During the question and answer period at the end of his speech, I nervously stepped up the microphone and asked why, with all their attempts at building strong communities and their focus on “thinking holistically,” did they continue to allow the buying and selling of sexual services on their website? Did this really fit into their goals toward community development?
For years Craigslist has been under fire for allowing erotic services to be posted on their website. Most recently, the website has been blamed for the creation and growth of prostitution rings – some involving underage girls and boy - in several cities, including my most recent place of residence, Kansas City, Missouri.
Lukow replied, extremely flustered might I add, that Craigslist does not allow illegal activity to be sold on their website. But if illegal services are offered, there is very little they can do to stop the activity because so much is being bought and sold on Craigslist that it is nearly impossible to censor everything.
I asked if this was a moral dilemma for a foundation that prides themselves on utilitarian ideals. He said that Craigslist believes that communities can decide for themselves what should be bought and sold in their communities.
This comment was insinuating – hopefully unintentionally- that if a community decides that it is permissible to sell the sexual services of boys, girls, men and women then they should be allowed to do this through their website.
As one might expect, Lukow was regarded as a complete flop after these rushed, almost incoherent and false statements. His responses were counterproductive and caused an entire conference of 700 young people to think twice before visiting his website.
All across America, people are learning more about the injustices spread through Craigslist. They are boycotting it, using other websites like www.kijiji.com as a replacement. This movement has taken root and is beginning to make profound change.
Today in the news, there is a movement to stop the “Adult Services” portion of the website.
Check it out: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5ijE8ghEyZTvfzAddOR1DDMwpU4RQD9HQ6FI80
Sign a petition: http://humantrafficking.change.org/petitions/view/petition_to_end_craigslist_sex_slave_trafficking