Is Craigslist Doing Away with Adult Services Ads?

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Craigslist has responded to public pressure recently by blocking access to its adult services section and replacing the link with the label “censored”.

Last month, the attorneys general from 17 states sent letters to Craiglist’s chief executive Jim Buckmaster and founder Craig Newmark, asking them to remove the section. Although legally Craigslist has been allowed under Federal Law and the Communications Decency Act to keep the ads posted, public pressure has mounted. Law enforcement officials have claimed that Craigslist has helped facilitate prostitution and human trafficking of women against their will.

But is the block a temporary move to appease the growing concern, or has Craigslist decided to make a permanent change?

This plays into the debate that has been around since the Internet began: when people can post anything anywhere, how much responsibility should a website take should those posts lead to criminal activity?

Craigslist has maintained their right to keep the section under the Communications Decency Act which preserves freedom of speech over the Internet, despite the growing concern of the public.

The popular website makes most of its money from ads, and is expected to bring in around $45 million this year. The personals classified ads cost about $10 to post and $5 to repost, and bring in a sizable percentage of revenue according to experts.

The recent move to block access was applauded by the Connecticut attorney general Richard Blumenthal, who organized the protest against Craigslist with 17 other attorneys general. However, he said he would monitor the site to see if this was a temporary move or more permanent.

For more information on this classifieds website, read our Craigslist review.