United Press International
SAN FRANCISCO, May 20 (UPI) — An advertisement placed in a California newspaper said Craiglist’s adult services section is “the choice of traffickers” in sex with underage girls.
The half-page ad, addressed to Craigslist founder Craig Newmark in Wednesday’s San Francisco Chronicle, calls for Craigslist to discontinue its adult services section, which generated $36 million in revenues this year, and included the experiences of two teenage girls who said they were forced into prostitution via Craigslist, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Thursday.
Craigslist Chief Executive Officer Jim Buckmaster said his company is the only one that tries to curtail prostitution, using methods such as reviewing every ad, asking users to report suspicious activity and supporting law enforcement sweeps and stings.
“We’d like to do even more, and my door remains open to experts from advocacy groups and law enforcement with ideas on how we can improve,” Buckmaster said.
But visitors to the site’s adult services section in California “will see what clearly are children up for sale,” said Malika Saar, the executive director of the Rebecca Project for Human Rights, the Washington organization that sponsored the ad.
“Craigslist is the choice of traffickers because it’s so well known and there are rarely consequences to using it for these illegal acts,” the ad said.
THE ADVERTISEMENT READS AS FOLLOWS
Although we have not met, we are certain you would not want what happened to us or to thousands of
girls like us to ever happen again.
Craig, I am AK. In 2009, I met a man twice my age who pretended to be my boyfriend, and my life as
an average girl, looking forward to college, doing my chores, and hanging out with my friends
ended. This “boyfriend” soon revealed he was a pimp. He put my picture on Craigslist, and I was sold
for sex by the hour at truck stops and cheap motels, 10 hours with 10 different men every night. Thi s
became my life.
Men answered the Craigslist advertisements and paid to rape me. The $30,000 he pocketed each month
was facilitated by Craigslist 300 times. I personally know over 20 girls who were trafficked through
Craigslist. Like me, they were taken from city to city, each time sold on a different Craigslist site
Philadelphia, Dallas, Milwaukee, Washington D.C. My phone would ring, and soon men would line up
in the parking lot. One Craigslist caller viciously brutalized me, threatening to dump my body in a
river. Miraculously, I survived.
Craig, I am MC. I was first forced into prostitution when I was 11 years old by a 28 year-old man. I am
not an exception. The man who trafficked me sold many girls my age, his house was called “Daddy
Day Care.” All day, me and other girls sat with our laptops, posting pictures and answering ads on
Craigslist, he made $1,500 a night selling my body, dragging me to Los Angeles, Houston, Little
Rock, and one trip to Las Vegas in the trunk of a car.
I am 17 now, and my childhood memories aren’t of my family, going to middle school, or dancing at
th eprom. They are making my own arrangements on Craigslist to be sold for sex, and answering as many ads as possible for fear of beatings and ice water baths.
Craig, we write this letter so you will know from our personal experiences how Craigslist makes horrific
acts like this so easy to carry out, and the men who carry out, and men who arrange them very rich.
Craig, we know you oppose trafficking and exploitation. But right now, Craigslist is the choice of
traffickers because it’s so well known and there are rarely consequences to using it for these illeg al
acts. We’ve heard that the Adult Services section of Craigslist brings in $36 million a year by char ging
for these ads. These profits are made at the expense of girls like us, who are lured, kidnapped, and forced to feed the increasing demand for child rape. New traffickers are putting up ads every day, because they know it’s less risky and more profitable to sell girls on Craigslist than to deal drugs.
Please, Craig, close down the Adult Services section. Saving even one child is worth it. It could have
AK & MC
Survivors of Craigslist Sex Trafficking
Want to Take Action? Visit http://www.rebeccaproject.org/site Want to Help Girls? Visit Fairfund.org, or
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