Craigslist Cracks Down On Prostitution Ads

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San Francisco-based Craigslist, the popular Internet classified ads site with listings in 50 countries, has agreed to crack down on ads for prostitution after signing a pact with 40 states.

Although the company says that its terms of service forbid the posting of such ads, it’s implementing new terms. Now, anyone advertising in the site’s Erotic Services section will have to pay a fee – most ads on Craigslist are free – using a valid credit card and offer a working phone number. Any that violate the terms will be removed and the fees given to charity.

Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster told Reuters:

"Requiring credit-card verification, and charging a fee to post in this category raises accountability to a point where we expect few illicit ads will remain."

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal first complained to Craigslist, which is partly owned by eBay, in March about the ads, which are often explicit and accompanied by pictures, and 39 more states have joined the pact.

The company has also filed suit against 14 companies that help erotic ads posters evade the guidelines and defenses.