10 May, 2010

what to do about Craigslist?

From Flowerdust

So what should we do?
    • We should first thank Craigslist for donating some of their money to anti-trafficking organizations.Thank you.
    • We should get involved in our local government and make sure they know the issues of illegal activity occurs on Craigslist. Then we should ask them to take appropriate government action (which, by the way, Craigslist is protected from liability – however, the law doesn't cover the people breaking it).
    • Find a way to support the women who feel like they need to prostitute themselves. How can we care for them?
    • Ask "Is there a way faith-based organizations can partner with Craigslist to help solve this problem?" If someone came up with a brilliant solution, I bet Craigslist would be more than willing to listen.
Over and over again, I find that Christians (myself included) can be reactive and not proactive. Maybe this is an opportunity for us to actually come alongside of Craigslist and see how we can help them instead of just yelling at them.

Only I think we should boycott it and do those things. I can't use only the aspects of a site I like and quietly ignore the over $36 million in revenue it made in the rape of women and girls. They are trying to pacify people by giving money to organizations fighting human trafficking. 

Change.Org had this to say "Time for a boycott! Right? Not so fast. Unless you're posting jobs on Craigslist (or Adult Services ads), Craigslist isn't losing money from your boycott. And as authors Kevin Bales and Ron Soodalter point out, though "we want to vote in the marketplace for the things we believe in ... this problem usually can't be fixed at the point of purchase." In spite of our good intentions, I'm not convinced a ginormous operation like Craigslist will give a rip if an abolitionist chooses another site to sell his or her couch. Especially if there is no "point of purchase" to begin with. (The Slave Next Door, University of California Press, 2009)." (site

Boycotting is the first step - this is putting action with our words. But it is not the full extend of what should be done. Then you can sign a petition, work on legislation fining the company. If we stop using CraigsList for other things - for bookshelves, and apartments, etc. then it does affect them and might allow someone who doesn't get off selling minors, to emerge and we can trade our stuff for free on that site. 

How can I buy something off of a site that, in any way, supports trafficking, isn't that like saying that perhaps certain people really do just buy certain magazines for the articles? Bad example, but the failed logic is there - supporting an organization or company that in anyway supports (encourages) trafficking (rape, the prostitution of people, etc) is supporting trafficking. It just is. 

And yes, maybe you can't fully fight slavery at the point of purchase, but our money and the court of public opinion help a lot. 

What do you think?