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Sheriff Sues Craiglist For Prostitution Ads

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the shameful-waste-of-tax-money dept.

The Courts 695

Amerika writes "Craigslist is 'the single largest source of prostitution in the nation,' according to Cook County, Illinois Sheriff Thomas Dart. He has announced that he's filing a lawsuit against the popular classifieds site. Craigslist says it's determined to prevent criminal activity." NewYorkCountryLawyer adds a link to the 28-page complaint (PDF), which "alleges that Craigslist maintains 21 classifications of sex-for-hire, coded as 'w4m,' 'm4m,' 'm4w,' etc." and that it has facilitated child prostitution and kidnapping and human trafficking.

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FIRST TROUT! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27084105)

I am a fIsH!

In other countries... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27084117)

... adults with imaginary friends are given free psychiatric help.

In the US, we give them political power.

w4w, h4m, p2p, y2k, ... (5, Funny)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084129)

I like this game

Re:w4w, h4m, p2p, y2k, ... (1)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084163)

l0l

Re:w4w, h4m, p2p, y2k, ... (5, Funny)

TheRedSeven (1234758) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084289)

2g1c

Re:w4w, h4m, p2p, y2k, ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27084495)

l4d

Re:w4w, h4m, p2p, y2k, ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27084619)

Tib, tim!! M?!? T.. i.. S!!!!!!

Re:w4w, h4m, p2p, y2k, ... (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084537)

H4M?

Healthcare for musicians?

So (1)

pasha2891 (946976) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084131)

Isn't this going to get as far as the studios suing youtube?

Prostitution? (5, Funny)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084141)

Last week I ordered a hit out on a professor through craigslist. Sure the interface was ugly but service was delivered on time so I really shouldn't be complaining.

Re:Prostitution? (5, Funny)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084805)

Sure the interface was ugly

Ah, so Craiglist's hopped on the Web 2.0 bandwagon finally?

former state governor seeking stupid sheriff - g4s (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27084145)

This is Illinois again I see we are talking about, after all. Maybe the sheriff in question is just upset because he can't get a cut of the local "action" if it's all happens online...

The Biggest Prostitute: +1, Informative (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27084153)

is this WAR WHORE [whitehouse.org] .

Yours In Socialism,
K. Trout

Re:The Biggest Prostitute: +1, Informative (-1, Offtopic)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084663)

Is there any criticism of Obama which didn't also apply, in the most part, to Bush?

"But as long as it doesn't help poor people, it's not socialism."

dating (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27084155)

uh oh, this is definitely going to hurt my dating game...

Ok, he's a hero (sometimes) (5, Interesting)

Slumdog (1460213) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084161)

CNN did a piece on him, suing mortgage companies who were evicting homeowners: http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-109261 [ireport.com]

Sheriff Dart has taken a stance against mortgage companies that are evicting renter's from homes that property owners are allowing to go into eviction. Sheriff Dart says, "Too many renters are being evicted for landlords' problems".

He didn't sue the mortgage banks (5, Informative)

sirwired (27582) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084531)

He didn't sue the mortgage banks, he instead refused to execute eviction notices for renters that were paying rent on time.

SirWired

Re:He didn't sue the mortgage banks (-1, Troll)

DrLang21 (900992) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084773)

Sounds like he's not much better than a vigilante. It would have been reasonable for him to give renters more time than the bank was asking, but the home is the bank's property, and it should be their right to evict a renter. It sucks, but it's a risk you take when you rent.

Re:He didn't sue the mortgage banks (3, Insightful)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084827)

he instead refused to execute eviction notices for renters that were paying rent on time.

Remind me what the branches of government are again?

Since when does he have the right to pick and choose which laws he enforces? Nice lie by omission, but just because the tenant is paying rent on time doesn't mean the owner/landlord is paying the mortgage.

Those are two entirely separate legal contracts.

Not that I'm unsympathetic to the tenants, they should get some form of protection (even if it's just a delay until they find somewhere else) or maybe just garnish the rent direct to the bank.

