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Old 08-11-2010, 05:27 PM
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Craigslist under Attack over Prostitution Concerns
by John Lister
Infopackets Gazette

August 11, 2010

Internet classified ads site Craigslist is facing double trouble over claims that it aids illegal prostitution. The company has come under fire from former trafficking victims just days after losing a bid to be declared exempt from prosecution over the issue.

The site has been under attack by state attorney generals for two years, most arguing for tighter restrictions over its explicit advertising. Though most advertisements for such services use coded phrases, officials believe the site violates bans on ads that directly solicit customers for this purpose.

Craigslist management voluntarily agreed to restrict posts on its services category so that advertisers had to provide a verified credit card and a phone number, which was designed to make it easier to track those whose posts breached the law.

That wasn’t enough for some states, which continued to bring legal action.

One case in Illinois was rejected on the basis that the laws which regulate illicit material online specifically state that a site which allows users to post messages is not legally classed as the publisher of those messages, meaning Craigslist wasn’t legally responsible for arranging meetings between those willing to sell themselves and their respective clients.

Another case brought by South Carolina seeking to ban such services from being listed at all on Craigslist was put on hold. However, Craigslist filed a lawsuit demanding that its activities be declared legal and exempt from prosecution.

Last Friday, a judge threw out that request. Judge C. Weston Houck ruled that as nobody from Craigslist has been charged with a crime yet, it’s impossible to decide whether or not anyone has committed an offense. That verdict is no guarantee that a prosecution will succeed, but does mean the option of prosecuting remains open. (Source: www.mercurynews.com)

Legal matters aside, the site also suffered a major publicity blow with the publication of an advertisement in the Washington Post placed by two women who say they were forced into the skin trade, one at the age of 11, and say that is not unusual.

They say they were forced to place advertisements on Craigslist and say traffickers regularly use the site because it is “so well known and there are rarely consequences to using it for these illegal acts.” (Source: www.bbc.co.uk)

Craigslist’s chief executive defended the site, telling the Post, “Scapegoating advertising services is a very unfortunate misdirection of attention and energy from the tough choices, hard work, and significant investments required for addressing [the] actual causes of, and making actual progress against, the scourges of [trafficking].”
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Old 09-07-2010, 06:34 PM
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Craigslist censored: Adult section removed
by Chris Matyszczyk
News.Cnet.com

September 4, 2010 11:22 AM PDT

Some who are at a loose end will find it odd to wake up to a Labor Day weekend and discover that the Adult Section on Craigslist has been removed and that the link to it on the site’s home page has been replaced with a black bar reading “censored”.

Craigslist has long been the whipping boy for attorneys general seeking to control prostitution within their purview and perhaps also seeking to win the favor of certain members of their constituencies.

However, why the section should suddenly have been removed in such a dramatic way (the censorship is only active in the U.S.) is unclear.

The section was originally entitled Erotic Services. Its name was changed to reflect a new discipline, as, under pressure from attorneys general, Craigslist declared it would manually screen every ad in its newly-named Adult Services section.

It is arguable whether the content of this new section truly changed. Some would say it was adult business as usual.

Recently, Craigslist founder Craig Newmark gave a troubling if spontaneous interview to CNN (http://tinyurl.com/39fpcou), in which he seemed unable to answer questions about whether the site was facilitating child prostitution. Then, instead of answering the specific charges, Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster took to the company’s blog to assail the CNN reporter’s methods (http://tinyurl.com/22s92bw).

Perhaps it was Newmark’s interview that led to 17 attorneys general getting together last week to demand the removal of the Adult Services section (http://tinyurl.com/2fbp4rq).

In a joint letter to Craigslist, the attorneys general said, “No amount of money...can justify the scourge of illegal prostitution and the suffering of the women and children who will continue to be victimized in the market and trafficking provided by Craigslist.”

It is surely, though, splendidly naive to think Craigslist would somehow be alone in providing a forum for prostitution ads. Whether they be local free newspapers or other sites, like eBay (http://tinyurl.com/2dtvoe9), there are plenty of outlets for services that some deem should be legalized.

