Amber has already written a lengthy, well thought-out response to the AJC article about Craigslist shutting down its erotic services section. I emailed Megan Matteucci, the author of the piece, this morning, the text of which follows:
I am writing in response to the article titled “Atlanta group: Craigslist must do more to fight child prostitution” which ran on May 13.
We all can agree that human trafficking is one of the most deplorable acts people perpetrate against one another. However, I take exception to the lede in your article that “children will be a little safer now that Craigslist will no longer post prostitution and other ‘erotic services’ ads.”
While there are exceptions, few of the people doing actual human trafficking are using Craigslist. Most of the people who are targeted by this change are adults engaging in consensual business transactions.
It is extremely important not to conflate the two because it does everyone involved a disservice. If people are interested in “saving” adult prostitutes who are in the profession consensually (a term I also find objectionable, but which is a discussion for another time), putting a felony on their record is a terrible way to go about it. Targeting trafficking is an extremely difficult and scary proposition, and shutting down adult services on Craigslist accomplishes nothing on that front.
I recommend reading my partner Amber Rhea’s response to your article. It may seem a little harsh on first pass, but there is a lot of good information and links to other sources and perspectives in there:
I hope the next time you write a story on this subject you will take some of these perspectives into consideration.
I have yet to receive a response, but will update this if I do. I may rework it into a regular letter to the editor later.