Craigslist's 'Adult Services' section has always been a bit of a controversy magnet because it supposedly made things very easy for those in the business of selling sex. The 'Adult Services' section is a replacement for the 'Erotic Services' section, which was removed in May of last year, and submissions are moderated by Craigslist employees.
However, following significant pressure from several attorneys general, Craigslist this past weekend censored its 'Adult Services' section for cities in the United States. Last week, 17 attorneys general sent an open letter to the website requesting it shut down the 'Adult Services' section since it "cannot or will not screen them."
The increasingly sharp public criticism of craigslist’s Adult Services section reflects a growing recognition that ads for prostitution -- including ads trafficking children -- are rampant on it. In our view, the company should take immediate action to end the misery for the women and children who may be exploited and victimized by these ads. Because craigslist cannot, or will not, adequately screen these ads, it should stop accepting them altogether and shut down the Adult Services section.
Craigslist hasn't released any statement or given a reason as to why it decided to take immediate action and censor the 'Adult Services' section. Though it looks like the site is cooperating with the request of the attorneys general, the site seems to have gone about the change in a manner that suggests its hand was forced. Rather than removing the second entirely, the Craigslist homepage now shows a black 'censored' bar where the 'Adult Services' section used to be.
Do you think Craigslist was right to pull the 'Adult Services' section? Let us know in your comments below!