Pressure from the media and a flurry of prostitution arrests have forced SF-based Craigslist to impose a “lockdown” on its personal services ads in Seattle, according to Seattle Post Intelligencer writer Robert L. Jamieson Jr. Craigslist, headed by Craig Newmark (pictured) of San Francisco, now requires anyone who wants to see those ads in the Seattle area to register online. A review board of local residents screens the ads and checks those who register.
The people who post the racy ads are upset, Jamieson wrote. He quotes one female escort as saying that the attention Craigslist was getting with the arrests was too much and said she would be glad when the glare dims. Situations such as this, the escort wrote, “keep me on my toes and teach me not to be sloppy about how I do business. Be careful.”
Why the focus on Craigslist when alt-weeklies run the same kind of ads? Jamieson writes, “It’s not entirely because young women are deciding to use the site to sell flesh, or worse, being pimped out. It is primarily because Craigslist founder Craig Newmark won’t take responsibility for this problem on his Web site, a site that is more popular and powerful than any ad in any weekly anywhere. He comes off like a naif who is shocked to hear about what’s going on.”