back to article Craigslist blocks US escort ads

Craigslist has bowed to pressure and stopped access to erotic services ads for its sensitive US customers. Even though the site gives profits from the section to charity and employed lawyers to pre-check every ad it still faced accusations that it was profiting from child prostitution. The site simply replaced the "erotic …


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  1. JaitcH

    Not a problem in Toronto, Eh?

    For all those Craigs List deprived viewers in Toronto, Canada they can satisfy their needs through the Toronto Now < > and Toronto Eye Weekly < > FREE news mags OR the Bell Canada Yellow Pages which are delivered on request and really leave little to your imagination.

    And then there's the Canadian InterNet sites!

    1. LateNightLarry

      Not a problem in Toronto, Eh?

      No, it's not a problem in Toronto... craigslist still has the "adult services" section in all parts of Canada, eh.

      My coats the one with a dozen copies of The Bay Guardian in the pocket...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I thought craigslist were being spineless, but they weren't.

    So craigslist went out of their way to keep a lid on it, keep it legal, keep it contained where everybody knows it would be and not elsewhere. So they get sick of the flak they get over what amounts to a useful community service. Because having them dirty filthy sex workers or casuals ``hide'' in plain sight between all the innocuous other ads just makes perfect sense, doesn't it? This must seem a resounding victory for the prudes and "for the childrun" brigade.

    In reality they just reversed into make-believe Victorianism: Elevated prose scrubbed squeaky clean but oh what's happening in the filthy uncleanable backrooms. Sometimes it's really just better not to insist on meddling with what other people do, especially when doing so leaves you less option to avoid running unwillingly into their activities. That they will engage in anyway. Consenting adults and all that. Or are you going to insist otherwise consenting adults need *your*, unaffected third party, consent too? What?

  3. Graham Marsden

    'adverts for child prostitution were "rampant" on the site'

    "Won't Someone Think of Teh Children!!!!111!!!oneoneeleventyone...."

  4. John Tserkezis

    Won't make a squat of difference...

    Like any attempt at censorship, no matter how well-meaning, it won't do squat.

    Long before this, I heard most if not the majority were "worded" in a manner that prospective clients knew, but a casual look doesn't raise any questions. Much like a drug user can point out sellers at their local shopping mall, but the casual shoppers wouldn't have noticed at all.

    1. BlueGreen

      it's obviously not about censorship or even sex

      Starkly put, it's about self-promotion only, by taking a public & outraged stand against %THING%, without regard to any of the social costs born by others. Claims of 'morality' are an incidental tool.

  5. Wize

    Where are they going to sell old Fords now?

    Ok, I'm getting it...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    >"adverts for child prostitution were "rampant"

    This is clearly rubbish, otherwise they'd be arresting people left right and centre. They're not, so it's just propaganda.

    What will happen now? Prostitution will go further underground, and women at risk will be harder to find. And those legitimately involved in the business?

  7. David 45

    Were they illegal?

    Was Craigslist doing anything illegal? If not, why should they knuckle under purely on the basis of doing something that other folk (politicians, it would seem) don't like? This sounds like the thin end of a very thick wedge to me. If whatever they're doing is against the law, let them be charged and get a court test case. Peoples' personal opinions are not the law.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Illegal? Unclear until after trial (and appeal, and...)

      At least craigslist was doing their level best to not do anything obviously illegal, that with lawyers vetting the ads and all that. Simply doing your level best wasn't enough for these morality thumpers, so craigslist said sod it and gave them what they said they wanted.

      Not sure about the value to the public these AGs are providing, but I would appraise it to be negative, all things considered. They see this differently, obviously.

  8. John A Blackley

    Not craigslist, not CNN, not media

    This was a result of a concerted campaign by a bunch of Republican attorneys-general. Craigslist has the misfortune to be a well-known entity that these teabaggers could use to frighten the Republican soccermom tribes and, thereby, burnish the attorneys-generals' reputation as Defenders of Truth Justice 'nTheAmurcinWayofLife.

