Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Junk Science that Closed Down the Craigslist Adult Section

Writes Nick Pinto at SF Weekly:
ATTORNEYS REPRESENTING CRAIGSLIST told Congress on Sept. 15 that the ubiquitous web classifieds site was closing its adult section. Under intense scrutiny from the government and crusading advocacy groups, as well as state attorneys general, owner Craig Newmark famously applied the label "Censored" in his classifieds where adult advertising once appeared.

During the same September hearing of a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee, members of Congress listened to vivid and chilling accounts regarding underage prostitution. They heard testimony from half a dozen nonprofit executives and law enforcement officials. But the most alarming words of the day came from Deborah Richardson, the chief program officer of the Women's Funding Network (WFN), who told legislators that juvenile prostitution is exploding at an astronomical rate.

"An independent tracking study released today by the Women's Funding Network shows that over the past six months, the number of underage girls trafficked online has risen exponentially in three diverse states," Richardson claimed. "Michigan: a 39.2 percent increase; New York: a 20.7 percent increase; and Minnesota: a staggering 64.7 percent increase."
Got that, child prostitution had increased by over 64.7% over the last six months in Minnesota?

At that rate, every kid in Minnesota would be into prostitution in no time flat.

Of course, it was wacky science, but the numbers were published in newspapers across the country, including, USA Today, the Houston Chronicle, The Miami Herald, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and the Detroit Free Press.

Not surprising, the group pushing the numbers was looking for government funding to fight the epidemic.

Read on, about the mad science behind the research, here.

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