Craigslist under fire (again) for 'adult services' ads

Popular classified ads site in hot water over alleged prostitution ads

Craigslist is back in the hot seat over the Adult Services category on its popular classified advertising site.

On Tuesday, the attorneys general from 17 states wrote an open letter to Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster calling on him to "immediately" remove the Adult Services category from the Web site. They argued that removing the category would protect women and children who are often "victimized" because of ads for prostitution that they allege run on the site.

"The increasingly sharp public criticism of Craigslist's Adult Services section reflects a growing recognition that ads for prostitution -- including ads trafficking children -- are rampant on it," wrote the state AGs. "Because Craigslist cannot, or will not, adequately screen these ads, it should stop accepting them altogether and shut down the Adult Services section."

Craigslist, which is known for running classified advertisements for everything from toasters to treadmills, would not respond to questions about whether executives are considering removing the Adult Services category.

"We strongly support the Attorneys General desire to end trafficking in children and women, through the Internet or by any other means," the company said in a statement to Computerworld. "We hope to work closely with them, as we are with experts at nonprofits and in law enforcement, to prevent misuse of our site in facilitation of trafficking, and to combat such crimes wherever they appear, online or offline."

This isn't Craigslist's first time dealing with legal pressure to ensure prostitution ads aren't running on its Web site.

In May 2009, the site relented to growing pressure to remove the Erotic Services category from its site. When the Craigslist team took down the Erotic Services category, it replaced it with Adult Services. Buckmaster vowed at the time that every ad in Adult Services would be manually reviewed before it appeared on the Web site.

The Erotic Services category on Craigslist was under heavy fire last year after Boston University medical student Philip Markoff was arrested and for allegedly murdering one woman and kidnapping and assaulting another after meeting both through erotic services ads on Craigslist.

Later, Markoff also was charged with assault and weapons charges for allegedly using a gun to threaten a woman in a Rhode Island hotel on April 16, 2009. The woman told police that she had met her assailant through an ad on Craigslist.

Earlier this month, Markoff killed himself in a Boston jail cell. He had been scheduled to go to trial in March 2011.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags e-commercee-businessinternet

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sharon Gaudin

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?