Re:Ok, he's a hero (sometimes) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27084691)

Eviction means the act of forcibly removing someone from a property. Unless the home lives in a home it can't be evicted, can it? Repossessed OK. Someone along the line - either this corrupt prick of a sheriff or the dork who posted the story is seriously retarded.

Prostitution is not illegal... (3, Informative)

EWAdams (953502) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084165)

... where I live. So the Cook County Sheriff can lump it if he doesn't like it.

Prostitutes? (4, Funny)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084169)

So you mean to say all those fine women I took out on dates from craigslist were hookers! I guess that would explain the black eye and lack of memory the next morning after I refused to let her "borrow" some money.

Re:Prostitutes? (4, Funny)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084295)

That and the countless STDs.

Re:Prostitutes? (5, Informative)

DrLang21 (900992) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084317)

I think he's more referring to the erotic services section, which are actually mostly legitimate legal services. Just because there's no sex doesn't mean that a service isn't erotic. Massages, BDSM (doesn't require sex), and Kama Sutra classes are some of the more frequent offerings on there.

Re:Prostitutes? (4, Funny)

ari_j (90255) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084437)

I just want someone to bake erotic cakes in the nude.

Re:Prostitutes? (4, Informative)

DrLang21 (900992) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084567)

That's the kind of stuff you mostly find on there. There are of course some more questionable postings, but mostly they're innocent stuff like private party strippers.

Re:Prostitutes? (5, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084595)

What's the point of erotic services without sex? That's like going to a restaurant just to smell the food.

Re:Prostitutes? (5, Insightful)

DrLang21 (900992) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084623)

Yet people flock to strip clubs to watch women dance and take off their clothes. Erotic Services with no sex are quite common.

Re:Prostitutes? (4, Funny)

geobeck (924637) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084749)

I think he's more referring to the erotic services section, which are actually mostly legitimate legal services.

So the Cook County Sheriff is upset that people are getting f**ked by lawyers?

Here we go again (2, Insightful)

meist3r (1061628) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084185)

Another dipshit that doesn't know how infrastructure is supposed to work and what the internet is. Child prostitution ... according to American law that would include 20 y/o with 11 months and three weeks on the clock right?

When did this idea emerge that you can sue a infrastructure for what is happening on it? This concept is new to me and doesn't make any sense. Next they'll be suing the newspapers for ads that enable people to engage in casual sex. About time someone did something about this.

Re:Here we go again (3, Informative)

meist3r (1061628) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084211)

Little aftertought, after reading the ars technica update I believe this is about money.

The Cook County Sheriff's Department is asking a federal judge to close the Erotic Services section of Craigslist, as well as reimburse the department $100,000 it has cost to pursue Craigslist-related prostitution investigations over the past year,

Someone needs some bail-out money reaal fast. Too bad the hookers and pimps didn't pay their protection money and now you've got to sue the interwebz for ruining your business.

Re:Here we go again (2, Insightful)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084349)

Someone needs some bail-out money reaal fast. Too bad the hookers and pimps didn't pay their protection money and now you've got to sue the interwebz for ruining your business.

Sounds about right. It's as if chat forums, bulletin boards, and even the regular classifieds in the newspaper hadn't been used for this purpose for *years*.

Re:Here we go again (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084405)

...and now you've got to sue the interwebz for ruining your business

No, no you have got it wrong. These are tubes ruining your business ;)

Re:Here we go again (5, Insightful)

sorak (246725) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084761)

Little aftertought, after reading the ars technica update I believe this is about money.

The Cook County Sheriff's Department is asking a federal judge to close the Erotic Services section of Craigslist, as well as reimburse the department $100,000 it has cost to pursue Craigslist-related prostitution investigations over the past year,

Umm...Shouldn't the police force be paying craigslist? Craigslist didn't create the prostitution. They stuck it all in one spot. The only way they could have helped the cops more is if they placed a big red arrow that says "hooker" over the prostitute's heads.

Re:Here we go again (4, Insightful)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084853)

They stuck it all in one spot. The only way they could have helped the cops more is if they placed a big red arrow that says "hooker" over the prostitute's heads.

Mod parent up.

