Craigslist CEO Demands Apology from South Carolina Attorney General

Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster continues his counter-campaign against South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster by demanding an apology for threats of prosecution. McMaster wants to take legal action against the popular Craigslist Website, saying it posts graphic material.

Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster escalated his conflict with South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster, who has threatened the popular community bulletin board Website with prosecution for supposedly posting "graphic material."

In response to previous outcry, Craigslist promised to remove its Erotic Services category at some point during the week of May 18, substituting for it an Adult Services section that will be reviewed by the site.

In a May 18 letter demanding an apology from McMaster, Buckmaster followed up on an earlier blog post by reiterating how tame Craigslist's South Carolina adult postings were in comparison with content available through other media.

"Our 'Adult Services' and soon-to-be-retired 'Erotic Services' sections combined, for all cities in South Carolina, currently feature a total of 40 ads, all of which comply with our terms of use," Buckmaster wrote in his letter. "That's 40 ads out of a total of 334,180 currently listed on our S.C. sites. The rest comprise a thriving marketplace for South Carolinians, offering jobs, housing, for-sale items, local services and just about everything else."

Buckmaster added, "We're willing to accept our share of criticism, but wrongfully accusing Craigslist of criminal misconduct is simply beyond the pale. We would very much appreciate an apology at your very earliest convenience."

According to a statement on the South Carolina attorney general's Website, "The Craigslist South Carolina site continues to display advertisements for prostitution and graphic pornographic material," and, "This content was not removed as we requested. We have no alternative but to move forward with criminal investigation and potential prosecution."

In his letter, Buckmaster cited AT&T, Microsoft, Village Voice Media and "major newspapers and other upstanding South Carolina businesses" as featuring adult services ads.

"Have you fully considered the implications of your accusations against Craigslist?" Buckmaster asked. "What's a crime for Craigslist is clearly a crime for any company. Are you really prepared to condemn the executives of each of the mainstream companies linked above, and all the others that feature such ads, as criminals?"