Craigslist has deactivated its controversial adult services section, under pressure from attorneys general in 17 states. The giant online ad service has been hammered for posting ads that sell underage girls for prostitution.
The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that erotic services links are covered with the word “censored” for locations inside the U.S., but still active outside the U.S.
The Attorneys General sent a scathing letter to Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster and founder Craig Newmark. Here’s an excerpt:
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.
In July 2010, two girls who said that they were trafficked for sex through craigslist wrote an “open letter” to your company in which they pleaded with you to eliminate the Adult Services section. Their poignant account told a horrific story of brutalization and assault suffered not just by them, but also by untold numbers of other children.
As JJIE.org reported last June, Craigslist tried to stifle criticism from Atlanta, where a study revealed it was “by far the most efficient medium for advertising sex with young females.” Georgia’s campaign called “A Future Not A Past” teamed up with the Women’s Funding Network to publicize the problem, but was hit with a Cease and Desist letter from Craigslist. The study revealed that an estimated 7,200 men are paying for sex with teenage girls every month in Georgia.