaster replied:
"We'll be making public the donations that are available to charities and they can contact us if they want to take advantage of that."
What do you think: Should Craigslist shut down its “erotic services” section?
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