We sincerely hope craigslist will finally hear the voices of the victims, women and children, who plead with you to make this important change. We, too, call on craigslist to listen and respond now by shutting down the Adult Services section of its website. Such action is the right thing to do to protect innocent woman and children.
Craigslist's decision to slap a big black "censored" label over its Adult Services section last weekend could have been an attempt to comply with the AGs' demands, but more likely it was Craiglist's way of saying "You want us to censor adult ads? Fine. Let's just see what happens, shall we?"
There's no question Craigslist's promise to screen adult ads is essentially a joke or that putting a "censored" label over the Adult Services section has done nothing to remove these kinds of ads -- try a simple search on the terms "escort," "exotic," or "adult" if you're not convinced (though you'll have to wade through a fair number of ads for Ford Escorts, exotic animals, and adult swim lessons).
If you don't let these people advertise under "Adult Services," they'll advertise the same services elsewhere -- whether it's in Personals, Small Business, or the Skilled Trade Services section. And as Buckmaster has pointed out in numerous blog posts, they can certainly advertise just as easily outside of Craigslist -- like in the local papers of those jurisdictions in the AGs' respective backyards or on eBay's classifieds. So far, we haven't heard much about state AGs going after those guys.
There's also no question that going after Craigslist in an election year is cheap political theater. It's a heckuvalot easier to write a strongly worded letter (followed by a press release) to grab headlines for being tough on prostitution without having to getting your hands dirty by, say, actually being tough on prostitution.
Craigslist appears to be protected by the safe harbor provisions of the Communications Decency Act, which keeps websites free from legal liability for the material other people post there. Yet state AGs like Connecticut's Richard Blumenthal are calling for Congress to rewrite the CDA to their liking. Per The Hartford Courant:
Blumenthal criticized [the Communications Decency Act], saying it "dates from the earliest days of the Internet," and is now "completely outdated."