However, Craigslist is in the unfortunate position of being high-profile and successful and has become a very easy target in what is a far more complex and nuanced issue than the attorneys general are making out.


I have reached out to Craigslist for comment and will update.

____________________________

Chris Matyszczyk is an award-winning creative director who advises major corporations on content creation and marketing. He brings an irreverent, sarcastic, and sometimes ironic voice to the tech world. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET.

____________________________

So far, the censorship only happens on American Craigslist sites. The one for London, Ontario was unchanged when I checked it just before posting this. I’ve attached a screenshot to show what they’ve done to the site in the U.S.

For the record, here are the 17 states involved: Arkansas, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

If you don’t check out all of the links in the article, at least see this one: http://tinyurl.com/2dtvoe9.

Jeff
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Old 09-07-2010, 09:05 PM
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With Legislation in the States pertaining to prostitution and the fact that LE is in every forum you can think of, I think CL did all hobbyists a favor by removing the Erotic section. IMHO
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Old 09-07-2010, 10:08 PM
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By forcing Craigslist to eliminate the category, all those state attorney generals (I wonder how many are up for re-election this fall?) can point to their “success” and boast about their “accomplishment” when they hold news conferences and smile for the cameras.

However, removing the category won’t eliminate the ads from Craigslist, they’ll just move to another section. At least when they were all, or mostly, in the “erotic services” section, Craigslist out them behind a page with a cautionary message and no one was going to stumble upon them accidentally.

Even here in London, which still has an “erotic services” section, almost all of the “women seeking men” and “casual encounters” ads on Craigslist are either escorts or they are address harvesters looking for people they can spam about dating, webcam, and other sites.

Some of the latter have a delayed response that e-mails you with a message apologizing for the delay since you replied to the ad and tries to get you to go to a link they so thoughtfully provide. It’s all intended to make it sound more like a real person, but they’re fake.

Like the article says, Craigslist is getting all the blame, but other sites are worse. I wonder how many of the newspapers that cover this story have a section of their classified ads for “personal services” or whatever euphemism they use for it.

Jeff
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Old 09-15-2010, 01:56 PM
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Craigslist removes "censored" bar from site
Chris Matyszczyk
cnet.com

September 8, 2010 10:55 PM PDT

Is this the final capitulation?

After the mysterious disappearance of its Adult Services section, Craigslist uttered a symbolic protest by replacing it with a black bar that read “censored” in white type.

Wednesday, however, even that black bar was gone. Any sense that Craigslist was protesting at its manhandling by the combined forces of 17 attorneys general has now been entirely removed, leaving only the memories of nights of promise and days of satisfaction.

Despite the protests of former sex workers and esteemed academics, it seems that Craigslist has, indeed, given up on its Adult Services section for good.

What is remarkable is that the 17 attorneys general, publicly led by Connecticut’s Richard Blumenthal, now appear to be pressuring Craigslist to remove its Erotic Services section worldwide.

This is despite the fact that the law doesn’t appear to be on the side of the attorneys general. The Communication Decency Act protects sites from the content that appears on them.

As of Wednesday, Craigslist’s sites around the world, including such places as the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, and Canada, still enjoyed access to their erotic services section.

The company has been steadfast in refusing to comment. However, Craiglist founder Craig Newmark retweeted Wednesday a strident post from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2010/09...eyond-censored) objecting to the behavior of the attorneys general.

Still, for those who have been unduly stressed by these rather sad developments, the Therapeutic Services section of Craigslist in, for example, the Bay Area, offers all sorts of soothing massages with pretty, even beautiful people of varying skill sets.

Some might still wonder whether these attorneys general might truly have rather more pressing concerns than pandering to the somewhat curious relationship that some Americans still have with sex.
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Old 09-15-2010, 01:58 PM
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Craigslist urged to shut erotic-services ads worldwide
by Lance Whitney
cnet.com

September 15, 2010 9:29 AM PDT

A hundred organizations fighting sex trafficking have joined the chorus of voices asking Craigslist to remove its erotic services section worldwide as the company has in the U.S.

