As noted yesterday, Craigslist replaced their controversial “Adult Services” section, which openly traded in prostitution, with an un-clickable black box reading “censored,” but only in the United States. According to CNN, “Craigslist representatives were not immediately available for comment,” but it is well known that last week, “attorneys general in 17 states banded together to urge Craigslist to discontinue its adult services.” Now, via Politico’s Mike Allen and his daily Playbook email, word is trickling in that the sex ads are history, forever.
Allen leads his news brief with an item entitled “BEHIND THE CURTAIN.” It’s like this, he says (bold text is his):
Why Craigslist is suddenly abandoning its lucrative “adult services” ads, which created a market for exploitation of young girls – And the coming role for Congress: On Friday night, the online classified behemoth dropped a black “censored” bar over its adult services listings, and a top legal source tells Playbook that indications are that Craigslist plans to discontinue that part of the site permanently. The N.Y. Times reported in April: “The ads, many of which blatantly advertise prostitution, are expected to bring $36 million this year.” The raunchy ads empowered pimps, who could post the location of a hotel room on Craigslist, then wait for a string of customers to come have inexpensive sex with underage girls who were working against their will.
Allen goes on to note that despite Craigslist’s constant defense of its sex services, “This weekend’s turnaround resulted from a quiet, low-budget synthesis of GOVERNMENT, MEDIA, CELEBRITIES and ADVOCACY GROUPS — a textbook pressure campaign that defeated an Internet powerhouse.”