Craigslist Sued For Promoting Prostitution - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Government // Open Government
News
3/6/2009
02:54 PM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Craigslist Sued For Promoting Prostitution

An Illinois sheriff says the classified ads Web site should stop allowing erotic services ads and reimburse law enforcement agencies for the costs of policing prostitution-related crime.

Craigslist did not respond to a request for comment.

When asked about this issue last year, Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster said the site had instituted new screening procedures for erotic ads, which reduced the number posted by 80%. He insisted that Craigslist does not profit from erotic ads, unlike newspapers and free weekly papers that run erotic ads for a fee.

Craigslist does maintain a Web page to make it easy for users to report the exploitation of minors. It has also implemented the PICS content-labeling system, which is used by filtering software.

Legally, the lawsuit faces long odds because Internet law currently (mostly) immunizes Internet service providers for the posts of their users. Politically, however, it may not be tenable for Craigslist to say it's doing as much as it can if it continues to host content related to prostitution and child sex trafficking.

In a blog post, Eric Goldman, associate professor at Santa Clara University School of Law, dismisses the suit as "a sad publicity stunt."

However, he expresses uncertainty about the necessity of the continued existence of the erotic services category, where most sex service posts reside (because site users want them to be confined there). "If everything directed to this category is always illegal, it seems like Craigslist could, and perhaps should, voluntarily choose to eliminate the category altogether," wrote Goldman. "That may require Craigslist to invest some more resources policing its other categories to prevent their spamming/hijacking by the dispersed ads, but that may be the unavoidable cost of a free classified ads service."


InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on rich Internet applications. Download the report here (registration required).

Previous
2 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of the Cloud Report
As the use of public cloud becomes a given, IT leaders must navigate the transition and advocate for management tools or architectures that allow them to realize the benefits they seek. Download this report to explore the issues and how to best leverage the cloud moving forward.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of November 6, 2016. We'll be talking with the InformationWeek.com editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll