Village Voice Media to Craigslist CEO Buckmaster: Calm Down, Back Off; There is Nothing Wrong With a Little Competition
In the original blog post, which was later “submarine” edited to reword and soften some of the attacks towards Village Voice Media, Buckmaster complained that politicians are attacking Craigslist but not Village Voice Media and other media outlets because they have a “need for positive stories and campaign endorsements from those very same newspapers.
“Is it possible that writing stories critical of Craigslist’s (relatively tame) ‘adult service’ section is more career-friendly than attacking their own employer (or journalistic media brethren) for operating a (far more graphic) ‘adult service’ section of their own?”
Buckmaster and Craigslist are in a tough, and in many ways, frightening situation – they have a number of moralistic state Attorneys General threatening them over their adult ads, and a raft of bad press following the terrible tragedy in
In 2002, Village Voice Media recognized the forces that were changing the classified advertising market and created backpage.com to answer that challenge. We’ve put a lot of work into making it the No. 2 free classifieds site in U.S. We’re fine with being No. 2, proud in fact. Buckmaster, apparently, is not. Instead of working with his competitors to find a way to solve, or at least mitigate issues surrounding adult ads – the shortcomings of automatic content filters is something we are all trying to fix – Buckmaster simply attempted to take the competition down with him. And, his methods leave much to be desired.
First off, our newspapers don’t endorse politicians and rarely have anything nice to say about them, so to say that politicians aren’t going after Village Voice Media because they need our endorsement isn’t viable. Secondly, Buckmaster is only complaining because a competitor is challenging his economic advantage in the free classified arena – which he built in part on adult ads – and has made him a very wealthy man. His talk of building community and serving his users rings hollow. It now appears that, as is so often the case with New Age entrepreneurs, it’s all about the money.
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