Old school: Go undercover/hit the streets to round up prostitutes.
New school: Login in to www.craiglisst.com from the comfort of the squad room, set up a date, make arrest. Rinse, repeat.

That douchebag Sheriff should be thanking them for making it much easier for him.

If you like Piña colada... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27084307)

using news print for sex is quite old.

If you like penis colonics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27084457)

Oh how droll! Here I was, all ready to cheat on you and instead, I meet you ready to cheat on me! Let's write a song about it.

Re:Here we go again (1)

derrickh (157646) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084407)

He's suing because Craigslist is seemingly encouraging the use of its service for illegal activities by having categories that are almost exclusively used for prostitution.

Craigslist says they are doing what they can to stop the service from being used to traffic in women/men, but yet they have sections dedicated to it.

Its as if Ebay had a specific areas for weed, cocaine, and heroin.

D

Re:Here we go again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27084593)

Uh, they have a section dedicated to "Erotic Services" which doesn't equate one-to-one to prostitution at all. For example, you can easily imagine strippers advertising there. Now, it's not *surprising* that prostitutes advertise there, but they also advertise on streets and no one sues the city for it.

And they CERTAINLY don't have sections dedicated to human trafficking. At least not on my city's page. What city are you in!?

Re:Here we go again (5, Funny)

UncleWilly (1128141) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084689)

Its as if Ebay had a specific areas for weed, cocaine, and heroin.

Ahh, I found my new Happy Thought ;)

Re:Here we go again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27084483)

21 to drink. 18 to sleep with. We're puritanical, but we don't make you wait that long.

Re:Here we go again (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084523)

There's an expectation that people will make reasonable measures to prevent crime. This is nothing new.

If you have an organisation that exists entirely for criminal activities, then you can expect to be prosecuted as an accessory, and while you can often claim ignorance, there will be a highly skilled prosecutor trying to prove beyond reasonable doubt (and extremely unlikely explanations are not reasonable doubt) that you did knowingly assist.

Not that I think Craigslist is doing this, but this is the basic principle this prosecution falls under.

Re:Here we go again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27084559)

Newspapers don't have a dedicated prostitution section, do they?

Re:Here we go again (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084699)

Phonebooks do.

Re:Here we go again (1)

NotBornYesterday (1093817) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084571)

Age of consent in the US depends on the state, generally 16 to 18. I don't know if the same age standard applies to prostitution.

This guy is an arrogant, sanctimonious prick posturing for the religious right and the "won't somebody think of the children" crowd. The Yellow Pages if full of "Escort" ads, and have been for years. If he were pursuing all forms of prostitution advertisement, Yellow Pages included, he would still be an arrogant, sanctimonious prick, but at least he'd be treating everyone the same.

Re:Here we go again (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084767)

Child prostitution ... according to American law that would include 20 y/o with 11 months and three weeks on the clock right?

More proof that the geek doesn't have a clue about the realities of the sex trade in children.

Chronicling The Plight Of 'Very Young Girls' [npr.org] [Feb 24, 2009]
Very Young Girls [youtube.com]

The FBI found more than 2,800 child prostitution ads posted on craigslist, with Chicago, Illinois, in the top 10 cities for juvenile prostitution, Dart said.
Craigslist entered into an agreement with 43 states' attorneys general in November to enact measures that impose restrictions on its Erotic Services section. The agreement called for the Web site to implement a phone verification system for listings that required ad posters to provide a real telephone number that would be called before the ad went public.
Craigslist also imposed listing fees, requiring a credit card, for ads in the section. The proceeds were to be donated to charity.
Dart called the fees "dirty money" and said the move was a "publicity stunt" that had little practical effect because pimps use stolen credit cards or post ads in free sections.
Lawsuit accuses craigslist of promoting prostitution [cnn.com]

huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27084193)

whoah, I thought those pages were just the ugly and the desperate. Man, if they're hookers, they're a whole new underclass of hookers I don't have any desire to experience. :-(

I honestly did not know this. (4, Funny)

Forge (2456) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084197)

Thanks to this sheriff, those of us seeking prostitutes or running brothels know that Craig's list is the place to be.

