Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Craigslist censors Itself? Not likely.

Apparently the government is trying to police one of my favorite web pages, craigslist. Although I may not agree with the content in that section of the web page, erotic services, it will definitely have a trickle down effect on those of us who use craigslist to buy and sell items without the hassle of ebay or other auction sites. Here's why.

The service charges $10 for an ad in the section and $5 for a renewal. This year, it's estimated Craigslist will earn $44 million from the section, or a third of all its revenues. Where is that revenue going to be made up? From us, the average consumer trying to sell or purchase items without the hassle of ebay!

The brass at Craigslist have been mum on the shutdown since they stopped taking advertising for the section and replaced its links on landing pages throughout the United States with the word "censored" in white type on a black background. That graphic treatment makes the word very prominent on the relatively drab pages. It has also led to speculation that there's more behind the shutdown than a unilateral capitulation to the forces of morality.

Although Craigslist willingly took the link down on their own there is much speculation on why, and there should be. Every newspaper in our country runs the same adds, although it may be a little more discreet perhaps, but the end result remains the same. Who is policing them?

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