Craigslist breaks silence about removing adult services

craigslist breaks silence about removing adult services  censored

Earlier this month, online classifieds service Craigslist unilaterally removed adult services from its listings amid growing political turmoil that the site was profiting from criminals engaged in prostitution and human trafficking. Craigslist did not offer any explanation for removing the listings—merely slapped “Censored” labels over the removed links—but has now clarified its position during a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing on domestic minor sex trafficking.

Craigslist director of customer service and law enforcement relations William Powell said money was not a consideration in the company’s decision to remove the listings, and that Craigslist had “no intention to bring the category back.”

During testimony, Powell and Craigslist attorney Elizabeth McDougall noted the numerous ways Craigslist had worked with law enforcement and other agencies to implement a phone verification system and charge fees for adult services listings. In an ironic move, critics targeted Craigslist for accepting money for adult services advertisements when the company only implemented the policy at the strong recommendation of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Craigslist also performed manual reviews of all adult services listings in an effort to weed out ads for illegal activity, and rolled out tools that enabled users to report suspected trafficking or illegal activities.

“To our knowledge, no other venue has adopted these best practices, and in fact very few venues have adopted more than one of these measures,” Powell said during testimony (PDF). “Those who formerly posted adult services ads on Craigslist will now advertise at countless other venues. It is our sincere hope that law enforcement and advocacy groups will find helpful partners there.”

Human right advocates (such as the Polaris Project) and critics are now applying pressure to Craigslist to shutdown adult services worldwide: the company’s current shutdown of the category applies only to the United States. McDougall indicated Craigslist is working with Canadian authorities, but that there had been no request from Canada to take the listings down. “They are a sovereign nation,” McDougall said. “We don’t believe that it’s appropriate for the U.S. policy to dictate what Canada’s policy should be.”

Implicit in Craigslist’s testimony before that committee is that, by withdrawing from the adult services ads marketplace, law enforcement and human rights activists have lost a partner who went above and beyond legal obligations to work with law enforcement and nonprofits. Few believe that shutting down Craigslists’ adult services listings will solve online sex trafficking issues: those who place the ads will now scatter to a plethora of less known, less monitored, and less cooperative sites.


2018 was a terrific year for new cameras. Here are our favorites

This year, we saw the unveiling of several exciting new cameras. We look back at our favorite models -- each delivering something unique, yet all are powerful and feature-rich. Camera fans, rejoice!
Emerging Tech

The best 3D printers of 2018

On the hunt for a new 3D printer? We've got your back. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned veteran, this list of the best 3D printers has what you're looking for.
Home Theater

Kill your cable and switch to streaming with our painless guide

If you're going to quit cable or satellite for a streaming TV solution, you're going to want to get it right the first time. We've outlined exactly how to get started, step by step. Follow our lead, and you'll never look back.

Play ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ the best way with a Switch GameCube controller

If you're a longtime Super Smash Bros. player, then you know there's only one true way to play. Alongside the recent launch of the new 'Super Smash Bros. Ultimate,' Nintendo has brought back the iconic GameCube controller.

Does Qualcomm's latest laptop processor hold up against Intel's Core i5?

Qualcomm has been nipping at Intel's mobile CPU heels for years and now it might finally have overtaken it. To find out whether it's new SoC can hold its own in mid-range computing, we pitted the Snapdragon 8cx vs. Core i5.

Not just for Lightroom anymore, Loupedeck+ now works with Photoshop

Loupedeck+ can now help photographers edit in Photoshop too, thanks to physical controls for swapping tools, running actions, and more. The photo-editing console expanded to include Photoshop in the list of compatible editing programs.

Turn your Raspberry Pi into a Steam streaming hub with Valve’s Steam Link app

Valve's Steam Link app is now fully supported by Raspberry PI hardware, meaning that just about anyone with a few dollars to spare can build their own Steam streaming box in a matter of minutes.

Amazon takes $300 off Intel Core i7 Surface Pro 6 in latest sale

If you're looking for savings on the Surface Pro 6, Amazon is the place to shop. It currently is discounting the Intel Core i7 variant of Microsoft's latest 2-in-1 by $300, though no Type Cover is included.

Here's our head-to-head comparison of Pandora and Spotify

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.

Our favorite Chrome themes add some much-needed pizzazz to your boring browser

Sometimes you just want Chrome to show a little personality and ditch the grayscale for something a little more lively. Lucky for you, we've sorted through the Chrome Web Store to find best Chrome themes available.

Don't keep typing the same thing -- learn to copy and paste with these shortcuts!

Looking for useful Windows keyboard shortcuts? The most common are the cut, copy, paste and undo shortcuts compatible with all kinds of tasks. They can save you an awful lot of time if you learn how to use them.

Latest Facebook bug exposed up to 6.8 million users’ private photos

An API bug recently left an impact on Facebook users. Though the issue has since been fixed, some of the apps on the platform had a wrongful access to consumers photos for 12 days between September 13 and September 25. 

You can now get a Surface Laptop 2 for $800 at the Microsoft Store

Along with deals on other variants, starting configurations of Microsoft's Surface Laptop 2 are now going for $800 online at its retail store, cutting $200 from its usual $1,000 starting price. 

Need a monitor for professional photo-editing? These are the very best

Looking for the best monitor for photo editing? You'll need to factor in brightness, color accuracy, color gamut support and more. Fortunately, we've rounded up the best ones for you, to help you make an educated purchase.