Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Well known Internet attorney defends working for Backpage


Internet attorney Liz Mcougall has a “last page” column in Bloomberg Business Week May 21, 2012 in the “Hard Choices” column explaining her quitting everything else to defend the erotic services of Craigslist and then Backpage. Craigslist had at one time started charging for the ads at the request of states’ attorneys general who wanted to be able to track abuse. Then the law enforcement world turned around and accused Craiglist of profiteering.  Craiglist pulled out (after the infamous case in Massachusetts – see movies blog Jan. 3, 2011), but Backpage promised McDougall it would stay in, now her only client. Sometimes “free” really can pose a risk, however. The link for the column is here.
 
She says she can take the “demonizing” because otherwise services like this would move to small sites without the scale to monitor ads or content.  Backpage, as part of Village Voice, is big enough to pay the freight for the risk it creates.

Does the whole idea of monitoring ads run in contradiction to Section 230?

"Workers" defend the scale and monitoring of Backpage and say it's riskier to drive this underground, as on Jezebel.com here.

Remember, Ashton Kutcher says "Real men don't buy girls."  Think what this does overseas in poor or autocratic countries.

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