Craigslist Shuts Down Adult Services; Says It's Being Censored
from the without-a-lawsuit-too dept
Last month, we noted that the dangerously misguided media campaign against Craigslist’s adult services section had ramped up, and it didn’t take long for various state attorneys general to grandstand against the site with a press conference and “letter” sent to the site, demanding that the adult service section be shut down. This, despite the fact that previous grandstanding attempts had resulted in not one, but two separate settlements with various state AGs, and Craigslist had lived up to the terms of both settlements.
While some had threatened, no actual lawsuit had been filed against Craigslist for this section — and for a damn good reason: Craigslist is, without a doubt, protected from liability due to Section 230. Furthermore, Craigslist seems to go out of its way to help law enforcement use the site as a tool to crack down on prostitution. Shutting that down won’t stop the prostitution. It’ll just drive it to sites that don’t work as closely with law enforcement.
And that may now be happening. Late Friday, people started noticing that Craigslist had blocked the Adult Services section and replaced it with just a line that said boldly “censored.”
In the meantime, people are pointing out that the ads from the adult services section are already migrating elsewhere on the site and there are lots of other sites ready to pick up the slack — many of which have been much more explicit than anything on Craigslist ever was. Perhaps most ridiculous of all is that the Attorney General who has lead the grandstanding crusade against Craigslist, Richard Blumenthal from Connecticut still isn’t happy, claiming that he’s worried this is just a publicity stunt (which is kind of funny, seeing as pretty much everything Blumenthal has had to say about this case has been a publicity stunt.