In a letter sent Tuesday (PDF: http://www.polarisproject.org/images...igslist%20.pdf) to Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster and founder Craig Newmark, human rights groups throughout the world thanked the company for bringing down its adult and erotic ads in the U.S. But the groups said that these services, where trafficked children and women are sold for sex, remain open in 250 cities worldwide. And in not making the same improvements globally, the groups told Craigslist that it “reveals a disingenuous and inconsistent response on your part.”

The groups added that the few actions taken by Craigslist so far “do not measure up to the amount of daily harm being facilitated by Craigslist through the thousands of Erotic Services ads around the world each day.”

The letter to Craigslist comes in the wake of a congressional hearing on sex trafficking set for Wednesday. The House of Representatives’ Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security will hear testimony from law enforcement officials, advocacy groups, and members of Congress on the problem of child sex trafficking.

William Powell, director of customer service and law enforcement relations for Craigslist, and Elizabeth McDougall, Craigslist’s legal counsel, are also scheduled to testify at the hearing. Sources told CNET last week that Congress asked Newmark to testify as well. But as of Wednesday morning, Newmark’s name was not on the witness list.

One of the groups that signed the letter and is leading the charge against Craigslist is the FAIR Fund. Led by its executive director, Andrea Powell, the group has also been thinking of hitting Craigslist with a class action lawsuit. Other groups that have joined the letter-writing campaign include World Hope International, the Polaris Project, Shared Hope International, the National Organization for Women's New York City chapter, and the Salvation Army.

Beyond asking Craigslist to take down its erotic services globally, the groups are also upset that the company has treated its adult services section differently in the U.S. than in the rest of the world.

In the U.S., Craigslist renamed the section from “erotic” to “adult”. But in other countries, the section is still known as “erotic”. The U.S. and Canadian versions contained a “Warning & Disclaimer” page discussing human trafficking and sexual exploitation, according to the groups. However, that warning is not present on any of the international versions. In their letter, the groups further claimed that nude photos are still found in the ads posted on the international sites. Overall, the groups believe that Craigslist is not applying the same screening process on the global ads that it did for the U.S. versions.

Craigslist has received pressure from advocacy groups, politicians, and law enforcement officials to take down its adult services on the grounds that they encourage and facilitate prostitution and sex trafficking. In late August, 17 attorneys general from across the U.S. sent a letter to Buckmaster and Newmark asking them to remove these ads in the U.S.

Craigslist had resisted the public and political pressure at first, saying that it thoroughly screened each ad posted in the adult section. But the company finally relented and brought down its adult services in the U.S. earlier this month.
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Old 09-17-2010, 08:31 PM
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Sulking from Gomorrah
Craigslist says politicians will be sorry they drove it out of the sex-ad business.

By William Saletan
Slate.com

Posted Friday, Sept. 17, 2010, at 11:19 AM ET

On Wednesday, the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security held a hearing on selling minors for sex. Lawmakers and activists spent most of the hearing talking about how bad the problem has become. But the last two witnesses scolded anti-trafficking crusaders for persecuting an online sex-ad purveyor and making the problem worse. The two witnesses represented that purveyor: Craigslist.

Two weeks ago, under public pressure from state attorneys general, Craigslist closed its “adult services” section. At the time, I speculated that the company sought to prove what it had said all along: that if its sex-ad business were shut down, buyers and sellers would relocate to other venues that did less to screen ads for sexual abuse. Its testimony at Wednesday’s hearing confirms this speculation. Essentially, its message to the committee was, “We told you so.”

Here’s what the company’s representatives said.

1. You won’t have Craigslist to kick around anymore. “In Craigslist, law enforcement and NGO advocates had a highly-responsive partner that listened to and was willing to meet with all concerned parties,” Elizabeth McDougall, the company’s outside counsel, told the committee. Now you don’t. So there!

