Despite female victims of sex trafficking on the popular website Craigslist pleading with founder Craig Newmark to delete the adult services section of the site, where sex ads are frequently placed until adequate safeguards are put in place, the plea has drawn ziltch response.
In his response, Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster claimed that sex trafficking "rarely" occurs on the website, reports The Politico.
However, since the past 14 months when it implemented manual screening, Craigslist has made only 109 reports to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children - less than 1 percent of the 700,000 ads were actually reported to the proper authorities.
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children President and CEO Ernie Allen addressed the shift of sexual exploitation from the streets to Craigslist and other online venues, where children are marketed for sex.
Although the website has employed credit card validation, screening ads, and reported suspicious ads, "American kids continue to be marketed and sold online for sex. The problem is not declining, it is growing. The goal is to end this insidious 'industry.' Craigslist needs to do more, and every other online classifieds company needs to join them," she said.
Although the site has asked users to report any illicit content, the final responsibility is its own. And with expected earnings of $36 million dollars this year from its adult services section alone, Craigslist has the resources to prevent and respond to sex trafficking on its site.
Politico has reiterated the request made by the 16 state attorneys general for Craigslist to shut down its adult services section, saying that "trying" to fix this problem is just not good enough when children are the victims.