Has the takedown of Craigslist Adult Services hurt abused women?

We’ve already covered Craigslist shutting down the Adult Services section of their website after controversy that a murder victim met her alleged murderer through the section.

Now, Danah Boyd, writing for the Huffington Post, suggests that if the goal is to protect women, shutting down Craigslist Adult Services is counterproductive.

“Rather than helping those who are abused, it fundamentally helps pimps, human traffickers and others who profit off of abusing others.”

Her arguments are that Craigslist actually wants to work with law enforcement to catch true predators (rather than the grey-morality that is consensual prostitution) and that the visibility of the Internet helps bring the real problems of prostitution to light, motivating people to act in their communities. She also notes that law enforcement agencies can more easily track abusive pimps who advertise online rather than offline, and that shutting down adult services hides the problem from law enforcement rather than giving them the resources that they need to track down predators online.

Your thoughts?

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