Wednesday, March 28, 2018

So, the Problem Was Real

Instapundit linked to an article about a law aimed at online trafficking of children, and saw it as a symptom of failing to legalize prostitution.  Other libertarians in the comments insisted that there was no real problem.  Today's Idaho Statesman reports:
Craigslist’s personal ads service was no more as of Friday. But before that part of the classifieds website shuttered, Southwest Idaho law enforcement used it this month to arrest 11 men accused of trying to arrange sex with minors.
The allegations against each man differ somewhat. But all of the cases began with an investigator posing as either a child or the parent of a child and communicating through ads posted on the site.
The sting operation was led by the Idaho Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children Unit, a collaboration of several law enforcement agencies. Five of the men arrested face state charges in Ada County; the other five are charged in federal court.
Authorities had investigated Jerry Moore, 42, of Weiser, for possible child porn possession last summer but never charged him, prosecutors said.
A few comments:

The big social media companies fought this because the cost of moderation would make their leftist echo chambers unprofitable.  No regulatory advantage there. 

The Framers believed in free speech, but this only prohibited prior restraint.  You were still responsible for abuse of that right.  BackPage's efforts to jeep the pimps operating has consequences.

I do not worry about this being used to suppress conservative free speech, anymore than Facebook and Google already do.  I moderate comments here at least in part to make sure criminal acts are not proposed or encouraged.


  1. I won't be surprised if this leads to an increase in "street walking" prostitution charges, and the pimps are probably happy to see Craigslist closing down the personal ads. That means more business for them, since now the women can't advertise their wares on their own, so they'll need a pimp. Business will go on, though- it always does.

    Will it stop or decrease underage prostitution? I very much doubt it. It might even make it harder to stop, since now the authorities can't use this "sting" operation anymore.

    In Western Australia, "sex work" isn't illegal, but street walking/pimping are; the last time I was there, the Personal Ads in the newspaper made for interesting reading: "Sweet Holly 18, Beautiful and New, Visits You $130 Full Service 9202-8504" is one such ad, and the ads went on for pages. (I kept a copy of The West Australian newspaper, dated Tuesday September 14, 2010 just to prove I didn't make it up!)

  2. What I want to know is do we have an increase in child molesting in our society or it just that it isn't as underground as in the past?!?!?!?!?

  3. Unknown: Sexual abuse of children was widespread in Victorian London, with 13 and 14 year olds lured in and drugged for rape by wealthy "gentlemen." Mother of a friend was gangraped at 4 in Texas in the 1930s. Online makes the process more efficient.