Craigslist bows to external pressure and announces it will remove its Erotic Services category in seven days, replacing it with an Adult Services section for which postings will be individually reviewed. This is not the first time that the popular online classifieds Website, of which eBay owns a minority stake, has found itself under pressure from law enforcement and legislators.
Craigslist will remove its Erotic Services category "in seven days," replacing
it with a category titled Adult Services for which entries will be
individually reviewed before being posted to the popular online classifieds Website.
Postings in the new category will cost $10, with the option to repost for
Craigslist cited a number of sources
as having influenced the decision,
including users of the site, law enforcement officers, businesses, legal
experts and attorneys general. Critics had accused the Erotic Services category
of being a thinly veiled front for prostitution.
"We are optimistic that the new balance struck today will be an
acceptable compromise from the perspective of these constituencies, and for the
communities that value and rely upon Craigslist," the company said in a
"Contrary to some of the sensationalistic journalism we've seen these
past few weeks, the record is clear that use of Craigslist classifieds is
associated with far lower rates of violent crime than print classifieds, let
alone rates of violent crime pertaining to American society as a whole,"
the statement continued.
has found itself under occasional pressure from law enforcement
and state attorneys
general following incidents in which answering ads ended in violence. Despite
some calls to shut the site down, other groups such as the Electronic Frontier
Foundation have said they believe that Craigslist is legally protected,
particularly by Section 230 of federal law, stating: "No provider or user
of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker
of any information provided by another information content provider."
In 2004, eBay
purchased a 25 percent equity stake in Craigslist.
In the midst of the
recession, Craigslist has become a key site for job hunters and other solace seekers.
iPhone App called Craigster
has brought an easier-to-use version of the site to mobile users.