Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Conan n’ Slash shop CL for new Ax

June 12, 2009

Turning a Blind Eye

May 22, 2009

Noteable as this news cycle winds down ( “Craigslist Pwns McMaster,” “Pandering Has Its Price,” “Craigslist 1, McMaster 0,” “McMaster’s Final Humiliation” ) has been the absolute disinterest shown by politicians and journalists in hardcore sex-for-money ads featured in journalistic media, no matter how numerous or graphic they may be.

Here are a few out of tens of thousands of “escort ads” featured adult classifieds owned by Village Voice Media, publisher of achain of weekly newspapers. (WARNING – EXPLICIT SEXUAL CONTENT):

UPDATE – Now deleted ads included photos of sex acts, and price quotes for: “GFE, BBBJ, CIM, greek, swallow, DATY, 69, facials, golden showers, anal”

UPDATE – Screenshot of ad cited above (CAUTION, EXPLICIT SEXUALITY)

These examples were “featured” ads for which Village Voice charged extra, such that this content presumably fell well within their guidelines.

It’s worth noting that these ads’ TITLES ALONE contain more explicit content than you will find in all craigslist adult service ads combined.

Could the blessing of politicos on voluminous pornographic sex-for-money ads in journalistic media have anything to do with the need for positive coverage and campaign endorsements from said media?

As for journalists, is it possible that criticizing craigslist is more career-friendly than taking their own employers (or publishing peers) to task?


May 20, 2009

The office of Defendant McMaster proclaimed victory today:

More importantly, overnight they have removed the erotic services section from their website, as we asked them to do. And they are now taking responsibility for the content of their future advertisements. If they keep their word, this is a victory for law enforcement and for the people of South Carolina.

Nicely spun, perhaps by trash-talking McMaster PR operative Trey Walker (@treywalker), who reportedly was investigated by the SC State Law Enforcement Division for election fraud in connection with Defendant McMaster’s 2002 campaign:

“I’m embarrassed about it,” Walker said. “I’ve embarassed my family, my friends, my employer, my clients. It was stupid and silly.”

Speaking of elections, here is Defendant McMaster celebrating another important victory in The Post and Courier, the publishers of which he recently condemned as criminals.

Techdirt has a different take on Defendant McMaster’s victory:

That’s just blatant outright lying now. Craigslist made those changes last week, and at the time McMaster’s response was: “That response doesn’t work” and claimed it was proceeding with plans to punish Craigslist management with jail time. Since then, Craigslist has made no other change, other than to sue McMaster. To suddenly claim that it’s made a new change and is taking the matter seriously, when the only change is suing McMaster, is quite the delusional response. I have no idea how likely it is that McMaster will win his current race for the Governor’s spot in South Carolina — but so far the man has been an embarrassment to the state.

As did PolicyBeta ( :

Now we hear that McMaster is calling the Craigslist suit “good news,” which is befuddling because the S.C. taxpayers are likely going to have to pony big bucks to pay for the Craigslist legal bills (unless McMaster backs down right away), which can easily run $250,000 or more.

“The bottom line here hasn’t changed since McMaster decided to start his grandstanding: Craigslist is constitutionally protectedfrom having liability for content placed on its site by users”

An Apology Is In Order

May 18, 2009

Dear South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster,

Two days ago you accused craigslist, and me personally, of engaging in criminal acts, reiterating your previous threat to file unwarranted and unconstitutional charges against us that are clearly barred by federal law. As you put it, “We have no alternative but to move forward with criminal investigation and potential prosecution.”

These very serious allegations followed the dramatic changes we implemented last week, widely applauded by other Attorneys General, that go far beyond the policies and procedures you yourself personally endorsedjust 6 months ago, as indicated by your signature on the Joint Statement.

