Just months after closing the "adult services" category on its US classified sites, Craigslist has removed adult services from all of its 700 international sites in 70 countries. The removal of the adult services section altogether is the culmination of an almost three-year legal battle with state attorneys generals, according to Wired.
The section first appeared on Craigslist as "erotic services." In 2008, the online classified service yielded to pressure from a group of attorney generals from 17 states, which accused the website of enabling prostitution and child trafficking. Craigslist tried to stem the illegal activity by renaming the section to "adult services" and requiring those creating listings to submit a verifiable phone number as well as a verifiable credit card to pay a $10 listing fee. In May 2009, adult services posts started being screened for illegal content by attorneys. In the first year, more than 700,000 ads were rejected by attorneys.
That wasn't enough, and Craigslist killed the US section in September 2010. Some saw that move as a blow to free speech and Craigslist actually slapped a black "Censored" label over where the section used to reside on its website.
Now, the section is gone on all the Craigslist websites. Of course, posters will just migrate to a different classifieds section, so we're not sure the general attorneys have truly accomplished anything.