Craigslist Pulling Adult Services Section’s Not a “Magic Bullet,” AG Says


Where Craigslist once linked to adult services, there is now a black “censored” button.

It’s the latest round in a battle Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and several other attorneys general waged against the online classifieds giant, but experts say this does not necessarily mean the end of advertising prostitution online.

Officials from more than a dozen states to pressure Craigslist to put an end to "adult services." By Friday, the section was gone, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Blumenthal said on Tuesday that he wants official confirmation that Craigslist has gotten rid of its adult services section for good.

He plans to release a letter to the website's officials asking if they have permanently closed the adult services category.

Blumenthal told the WSJ that the end of Craigslist’s adult services is an "important step" in addressing selling of sex online but "not the end game."

"There is not a single magic bullet," he told the newspaper.

This furthers efforts Craigslist made in 2008 to take more control of the section of the site. Under pressure from 40 state attorneys general, Craigslist began requiring posters to provide a working phone number and pay a fee for placing an ad in what became the adult services section. Several months later, Craigslist adopted a manual screening process in which postings are reviewed before publishing.

In response to Craigslist removing the adult section, the Technology Liberation Front calls Craigslist a “victim to unwarranted political intimidation" by state attorneys general.

The New York Times reports that the debate is one of the most prominent dealing with free speech on the Internet.

One place where it seems it will hit Craiglist is in profit margins. The site was expected to generate $122 million in revenue in 2010, according to a Classified Intelligence Report issued in April. Of that, 30 percent was to come from the adult services section, Information Week reports.

Jim Buckmaster, CEO of Craigslist, has warned that users would merely move to sites, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Or, to other sections of Craigslist.

In some trolling around Craiglist after the censor button went up, WSJ found prostitution listings under the personals section, a section on which people can post for free.


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