So effective in fact, that our “adult services” and soon-to-be-retired “erotic services” sections combined, for all cities in South Carolina, currently feature a total of 40 ads, all of which comply with our terms of use. That’s 40 ads out of a total of 334,180 currently listed on our SC sites. The rest comprise athriving marketplace for South Carolinians, offering jobs, housing, for sale items, local services, and just about everything else.

Many prominent companies, including AT&T, Microsoft, and Village Voice Media, not to mention major newspapers and other upstanding South Carolina businesses feature more “adult services” ads than does craigslist, some of a very graphic nature. For a small sampling, look (careful NSFW)here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here.

Have you fully considered the implications of your accusations against craigslist? What’s a crime for craigslist is clearly a crime for any company. Are you really prepared to condemn the executives of each of the mainstream companies linked above, and all the others that feature such ads, as criminals? craigslist may not matter in your world view, despite our popularity among your constituents, but mightn’t you want an endorsement from any of the SC newspapers for your gubenatorial campaign, whose publishers you’ve just labeled as criminals? Do you really intend to launch a criminal investigation against the phone company? What about potential new jobs connected to big data center buildouts in SC by Internet companies? Are you *sure* you want to prosecute all of their CEOs as criminals???

If you are threatening our founder Craig Newmark, a board member with no operational role at craigslist other than as a customer service representative, then you are expanding your list of “criminal suspects” to include thousands of employees at the above-named companies, or the companies’ boards of directors, or both.

Mr McMaster, I strongly recommend you reconsider and retract your remarks, and positively affirm that you have no intention of launching criminal investigations aimed at any of these upstanding companies, because in truth none of them are deserving of such treatment. Certainly when it comes to craigslist, by any objective standard your threats and accusations are unreasonable and unfair:

  • threats of criminal prosecution are utterly unwarranted by the facts
  • the charges threatened are unconstitutional and barred by federal law
  • our adult ad screening regimen is stricter than the one you endorsed
  • our adult services ads are fewer and tamer than other SC venues

We’re willing to accept our share of criticism, but wrongfully accusing  craigslist of criminal misconduct is simply beyond the pale. We would very much appreciate an apology at your very earliest convenience. As I’m sure would all of the other fine companies whose executives you’ve called out as criminals.

Sincerely Yours,

Jim Buckmaster
CEO, craigslist

Meeting IL AG Madigan

April 29, 2009

We look forward to meeting with Attorney General Madigan to discussprogress made since our Joint Statement last November, and to hear any and all ideas she and others may have that could help reach our shared goal of eliminating illegal activity from craigslist, while preserving all of the functionality and positive attributes that are currently enjoyed by the overwhelmingly law-abiding craigslist community of users.

Justice Served

April 2, 2009

We again extend our heartfelt condolences to the Olson family, and are thankful that justice has been served in the courtroom, so that the focus for all those who cared for Katherine can now rightfully return to the celebration of her life, and the inspirational example that she (and her entire family) have set for us all.

A memorial concert in Katherine’s honor entitled A Tribute to Katherine: Letting Her Light Shine, which is happening on May 3rd in Minneapolis, will raise money for a scholarship fund in her name at St. Olaf College. More details are available here:

Best laid plans …

January 13, 2009

gang aft agley, as this Denver CLer notes in his “Free Vermin” ad

Speeding Tickets

July 23, 2008

Apparently one of these cities is hosting a sporting event:

Get ‘em while they’re hot.

Sleeping Around

July 10, 2008

2 middle-aged women find that casual sex can be anything but casual.

Clear Eyes

May 27, 2008

It’s troubling that the NY TImes can’t find a more worthy columnist than Nixon speech writer, intelligent design proponent, game show host, pro-life activist, and commercial pitchman Ben Stein.

In this Sunday’s column, after noting that the gargantuan oil supply we currently enjoy is largely being wasted, he concludes we should *increase* subsidies for oil producers, maximize offshore drilling domestically, and step up environmentally disastrous conversion of coal and tar sands to gasoline.

Hopefully we listen to our engineers and not our idiots.


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