2. The media spearheaded our persecution to protect their ad business. “The incidence of crime relating to use of Craigslist is extremely low,” said William Powell, the company’s director of customer service and law enforcement relations. “However, despite Craigslist’s best efforts, it is not and cannot be zero and any incidence of crime across tens of millions of people will generate enough crime stories to keep the newspapers, who compete with us in the classifieds business, busy reporting.” Ouch!

3. You’re forcing sex ads back into public areas where everyone will see them. Powell testified that Craigslist set up its sex-ads section nine years ago “at the request of Craigslist users tired of seeing adult services ads mixed into the personals categories.” Now the sex ads will get mixed back in. Nice going.

4. Sex ads are just shifting to other sites. “Craigslist is employing proprietary technical measures to force the migration of adult services ads from Craigslist to other venues,” McDougall testified. As a result, “traffic at other venues for adult service ads has risen significantly.”

5. The other sites won’t be as nice as we were. McDougall told the committee, “Migration of the relatively small percentage of total U.S. adult services advertising that had been posted on Craigslist to less-socially-responsible venues uninterested in best practices is an unfortunate step backward in the fight against trafficking and exploitation.” You’ll be sorry you drove us out of the business, you zealots.

6. We told you this before, but you ignored us. McDougall testified that a year ago, “I participated in a number of calls with staff of the Attorneys General of various states, sharing data regarding the migration of ads for adult services from Craigslist to other online venues in their particular states. We also shared summaries that contrasted Craigslist ads and practices with adult advertising and practices in local media publications in the Attorney General’s states.” But did these politicians heed the data and the warning? Of course not. Now they’ll have to grapple with the irresponsible sex-ad practices of those self-serving media outlets. The politicians and newspapers that blamed the problem on us will have to deal with the worsened problem and with each other. Serves them right.
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Old 09-25-2010, 12:30 AM
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Update
.

Other Sites Like Craigslist Adult Services Rush to Fill the Void Left by Shutdown of Craigslist Erotic Services Section

Summary: With Craigslist shutting down its Adult Services section, people who frequented Craigslist for the ads for erotic services are worried about finding other sites like Craiglist, specifically sites similar to Craigslist in terms of that adult section. But they need not fear the loss of Craigslist similar sites are already rushing to fill the void. There are even Twitter prostitutes.

Most Recent Searches that Led to This Page: craigslist adult replacement, craigslist adult services replacement, craigslist adults service replacement, Adult Services like craigslist, adult services sites, replacement for craigslist adult section, craigslist adult section replacement, adult, other sites like craigslist, craigslist erotic replacement, replacement for craigslist adult services, craigslist adult services other websites, sites like craigslist adult section, websites like craigslist adult, replacement for craigslist adult, etc.

Full story (and some sample ads and pics) here:

http://www.theinternetpatrol.com/oth...1Zfa5JtoOMK295

or go to: http://tinyurl.com/2aowqq9
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Old 09-25-2010, 10:04 AM
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If Craiglist shut down it's erotic service section, why do I still see it?

And this article makes it sound like Craigslist is going to bring the feature back to the cities that currently don't have the feature anymore...would that be a fair assessment?
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Old 09-26-2010, 04:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demonix View Post
If Craiglist shut down it's erotic service section, why do I still see it?

And this article makes it sound like Craigslist is going to bring the feature back to the cities that currently don't have the feature anymore...would that be a fair assessment?

As the earlier articles state, Craigslist dropped the “Erotic Services” section in the U.S., but not in Canada (or places like the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan). The last article is about the substitutes started by other people after Craiglist made the change in the U.S.

HTH.

Jeff
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Old 10-11-2010, 09:24 AM
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Laws or not the girls are getting catty with eachother over Craigslist, and as you can see...the ads are clearing out faster than they are created. Their is no history of any older ads now, just what has been posted today...

Who's ever doing it...well done.
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