Reply to post: Chilling Effects

This time, it's personals: Craigslist dumps lonely-hearts section, blames anti-trafficking laws

Donn Bly

Chilling Effects

This law is scary stupid. The way it reads, they could go after any US assets of Mozilla because it "facilitates" access to prostitution because the Firefox web browser was used

Yes, prostitutes and their pimps posted ads on Craigslist just like they do everywhere else that allows users to post unvetted ads. On Craigslist users would flag them so they would be taken down within hours of them going up (or their competitors would do so in order to reduce competition). The system worked. Now the traffickers will just move to other sections (professional services? domestic labor?) -- until those sections will go away too.

Unless things change, this law has many chilling effects on unmoderated user-generated content. With this one exemption to the liability shield they have effectively gutted all of the protections.

All someone has to do is create a sockpuppet account, post a fake ad, and the entire site can be taken down with the operators in jail.

The first time they use this law to take down a site, every free classified site in the US will go dark shortly afterwards.

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