Craigslist won't run any more ads for adult services

Online classifieds website Craigslist broke its silence on Wednesday over the abrupt closure of its "adult services" section and said the shutdown was permanent.

Craigslist removed adult services ads on September 3 following months of pressure from state law enforcement officials and advocacy groups which had charged that they facilitated prostitution.

But the quirky San Francisco-based website had declined until Wednesday to provide an explanation for the sudden removal of the ads for escort, massage and other services.

In an appearance before a congressional committee looking into the sexual trafficking of minors, William Powell, a Craigslist director, said the site had "no plans to reinstate the category."

"Those who formerly posted ads in the adult services category will now have to advertise elsewhere," Powell, Craigslist's director of customer service and law enforcement relations, told the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security.

Powell said the decision to no longer run adult services ads applied only to the United States at the moment and that erotic services categories remained on Craigslist sites in other countries, including Canada.

"It's my understanding that there are a number of issues country by country as well as legal issues for that," Powell said, stressing that "97 percent of our viewers and users are in the United States and Canada."

Craigslist counsel Elizabeth McDougall said the site was working with the Canadian authorities but there had been no request from Canada to remove adult services ads there.

"They are a sovereign nation," she told the committee. "We don't believe that it's appropriate for the US policy to dictate what Canada's policy should be with respect to the Craigslist website and adult services."

Craigslist shut down the link to its adult services section in the United States on September 3, replacing it with the single world "censored."

The "censored" tag was removed a few days later but the adult services section on Craigslist.org - which offers free and paid advertising for everything from houses to babysitters to furniture for sale - had disappeared.

Powell and McDougall made it clear they believed Craigslist had been turned into something of a scapegoat and stressed the efforts the site has made to monitor adult services ads, including pre-screening of all submissions and working with state law enforcement and advocacy groups.

"Craigslist has been one of the few bright spots and success stories in the critical fight against trafficking and child exploitation," Powell said.

Powell also took a swipe at newspaper coverage of the controversy, saying "the incidence of crime relating to use of Craigslist is extremely low.

"But despite Craigslist's best efforts, it is not and cannot be zero, and any incidence of crime across tens of millions of people will generate enough crime stories to keep the newspapers, who compete with us in the classifieds business, busy reporting," he said.

Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, said removing adult services ads on Craigslist was a "positive and constructive step" but "the problem is much wider than Craigslist."

Nicholas Sensley, chief of police of Truckee, California, agreed, saying Craigslist is "only one of many" sites offering adult services ads and "to their credit, not nearly the worst."

News
people
News
John Rees-Evans is standing for Ukip in Cardiff South and Penarth
news
Arts and Entertainment
Bianca Miller and Katie Bulmer-Cooke are scrutinised by Lord Sugar's aide Nick Hewer on The Apprentice final
tvBut Bianca Miller has taken on board his comments over pricing
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
News
Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
News
in picturesWounded and mangy husky puppy rescued from dump
Sport
David Silva, Andy Carroll, Arsene Wenger and Radamel Falcao
football
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: Technical Support Analyst / Helpdesk Support Analyst

    £16000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is the UK's leading ...

    SThree: TRAINEE RECRUITMENT CONSULTANT - IT - LONDON

    £20000 - £30000 per annum + OTE £50k: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 bus...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - LONDON

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000 + Car + Pension: SThree: SThree are a ...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...

    Day In a Page

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
    The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

    The 12 ways of Christmas

    We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
    Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

    The male exhibits strange behaviour

    A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
    Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

    Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

    Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

    The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'