    Just politics as usual and, sadly, Craigslist is just unfortunate collateral damage.

    1. HereIAmJH

      Politics at usual

      I don't know about other states, but Missouri's AG is a fake democrat. He's whatever party will get him elected. He did a term as a Republican state senator before changing sides and running for AG. And Missouri being involved in this is not surprising, you should see what they have done to adult businesses in the state recently.

      Craigslist caving is likely a business decision. At some point a business has to decide when keeping a service is just too expensive. Craigslist can't earn our freedoms for us. Maybe the best thing would be for these AGs to take down every adult ad on every public board. It won't stop the activities, but maybe it will anger enough sheeple to put an end to the governments attack on citizen rights.

  9. James Woods

    im for it

    I know a person whom used to 'donate' his credit card to be used so that girl friends of his could sell themselves on craigslist.

    Craiglists incorporated the credit card verification system that apparently only verifys credit cards so your visa or mastercard can sell it's plastic but as far as the people behind it the door was always wide open.

    This is, and always was prostitution and if craigslist needs it so much to survive it sounds like craigslist has itself a problem.

    Prostitution is dangerous for both the actors and the customers since to execute it correctly the girls need a level of security, as do the guys and with all of that comes pimps and drug runners and it just doesn't belong out there.

    It's amusing that in this country the rather heavily regulated adult industry is always defending itself but in-your-face prostitution has a defense?

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Who loses more?

    the advertisers or those organizations that received funding from the ads?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Censorship is not the problem

    The ads still run, but in other sections ("men looking for women" or "women looking for men"), with changed wording. The difference is that CL was charging for erotic/adult services ads, but listings in the other sections are free. Plenty of opportunities exist for purveyors and solicitors of sexual activity, so no fear that it will be restrained. The real issue CL raises is that of a pimp.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Oh but it does do something

    My friends, we should never underestimate the power of the politically correct proletariat's "warm fuzzy" effect! Scientifically proven to remove stains and varnish the chrome!

    Seriously, I can't blame Craig's List for bowing to that political pressure.

    Maybe they should've hired some lawyers to pursue a libel case against CNN, if they had felt so motivated. But no, let's just keep it all in the back halls, where it's so much safer there..... safer for the people in the front halls, at least. Oh, my.

    Anonymous because this just might be too over-the-top for my own taste, at some point

  13. LateNightLarry

    Were they illegal?

    For those of you on the old side of the pond, Attorneys General (state level) and District Attorneys (county level) are elected by the voters. They have to meet certain requirements established by state law, the strictest of which is that they must be members of the State Bar Association, the "trade organization" for lawyers in each state.

    It would be interesting to see how many of these AGs are either running for re-election, or running for another office (US Senate, Governor, etc.) and are facing a tough campaign. At least one, Richard Blumenthal, has been called out on his "military record", wherein he claimed to have served in Vietnam in the 70's, but was actually in the Marine Reserve and never left the mainland, in fact never saw active duty.

    Looking at the list of them, many of them are from Republican states, but not all. But they are all bleating the same refrain about child sexual exploitation, regardless of the facts.

    I took a quick look at some of the other sections of, and the "adult services" type listing are popping up all over the place. Some are also migrating to other sites.

    Interestingly, none of these AGs seem to be going after the PRINT ads in the paid or free distribution papers... Too much work for their staff to step outside the door and grab The Bay Guardian or similar claptrap?

    Fail, because all they've done is spread the ads around even more.

  14. Flybert


    if you wish to actually prosecute illegal and underage abuse, you'd let the ads run and do stings on those you think might involve child prostitution .. wouldn't surprise me to learn the police have used Craigslist to bust johns looking for underage sex

    it certainly won't go away because they shut down Craigslist adult ads

  15. Nameless Faceless Computer User


    It's a blatant violation of the United States Constitution for the government to censor free speech.

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