Last week, Craigslist has ended the “free-for-all” erotic service postings (release link). Now, prospective advertisers have to pay a small sum with a credit card in order to post an ad. Craig plans to give all the proceeds to charity – the company says that the only reason they’ve started charging is to curb the abuse of the system (ad spam) and the nasty stuff such as underage sex ads. Media reaction was anything from “About time!” to “This is the end of free world!”.
I do understand the other side lamenting the end of an era, but Craigslist *has” become the media filler on slow news days, with Enquirer-like headlines& eager voyeurism of the “righteous” public. The honest advertisers were penalized, as scammers posted dozens of ads daily, circumventing the phone verification system easily enough. “I’ll blow you for $30″ ads everywhere. Erotic services became a bad neighborhood, and simply hard to use. I’m pretty sure that the $5 “scam stopper” will improve both the usability and the “class” of this category. In fact, the ads are already back in number, and the quality has definitely improved.
Before you get all over me (and not in a good way ) for support of the big, bad establishment, please remember that the whole Internet used to be wide open, only 10-15 years ago. (Yikes, I’m showing my age!) Yes darlin’s, there was a time when many servers didn’t have passwords, and you could comment on stuff without guessing those pesky CAPTCHA squiggles. Then, the bad guys took advantage, and we’re where we are now. Craigslist just moved with times, and only after 40+ states said “Do it, or else…”.
Lovings.com has been requiring a proof of age since our opening in 1996. Just don’t want any kiddies on the site, and we’re serious about it. During that time, a couple of the other adult guides have been in the news under the headlines such as “Underage prostitution ring busted”, and in several instances I’ve recognized the faces we sent home because the dog ate their ID.
I like to believe that this vigilance has helped us create a safer, friendlier, more respectable place on the ‘net to be on, for everyone – both the advertisers and their customers.
What do you think? Please feel free to leave comments.