AG Biden comments on Craigslist’s decision to remove questionable advertisements

by Dave on September 7, 2010

Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden said Tuesday that Craigslist ‘did the right thing’ by shutting down the section of its U.S. Internet site featuring adult-themed classified ads. Biden and Attorneys General from about 20 other states sent a letter to Craigslist last week calling on the site to eliminate its “Adult Services” section because the postings were being used to solicit child prostitution and other forms of human trafficking.

“This is about protecting women and children from being sold for sex,” said Biden, whose work has made Delaware a national leader in fighting child predators. “This is about nothing but removing a tool horrible people may be using to exploit women and children in a sickening way. Craigslist did the right thing by deleting these ads, and I hope the company never allows such postings to return.”

The multi-state letter details examples of Craigslist’s inability, or unwillingness, to regulate its content. In it, the Attorneys General cite an “open letter” written by two girls to Craigslist in July that asked the company to remove its Adult Services section and recounting “a horrific story of brutalization and assault” they suffered as a result of published ads on the site. The letter also mentions a report by a CNN reporter who, within three hours of posting a fictional advertisement in the section, received 15 telephone calls soliciting sex.

In 2008, Craigslist entered into an agreement with Delaware, 42 other states and territories, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children under which it would combat inappropriate content and illegal activity in what was then called its “Erotic Services” section. Since that time, however, the Attorneys General contend that not only has the website failed to block or remove such content, it continued to collect revenue from the illegal ads.

release from Department of Justice

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