"Thank you sheriff for helping improve my business. Keeping all the young ladies on staff as busy as they can physically manage is great for business, especially in these tough economic times.

Mr. Web Sheriff? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27084221)

That guy can eat my goatse'd penis!

Don't forget to pay your $699 [goatse.fr] linus license.

All consentual sexual relationships are... (4, Insightful)

kannibul (534777) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084223)

All consentual sexual relationships are a form of prostitution when you get to the basics of it...be it money, food, protection...

What about the wife that won't have sex with her husband until he does some chore?

Isn't that prostitution?

Re:All consentual sexual relationships are... (5, Insightful)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084313)

Not all, but many are, yes. It's a double standard in our society that bugs me. Expecting your date to put out because you bought her a nice dinner is OK, but paying her cash for sex isn't. Go figure.

Re:All consentual sexual relationships are... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27084461)

Not all, but many are, yes. It's a double standard in our society that bugs me. Expecting your date to put out because you bought her a nice dinner is OK, but paying her cash for sex isn't. Go figure.

I agree. Imagine if you just dropped 150 bucks on a hooker and she says, "Na, I've got a headache.".

Re:All consentual sexual relationships are... (4, Insightful)

swillden (191260) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084503)

Expecting your date to put out because you bought her a nice dinner is OK, but paying her cash for sex isn't. Go figure.

Well I don't think either is reasonable, but maybe that's just me.

Re:All consentual sexual relationships are... (2, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084649)

Expecting men to pay for dinner and not get anything in return isn't reasonable either. Split the check and you avoid this whole issue.

It's who asked out whom (4, Insightful)

tekrat (242117) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084715)

The person that does the asking out to dinner pays.
After all, the other party was gracious enough to accept.

Re:It's who asked out whom (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084839)

You are right, that is fair.

Re:All consentual sexual relationships are... (5, Funny)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084753)

Let me guess. You don't get laid much.

Re:All consentual sexual relationships are... (3, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084911)

What you get is a pleasant evening out with a lady. If "reasonable" to you means that you will receive sexual recompense for your outlay of dinner expense, then maybe you should just skip the dinner and buy a prostitute. They are imminently reasonable in that sense.

Re:All consentual sexual relationships are... (2, Insightful)

Chirs (87576) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084521)

"Expecting your date to put out because you bought her a nice dinner is OK..."

Do you really think that this is a "standard" in society? I'd like to think it isn't.

Re:All consentual sexual relationships are... (2, Funny)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084641)

The solution is to check couples for marriage certificates at the entrance of the restaurants.

Re:All consentual sexual relationships are... (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084743)

Expecting your date to put out because you bought her a nice dinner is OK

Nah, actually, it's not. In fact, it's kind of sad. If all it takes is a dinner--even a nice dinner--then why would she put out for you? Your employer gave you the money to spend on it, and they got that money from their customers. The chefs cooked it and the wait staff served it. You're just a cog; a replaceable middleman in the transaction. And apparently, not a very exciting one if the reason you think you're getting laid is because you have a little scratch to spend.

Re:All consentual sexual relationships are... (3, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084859)

Good lord, no. You "expect" as in anticipate, not require, your date to "put out" because that is frequently the end result of a romantic evening with someone you've been romantically involved with for some time, and the date in question qualifies and the mood is right. Anything else and you're just a pig. Which is, in a way, a social standard or stereotype, but a negative one, not OK.

Though I guess before I sound too high and mighty, I did laugh my ass off at the Family Guy spoof of the DeBeers silhouette ads with the implied bj and the tag line "Diamonds: She'll pretty much have to." Yes, we men buy things for women with the hope that it'll get us laid. But to "expect" in the sense you meant where it's equivalent to prostitution? No.

Re:All consentual sexual relationships are... (3, Funny)

antibryce (124264) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084325)

I've been chasing that mythical chore for years. It doesn't exist, it's just a trap to get you to do all the yardwork.

Re:All consentual sexual relationships are... (3, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084629)

Where I live, prostitution is a normal, regulated service industry.

