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Tell Gawker to Stop Facilitating Child Sex Trafficking

This petition had 979 supporters


In response to Craigslist's recent voluntary removal of their adult services section, Gawker.com stepped in with a guide to buying Internet sex. With their nearly 20 million readers and the vast amount of child trafficking on similar sites, Gawker is practically guaranteed to be facilitating more child rape.

Like Craigslist, the sex-for-sale websites Gawker is promoting are a mixed bag of men, women, and transgender individuals voluntarily engaged in prostitution, adults who have been forced or coerced into prostitution, and children. The latter two categories are victims of human trafficking, and online classified ads like Craigslist and the websites in Gawker's guide have played an increasingly large role in facilitating their repeated rape for profit. The demand for commercial sex, which when it outstrips willing suppliers causes human trafficking, is a complex and nuanced phenomenon. It's affected by the price and availability of commercial sex, social norms and laws around buying sex, and potential buyers' ethical views. Craigslist's adult services section and similar sites have provided a space where buying sex is easy, normalized, and anonymous, effectively increasing the demand without increasing the supply. Hence the human trafficking on online classified sites like Craigslist.

If Craigslist (or any other online classifieds site) wasn't a website, but an abandoned warehouse at the edge of town where children as young as 11 were being bought and sold for sex by dozens of men a night, no one would argue that warehouse's closing impinged upon "freedom of speech." No one would claim, as Danah Boyd on the Huffington Post recently did, that the child sex warehouse should continue to operate since "a one-stop-shop is more helpful for law enforcement." And if the pimps and traffickers were locked out of it one night, no one would publish a guide directing them to other abandoned warehouses around town they can turn into child sex factories. A website and a warehouse may not be exactly the same, but with this guide Gawker is standing on a virtual street corner directing would-be child traffickers and abusers to new meeting points. And the saddest part is that they really don't seem to understand that's what they're doing.

Please, ask Gawker to remove their online guide to sex and stop facilitating child trafficking.



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