by Guest Blogger, Lena West, Chief Social Media Strategist at xynoMedia
What I've noticed about social media professionals is that, if nothing else, they are serious humanitarians. For the most part, they care about other people, the human race, animals and are very cause-driven.
In my own professional bio, there is a section that reads:
"West strongly believes that social media is a catalyst to uniting the world’s people and will continue to lead businesses and individuals toward greater levels of environmental accountability, social responsibility and corporate transparency - hence her passion for the medium."
And, that's how I really, truly feel. It's the main reason why I do what I do. With all that's going on in the world, I still believe in the goodness of people. I believe in the power of positivity and higher levels of energy to trump negativity.
Which is why I'm really proud of the folks at Craigslist for doing what they can to stop human trafficking and the growing sex slave industry (yes, industry) - the victims of which are overwhelmingly women and young girls.
If you've ever spent anytime on the social networking/online classified site Craigslist - whether looking for a used bicycle, a new job or to adopt a pet - you've most likely encountered blatent sexual advertisments and not-so-blatent...ahem..."massage" ads.
Within the past few days, Craigslist announced a plan to add a barrier to entry for placing ads of a sexual nature or ads with sexual overtones. Now, if you'd like to place an ad of sexual nature on Craigslist, not only must you pay a fee, but they are cross-checking phone numbers of these "services".
They have also filed 14 lawsuits against companies that have tried to be slick and get around the established "sex ad" rules and their attorneys have sent cease and desist letters to others.
If Craigslist follows through with this, which it appears they will, they should be held up as a shining example for how web 2.0 companies (especially social networks) can do their part to end human suffering.
So many companies (and private citizens) fall victim to a variation of the NIMBY mindset. That is, as long as these bad things aren't happening in my backyard, I don't have to do anything about it. Bull.
If you have a company and you notice that your products or services are being used to hurt people, animals or the planet, it's up to you to implement EFFECTIVE changes and follow-up on those changes to make sure the behavior stops and the offenders are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Period.
And, once your company has done so, you should also unleash your PR team so they can share your comany's good works with the world.
Viva la Craigslist!