Craigslist 's "Adult Services" section — a digital red light district that has been the subject of many controversies — has been removed in all U. The front page link to Adult Services has been replaced with a black bar that reads "censored," an implication that the site's hand was forced by legal authorities. Adult Services has been a scapegoat for the prostitution problem in the media and in politics almost since its inception.
Craigslist said on Wednesday that it had permanently closed the section of its sites in the United States that carried sex-related advertising, but it defended its right to carry such advertisements as well as its efforts to fight sex trafficking. William Clinton Powell, director of customer and law enforcement relations at Craigslist, and Elizabeth L. Powell said.
Craigslist may have self-censored the Adult Services section of its U. Ads alluding to exchanges of cash for sexual services and seeking massage clients are still showing up in Casual Encounters section of Craigslist's websites in New York, Las Vegas and other parts of the country. The controversial Adult Services section on the classified advertisement site's homepage was replaced on Friday with a black and white "CENSORED" box that does not link, just days after a group of state attorneys general had released a statement that they believed the section should be eliminated.
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Craigslist, the popular online classified ad service, has seemingly shut down its controversial "adult services" section worldwide. In early September, Craigslist shuttered that section in the U. The section included ads for legal quasi-sexual services and thinly veiled ads for prostitution.
Merrit Kennedy. Craigslist said Friday that it is taking the site's personals section offline. AP hide caption.
The "adult services" listing on Craiglist was removed late Friday from its U. Craigslist did not announce the move and its blog was not updated as of Saturday morning. Craigslist did not immediately respond to e-mail and voice mail messages seeking comment.
In a remarkable twist to the battle over Craigslist's Adult Services area, the site removes the section and replaces the home-page link to it with a "censored" tag. 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.
The reason — whether from pressure or a change in internal policy — was still unclear. Pressure on Craigslist has increased recently thanks to a widening belief that the company is gaining revenue through illegal advertisements for prostitution and sex trafficking, despite its effort to curtail the problem. So far, Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster has snubbed any pressure for the site to comply, arguing that many criticisms have been misdirected.
Earlier this month, online classifieds service Craigslist unilaterally removed adult services from its listings amid growing political turmoil that the site was profiting from criminals engaged in prostitution and human trafficking. During testimony, Powell and Craigslist attorney Elizabeth McDougall noted the numerous ways Craigslist had worked with law enforcement and other agencies to implement a phone verification system and charge fees for adult services listings. In an ironic move, critics targeted Craigslist for accepting money for adult services advertisements when the company only implemented the policy at the strong recommendation of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.