“Say what you’ll do and do what you say!”
Good life advice, especially for the way you do business. Certainly it’s an axiom that has come back to haunt Internet entrepreneur Craig Newmark.
The “Adult Services” section of his Craig’s List, it seems, has become a popular place for pimps to solicit girls…especially underage girls. The list’s administrators promised to monitor solicitations and reject any that look or sound like they are selling sex.
Armed with that information and running a little test of her own, CNN reporter Amber Lyon went online and crafted a blatant solicitation. Her cell phone was quickly active with responses. Ironically, many of her callers assumed the popular police pseudonym “John” when she asked each guy for his name.
Armed with her evidence and the Craig’s List promise to monitor and remove these solicitations, reporter Lyon caught up with Newmark in
Despite being ambushed, Newmark, seemingly relaxed and confident, submitted and answered her questions. But not for long. And, his demeanor changed pretty quickly. (Click on the video below.)
Whether you see this as a case of “The road to hell is paved with good intentions,” or “No good deed goes unpunished,” Craig Newmark probably had the best of intentions when he developed his online version of classified ads. And, we presume, he didn’t intend it to be used for illicit sex.
But Craig is an Internet pioneer, and so it’s reasonable to assume that he understands just how the Internet has changed the speed and reach of communications worldwide. He promised to carefully monitor the site and cleanse it of predators. Instead of admitting that Craig’s List failed to keep its promise, he tried to deflect by answering questions with questions.
He should’ve known better. Hopefully, after this experience, he now does!