Craigslist Sex Ads Worth $36 Million?

In discussing the advertising of prostitution on Craigslist, The NY Times cites an unspecified source for the proposition that these ads alone will generate $36 million in income this year:

The ads, many of which blatantly advertise prostitution, are expected to bring $36 million this year, according to a new projection of Craigslist’s income.

I wonder how much “escorts” generates for the print yellow pages by comparison. Anybody know?

It has got to be a good deal more than $36 million in the aggregate I would imagine.


6 Responses to “Craigslist Sex Ads Worth $36 Million?”

  1. Malcolm Lewis Says:

    Sad that Craigslist allows these ads to run when the FBI and “officials of organizations that oppose human trafficking say the site remains the biggest online hub for selling women against their will.”

  2. Greg Sterling Says:

    That’s unfortunate. I didn’t know that.

  3. edkohler Says:

    @Malcolm, while I don’t have data to back it up, it seems likely that Craigslist is also the best source available to law enforcement today for tracking human trafficking. By charging for ads, Craigslist gathers contact information on those who place ads. And they do cooperate with law enforcement.

    While there doesn’t appear to be a clear answer to the larger issue of human trafficking, it seems like shutting down the ads on Craigslist would simply shift the ads elsewhere on the web, such as Backpage, which is what happened when Craigslist first started charging.

    It’s certainly possible that Craiglist is the “biggest online hub” but there may be bigger offline hubs (as Greg alludes to in his post), such as organized crime using traditional print YP ads for spas, saunas, and massage parlors staffed by sex slaves.

  4. Craigslist PVA Says:

    @edkohler, Every thing you said is 100% true. The only problem is that even though they gather contact info for the people that place ads, it doesn’t really help since there is SO much fraud going around these days.

  5. Ed Kohler Says:

    @Craigslist PVA, this type of transaction involves two people meeting, so law enforcement shouldn’t have a particularly hard time figuring out where people are working and who they are.

  6. chris Says:

    i dont get what the big deal is, these girls need money and some guys are lonely ok people.

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