Much has been said about how Craigslist is stealing advertisement revenue from newspapers and magazines. But a recent report (I think it was on Fox 5’s 11 p.m. news, though it’s not posted on their website) really left me distraught.
Here at the Washington City Paper, we rely on bucks generated from a special kind of classified advertisement, and not the “Dog Walkers Needed!” variety. I’m talking about the section where valued City Paper readers are queried “DO YOU LIKE big tits and boobs?” and “LOST YOUR FASCINATION with life? Let Mistress Desire and friends take control.” Yes, this is the land of “Total Asian Massages” and a “RUBBY DUB DUB! Futuristic upscale spa.”
I think many people find this section to be the best one in the Classifieds pages, since it is both informative and entertaining. (Last week, I actually witnessed someone flip directly to the Adult Services listings.) And now, it’s being threatened. According to the report last night, in the District, many purveyors of adult services are now doing business on Craigslist. There’s a lot of secret lingo used to avoid detection. Instead of speaking about dollars, the advertisements talk about “plates” and “roses,” as in “100 PLATES 15 MIN. NASCAR RACERS ,” “200 PLATES A HALF HOUR,” and “250 PLATES A HOUR.” Just put some random code words in your post and you can avoid detection from the website. The header (no pun intended) for that post is “Friday 100 In Call Lunch Specials Available 100 Now!!”