Is Instagram the new Craigslist?

Jan 22, 2020

Our third minisode of the third season of “The Creative Influencer” podcast is available for download on iTunes, Spotify, and premier platforms everywhere.  In minisodes, we answer questions that our listeners have emailed Jon.  In this minisode, Jon discusses the growing underbelly of Instagram, where influencers are propositioned for sex in exchange for money, gifts and trips.

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A transcript of the episode follows:

This is minisode three of the third season of The Creative Influencer podcast.

Today’s email is from Mark:

Subject: Is Instagram the new Craig’s List?

Hey Jon,
Love the podcast! My girlfriend is a budding influencer and really turned me on to it. We listen together and love the interviews.
I don’t really have a question, but I want your opinion on something. My girlfriend keeps getting random DM’s and comments on Instagram from complete strangers asking her for sex. What gives?
Has Instagram become the new Craigslist personals section?

Thanks,
Mark

Mark, thanks for the email.

What you bring up is a new trend that I’ve been hearing about anecdotally from some of our clients here at Pfeiffer Law.

Men can be pigs, sometimes, can’t they?  (not you of course, Mark, I’m talking about the guys messaging your girlfriend).  Because of the invisibility of the platform, the lack of real human contact, it is so much easier for guys to just say something that would get them into trouble if it happened face to face.

And they’re also not very smart about it! I know one professional photographer and influencer who posts pictures she’s taken of different models on Instagram. Each photo is a different woman. Yet, she gets messages all the time from men proposing to her.

In light of all of this, a recent article by the BBC news service highlighted how this is a growing problem. Some influencers in Britain are being propositioned daily by strangers with offers of thousands of pounds, trips and gifts in return for sex.

One other example I’ve found of all of this is a little different, but similar to Craigslist. If you search different hashtags, like #personals, you will find websites and escort services using the hashtag to drive traffic to their own craigslist-like personals section.

So Mark, in conclusion, yes, I have seen this and it’s a growing problem. I’d love to hear from other listeners about their experiences with this too. Shoot me an email.


The Creative Influencer is a bi-weekly podcast where we discuss all things creative with an emphasis on Influencers. It is hosted by Jon Pfeiffer, an entertainment attorney in Santa Monica, California.  Jon interviews influencers, creatives and the professionals who work with them.

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