Not Craiglist's fault (4, Funny)

Zerth (26112) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084233)

Just because he found his wife in the w4mmmm section doesn't mean he can get all sue-happy:)

Re:Not Craiglist's fault (5, Funny)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084763)

One more 'm', and that would have been funny.

Just in: Sheriff sues computer maker (2, Funny)

justcauseisjustthat (1150803) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084235)

The Sheriff sues computer maker based on that they enable people to search Craiglist for prostitutes.

why stop there? (1)

MoFoQ (584566) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084361)

why not the state Department of Education for teaching people how to read those ads?

Streets Department (4, Insightful)

booch (4157) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084261)

I think they should probably go after the Streets Department first. Prostitutes have been using the streets to solicit prostitution for centuries. And I'm almost certain that there are more prostitutes using streets than using Craigslist.

Re:Streets Department (2, Insightful)

EvanED (569694) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084473)

Well, to be fair, streets department rarely designate streets as the place to go if you want sex.

frivolous lawsuits: even the government files them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27084263)

Here's a new motivational poster:

Frivolous Lawsuits

[picture of Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart]

Government approved

Suing the telcos next? (1, Insightful)

CrimsonScythe (876496) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084273)

With Craigslist being a free service for anyone to post ads, isn't this somewhat like suing the telcos for allowing anybody to staple posters to their poles? (You in the back there, stop giggling!) I've seen those being used to peddle all kinds of stuff, from bicycles to kittens. Clearly they should be forced to moderate their telephone poles, right?

Re:Suing the telcos next? (2, Insightful)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084811)

There's a lot of precedent on this. I think the term for a telco in this context is a "clear channel" provider or something like that. Basically, they do not provide any sort of editorial or policing on their traffic. If you pay your bill and there's no legal reason to block a given call, you can make the call.

I don't know how CraigsList is edited, but if there is any staff dedicating any time whatsoever--even seconds per month--to editing community messages, then they move from being "clear channel" providers to "publishers" or some such, and they are responsible for content.

ByHisLogic (3, Informative)

shareme (897587) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084319)

By his logic we should be able to sue his ass for past abuse of prisoners by his own sheriff department right? Oh BTW Cook county has had in its past the worst corruption record of any county Sheriff in the nation

That settles it (1)

aztektum (170569) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084329)

I'm going to bring a lawsuit against every city and citizen of those cities that has active prostitutes on the streets. Afterall it's their tax dollars that created and maintain those streets, thus giving a place for prostitutes to congregate and "work".

no offense to the sheriff... (1)

MoFoQ (584566) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084331)

but...
am I the only one who finds this thing a bit amusing and ironic that the name of the Sheriff who's "jumping" to conclusions is "Dart"?

maybe that's what his wife, ex-wife, and/or latest date said also...

You think the Sheriff would love Craigslist... (2, Interesting)

jwhitener (198343) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084351)

After all, it nicely lists all the sex providers for him to go after.

Of course, that would be a lot of work for him. So I can understand his desire to secure society by making the location of sex providers obscure ;)

Looks like I wont die a virgin after all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27084357)

Thank you Sheriff Thomas J. Dart!

Not a source (4, Insightful)

77Punker (673758) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084381)

Prostitutes exist with or without Craigslist; it is not a "source" and it does not create prostitutes. They'd be out walking the street if Craigslist didn't give them somewhere safe to advertise. I'd much rather keep them on the web than on my sidewalk.

Hey Sheriff... listen to Chris Rock... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27084383)

hey sheriff, you don't get laid in the champaign room.

missing option (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27084393)

w4w

when did singles sites become... (2, Interesting)

CaptainNerdCave (982411) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084397)

when did singles sites become the target of prostitution crack-downs? just because craigslist has a "personals" section means that it is solely for prostitution? does this mean that _everyone_ on there is soliciting or seeking prostitution?

there is clearly a double standard toward craigslist and every other way to meet new members of the opposite (or same) gender. whether this is a double standard or not is irrelevant, this must be stopped; these pathetic knee-jerk "omg protect teh chrilden!1!!" is making me sick, it's everywhere

Re:when did singles sites become... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27084509)

I believe that there's also an "Erotic" section over under "Services". That seems to point more strongly to an exchange of cash. My guess is that Craigslist has a pretty decent excuse there in that the term "erotic" doesn't necessarily mean prostitution. (There are strippers, massages, and so forth which are not, in general, illegal and would probably qualify.)

