Craigslist Adult Services Asked To Close Outside U.S. - InformationWeek

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Craigslist Adult Services Asked To Close Outside U.S.

Though the site recently shuttered the adult services section of the classified ads site in the U.S., activist groups are calling for the closure of as many as 250 other Craigslist 'erotic' pages around the world.

Craigslist last week slapped the word "censored" over the spot where the adult services link had appeared. The site gave no indication for the motive, but the action occurred roughly two weeks after 17 attorneys general sent a letter to Craigslist chief executive Jim Buckmaster and founder Craig Newmark, warning them that "ads for prostitution -- including ads trafficking children -- are rampant" on the section.

On Tuesday, a group of four human rights groups praised the site for dropping the section in the U.S., but said it need to go much further and close the adult or "erotic" pages available on the site in other countries. While Craigslist renamed the section in U.S. to adult services, it's still known under its former name of erotic services in other countries.

"While this is a good first step in the U.S., there are still more than 250 other Craigslist 'erotic' pages around the world where children and young women are still being sold for sex through Craigslist," the organizations said in a statement. "Craigslist is a global company, and it has a global responsibility. It should immediately shut down the 'erotic' services sections across the globe."

The activist groups, which included the Polaris Project, the Rebecca Project for Human Rights, the FAIR Fund and Courtney's House, said they feared that Craigslist may have closed the section as a public relations ploy, given its scheduled testimony Sept. 15 before a Congressional committee investigating sex trafficking. "If Craigslist is seriously committed to ending the site's use as a platform for sex trafficking and the sexual enslavement of children and young women, it will immediately close the remaining sections around the world," the statement said.

State attorneys general in the U.S. have pressured Craigslist for quite a while to improve its monitoring of the adult section to prevent illicit activity. In May 2009, the site agreed to close its "erotic services" section, after a 26-year-old New York woman was shot to death while meeting a client who answered her massage ad on Craigslist.

Craigslist replaced the shuttered section with the adult services section, saying the site would manually review every ad posted and stop users from posting nude or graphic photos. In addition, advertisers were required to use a working phone number and pay a $10 fee with a credit card.

FURTHER READING:

Craigslist Silent On Closing Adult Services

Craigslist To Shutter 'Internet Brothel

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