Craigslist, embattled over the most recent allegations of sex trafficking and underage prostitution, pointed their finger at eBay yesterday. Craigslist has put significant efforts into moderating inappropriate listings on their site, says CEO Jim Buckmaster. But eBay continues to accept the worst kind of ads, depicting “young Asian females engaged in unprotected sex” on its Spanish subsidiary Loquo. He points to a number of listings that showed graphic pictures of sexual acts, and also pointed out that eBay aggressively markets upsell opportunities to listers, effectively taking part in the transaction.
How did eBay respond? By blocking access to Loquo from IP addresses originating in the U.S. But the site, and the listings, are easily accessible – just copy the URLs into an IP anonymizer, for example. The extremely NSFW listings are still up and active.
A post on Aimgroup says eBay is also planning on eventually taking down these types of listings as part of its “process of ensuring all of its sites are in alignment with its family-friendly values.”
For its part, Craigslist has taken a disproportionate share of the heat over prostitution and sexual trafficking claims. A half page ad was recently run by two “survivors of Craigslist sex trafficking” in the Washington Post, for example. And last year South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster targeted Craigslist as part of his run for governor.
And recently a new Facebook group emerged called “Stop Craigslist Human Trafficking – Choose Ebay Classifieds.” Buckmaster seems particularly incensed by the fact that eBay is being seen as family friendly, when they’re running ads far worse than anything you see on Craigslist and have historically been quite fine with selling pornography and other adult materials.