Re:when did singles sites become... (2, Informative)

darkmeridian (119044) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084765)

The erotic services section in Craigslist is very clearly geared towards prostitution. Almost every ad offers "full service" and sets out rates as "donations." The photos are usually of nude or scantily clad women. The services they offer are usually vernacular for specific sex acts. The vast majority of the ads there are for prostitution or reviews of prostitutes.

I didn't know that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27084411)

Really? I had no idea it was that easy.
Thanks sheriff! I'll definitely pull one in your name :)

Standing? (3, Interesting)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084447)

As this is a civil case, doesn't one need standing [wikipedia.org] to file a suit? As I understand it, that means that the individual bringing the suit has to ask for a remedy the court can provide, which would be redress of damage. Party A can't sue B for what B did to C because A was not harmed, and therefore has no standing. In what way has craigslist damaged the sherrif, and what damages is he asking the court to redress, exactly?

A sheriff filing suit? (3, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084517)

If he's doing this in his official capacity, then he's way out of line. This is for the states' attorney to handle, not the sheriff's office.

-jcr

Service provider (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084541)

We've seen this rhetoric before. If I post a solicitation to pay for sex on myspace, is myspace liable? No, because myspace cannot possibly have the resources to police every post made. They're a service provider, not the morality police. Likewise with Craigslist. Now, it's good community service to help the police out when it's discovered there's a higher than usual number of problems here and there, and I'd expect any responsible business owner to try to limit illegal activity... But likewise, I don't expect any reasonable police officer to believe that business owners are superhuman and can prevent crime entirely. It's about managing your risks, not eliminating them.

Re:Service provider (1)

raehl (609729) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084621)

If I post a solicitation to pay for sex on myspace, is myspace liable?

If MySpace creates a specific section entitled "Sex for Money" and you post there, then yes, MySpace may be liable.

I met my girl by posting a m4w ad on craigslist... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27084603)

and she never paid me a dime! And we've been together 3 years now! I'm gonna sue too...

Well isn't that a great use of taxpayer money (1)

Paul Carver (4555) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084615)

Wouldn't it be nice if government organizations would stop wasting money when the economy is a mess? Is there really so little real crime for them to deal with? Are all the victims so satisfied that this sheriff's department has completely solved their crimes? Exactly how many people does this sheriff's department have who aren't working on solving actual crimes with actual victims who have actually been harmed?

I've always been under the impression that the cops are constantly understaffed, but it looks like this particular sheriff's department has people with too much time on their hands.

Read the Complaint (4, Insightful)

dwm (151474) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084647)

I wish more of the authors of these smug, dismissive comments would read the complaint.

It makes a compelling case that the primary use of the "erotic services" section of Craigslist is prostitution, both the "consenting adults" variety and the quite non-consenting child sex slavery variety. It also cites specific cases where Craigslist was used to facilitate the abuse of child sex slaves. Is anyone here concerned with that, and that Craigslist is profiting from that traffic?

Note that the sheriff isn't trying to shut down Craigslist; his office sent 5 letters to Craigslist asking them to better police the "erotic services" section or shut it down. According to the complaint, Craigslist refused. It would seem that the owners of Craigslist value their profits more than the lives of the children whose exploitation they benefit from.

How often has the phrase "Think of the children" been bandied about on Slashdot with a wink and a sneer? Well, here's a case where there are actual, real, hurting children to think about. How many of you are brave enough to challenge the groupthink around here and do that? Where is the outrage that Craigslist is profiting from human traffic? Some of you need to turn in your liberal credentials at the door.

