Craigslist Permanently Closes Section For Sex Services

September 16, 2010

U.S. (ChattahBox Technology News) – Amidst stories of sex trafficking and the prostitution of minors, Craigslist has permanently closed their “Adult Services” section. But they maintain that the action probably isn’t best.

An open letter to Craigslist  earlier this year caused a serious stir after two young women claimed to have been exploited as underage girls, forced to use the website to find people willing to pay for sex. Their stories were two of what appears to be a shocking number of cases of sex trafficking and abuse brokered through online message boards.

Craigslist spokespeople denied any responsibility for the misuse of their site, and law also protects them from being held liable for what is posted by users. But the NY Times has reported that they have nevertheless opted to close the service down, something that were hesitant to do because of the $44M in revenue the section brought in annually.

But the ads have been popping up in other areas of the site now, and lawmakers are pressuring them to once again begin cracking down on the what is being posted in Casual Encounters or Professional Services.

Now that CL has made steps to stop the ads, advocacy groups are turning to other sites to begin doing the same. But will it make any difference, or just send traffickers deeper underground where they will be harder to catch?

CL thinks that by eliminating these ads law enforcement agencies are keeping them from being able to do something to aid in the problem. I am inclined to agree; stopping the ads will not stop the traffickers. But having the ads attached to an established account with payment details will provide some way to monitor who is posting, and what they are offering.

What do you think?


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