The vice and virtue of ‘shaming campaigns’

Sometimes it’s just counterproductive to make fun of things. Such is the case in Oakland, Calif., where the battle against prostitution is leading city officials to put up billboards featuring blurred photos of men convicted of soliciting working girls. (The pictures may become unblurred in the future.) Oakland city council president Ignacio de la Fuente, a supporter of the initiative, claims that similar methods were used in Texas, a model for rational legislation if ever there was one.

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