Sherriff is a moron. Grade A Moron (1)

gurps_npc (621217) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084661)

One of the hardest part of police work is FINDING the guilty people. Catching them and proving guilt is generally pretty easy. So basically, this total idiot of a sheriff discovers a shortcut to doing his job. All he has to do is to answer the ads on Craigslist. But instead of doing his job and arresting all the pros on Craigslist, this moron decides to shut down his BIGGEST WEAPON.

Oh FFS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27084675)

For fuck's sake already! First I wind up with an engineering mind I didn't ask for, second the world tells me that women hate guys with that sort of intelligence, then I'm finally given this tiny sliver of hope that there might be geeky girls who post to Craigslist looking for a date, and now you're working to take THAT from me, too?!?

What the hell is your damn PROBLEM, Illinois? We made you your stupid smartphones so you can dick around all day on them, we made you Wikipedia so you can look up information you didn't bother learning when you had the chance, we made you Amazon.com so you can sit on your corn-fed asses and order shit online, the least you people can do is hold up your end of the deal and lay off the geeks, and you can't even do THAT right!

And that's only what's obvious. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27084725)

It is interesting that the Sheriff's department is sueing Craigslist rather than trying to arrest someone. Obviously they're trying to skirt around the problem of it being shut down for content as this could be construed to be silencing people's free speech rights.

Reading of the complaint, there are some interesting assertions, such as (37).

The complaint provides a rather shocking insight into the way "middle America" thinks - that STDs are only transmitted by prostitutes. You're more likely to pickup an STD from a one-night stand from a girl at a club (because you'll take the risk and have unsafe sex) than you are with a hooker (that will most likely insist on a condom.)

But if that section of CL is closed, the girls will just go elsewhere.

www.adultfriendfinder, www.onlinebootycall.com, I'm sure there are other websites where girls put up personal ads and when guys contact them, the cost of a date is more than just dinner.

Then there are other websites, such as sugardaddy.com, where it is quite obvious that the goal is prostitution (those daddies that give girls sugar want and expect more than just a smile).

It's about time America got with the program, legalised prostitution, could therefore tax the revenue that these girls make by forcing them to work in brothels. Additionally there would be rather stringent health requirements/checks which would do a lot for sexual health in general.

The likely side effect of the erotic services section being closed is this: girls going elsewhere - there are other web sites, such as backpage.com, cityvibe.com, etc - that carry personals for girls. They may also end up in the casual encounters section or the more normal dating area. Ads from girls looking for "generous men" or men who can "help with bills" are usually girls willing to trade sex for cash.

The cost in health is entirely avoidable: state/local governments should be providing better (free) sex health services that also educate.

The police are naive if they think shutting this board will make the problem go away... all that they'll be doing is pushing the problem into more corners of the internet than they can easily track. I suspect they're going to find that they're cutting off their nose to spite their faces here in pursuing this.

Where are the activists? (1)

netruner (588721) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084787)

I knew someone who was trying to use Craigslist to find a new home for her birds, and was following all of the rules posted (small "re-homing fee" - she really just wanted to be paid for the cage, the birds would have been free if she could have found someone who wouldn't put them in an undersized cage). Each time within an hour of posting, she had her posts pulled ("community moderated", or some such) for "inappropriate content". She then found out that there are a number of activists on Craigslist that censor anything having to do with "selling animals".

I guess my friend's birds rate higher on these peoples list of priorities than child sex slaves.

I hope that my friend's case is cited as an example of how "important" censoring happens almost immediately.

Re:Where are the activists? (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084843)

there are a number of activists on Craigslist that censor anything having to do with "selling animals".

What a pack of morons.

-jcr

It Was Good Enough For Blagojevich (1)

lenwood (930461) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084817)

I think this is how Blagojevich was shopping for senators to replace Obama. Its what got him busted.

I read that as... (4, Funny)

bagboy (630125) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084873)

Sheriff Uses Craiglist For Prostitution Ads

You Don't Pay a Prostitute for Sex (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 5 years ago | (#27084901)

You pay her to leave afterward, as South Park points out.

I don't like Craig's List because they always get my hopes up with an ad like:
Hot young model, into S&M, Watersports and Bondage seeks bi guys and girls for total dominance
Only to dash my hopes with the last line... No weirdos!
*sigh*...

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