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Craigslist Shuts Down International “Adult Services” Sections

from – Craigslist, the popular online classified ad service, has seemingly shut down its controversial “adult services” section worldwide.

In early September, Craigslist shuttered that section in the U.S., following years of being dogged on the issue by states attorneys general and some human trafficking groups, which eventually led to a hearing before Congress. The section included ads for legal quasi-sexual services and thinly veiled ads for prostitution.

Now, Craigslist has quietly removed the section in all its international sites, including those in Canada, Asia, Europe, South America and Africa.

When Craigslist shut down the section in the U.S., it defiantly replaced the section with the word “censored,” but the international shutdown came with no such protest and no announcement.

Craigslist says the section was originally created at the requests of users in order to clean up the site’s free online dating sections.

Later at the request of numerous U.S. states attorneys general, Craigslist began requiring a $10 fee paid by credit card and a working phone number to place an ad in that section. It also hired a lawyer to vet every ad for illegality and suggestions of underage girls. Craigslist was then attacked for being greedy and for profiting off of prostitution, an odd charge for a company that’s constantly criticized by business analysts for not charging for more services (the company charges only for job and housing listings in select markets).

Craigslist argued that shutting down the service would simply force the ads onto other services with less diligence and increase the spam in its other sections.

Craigslist became a favorite target of state attorneys generals, such as South Carolina’s Henry McMaster and Connecticut’s Richard Blumenthal who had ambitions for higher office. (In Blumenthal’s case, he’s now the incoming junior U.S. Senator.)

However, Craigslist was operating legally under the law, which puts legal liability on the person posting to the internet, not the internet service they use.

A Craigslist spokeswoman declined to comment on the unannounced disappearance of the section from the international versions of the site., a classified ads sites owned by Village Voice media, continues to run an adult services section, and saw a spike in traffic since Craigslist shut down its U.S. service in September.


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