We are still in the process, as a society, of deciding just how this relatively new communications facility, the Internet, is to operate in our society, and we have tended so far to allow it to be a free-wheeling operative. That’s not always bad, but it is frequently not good.
Now Kansas, along with several other states, is calling on one successful Internet site to discipline itself.
Let’s hope that it will, though the Internet’s short history has not, frankly, shown much evidence of self discipline.
According to a recent Associated Press story, the move is for Craigslist owners — who are making a mint off their site — to shut down the professional sex ads.
“State attorneys general from across the country are demanding Craigslist remove its adult services section because the website cannot adequately block potentially illegal ads.
“Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal announced Tuesday that he and colleagues in 16 other states have sent a joint letter calling on the classified advertising website to get rid of its adult services category.
“The attorneys general say Craigslist is not completely screening out ads that promote prostitution and child trafficking, despite a 2008 pledge by the site’s creators that they would improve their policing efforts.”
The states participating in this effort, besides Kansas and Connecticut, include Arkansas, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
We have enough of a fight in this area of exploitation in our society today, without this new wrinkle.
It would be refreshing — and surprising — to see Craigslist agree to take responsibility for itself, without the states forcing the matter in court.
— Chuck Smith