Just the excuse they needed

by Walter Olson on April 23, 2009

After the much-publicized (and remarkably quickly solved) murder, state attorneys general demand the regulation of Craigslist.

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State attorneys general vs. Craigslist
05.05.09 at 10:22 pm


1 jkoerner 04.23.09 at 10:08 am

so the government demands that craigslist make money off a service that it wants to offer for free, and then determines that craigslist has some duty to police the service. sounds about right.

2 Mark Biggar 04.23.09 at 12:52 pm

What do they expect Craigslist to do? Stop taking all adds for personal services? Isn’t there a First Amendment issue here? Provide armed escorts for all such subscribers? If the murder had chosen adds in the NY Times Classifieds instead, would there be the same call for regulation?

3 Todd Rogers 04.23.09 at 8:31 pm

I’d like to politely remind the two prior contributors that the article cited isn’t about regulation for public safety or benefit. It’s about perception. The complacent constituents will celebrate their outrage with the comforting idea that the polticians are (or seem to be) actually doing something about it. Of course, lots of things change when the cameras are off and the pundits are looking the other way.

4 John Burgess 04.24.09 at 12:25 am

Todd: You are correct. The oddity here is that it’s being done so far in advance of an election. We usually see “Aren’t I swell” laws being proposed within six months of an election.

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