Now that the KILL BACKPAGE BILL (aka FOSTA) has passed both legislative houses by a wide margin, its passage into law is a foregone conclusion. Already, the initiative boasts its first casualty. The venerable and visionary CRAIGSLIST shut down all its personal categories just yesterday in response to the overwhelming congressional sentiment in favor of the bill.
You might think that the first site to cave under the pressure would be the very site the legislation is aimed at. But you’d be wrong! And there are some valid reasons for that.
When Craig conceived his revolutionary website, he did not envision it as a ho shopping network. It was to be a community bulletin board a small part of which would offer “adult services.”
We all know his idea exploded in several realms and quickly grossed him $106 million per annum – only $36 million of which came from adult ads. Thus when the temperature rose, Craig got out of the kitchen reasoning that $70 million with just 25 employees and one house in which they worked to pay rent on netted him enough for his modest lifestyle. Good riddance to the ho’s. Craig was out!
In the meantime, CARL FERRER and company had cloned his site hoping to steal some of Craig’s thunder. But alas, they only succeeded on the pay for play front and haven’t the wherewithal to continue without those sex-related ads. And that’s why BP continues on its intrepid path to doom. Without the ho’s, they’re nothing. So they hire premier legal help and hang on by a thread.
Back to Craig…despite tanking the adult section, the girls found their way to the personals section where they could continue to advertise free-of-charge though frequently, their ads would get deleted. But free is free and a certain class of trade weathered the deletion storm and plied their wares as always.
Craig turned a blind eye to the personals section and let it do its thing until the senate passed FOSTA. And then it was enough! Why go down behind a bunch of skanky ads you’re not even profiting from? Fuck free speech and all that liberal bull shit! We’re getting out seems to have been Craig’s reasoning. Can’t really blame him. I’ve done the same thing!
On the other hand, Backpage reminds me of Luke in “COOL HAND LUKE,” in the scene where George Kennedy is beating the crap out of him as Luke just keeps coming back for more. The obvious metaphor being George as the US government and Luke as BP.
I don’t know the other two principals at Backpage. They look like pretty rough trade and people have told me my impression isn’t far off. But I did know Carl fairly well and spoke to him frequently. And if he called today and asked what I thought he should do (as he has before in the past), I’d tell him to run for the exit. It’s sooo over, dude! You’re not a pimp type and you never were. Get the fuck out!
What they, and Adult Search, and My Provider Guide, and Cityvibe will do in the future will make for interesting viewing. That’s for sure.
P.S. Casualty #2: Alex already shut down CITYVIBE.