Craigslist Threatened by Attorney General for Erotic Services
- Are you aware that Craigslist were making headlines among the internet sphere for their battle against South Carolina’s Attorney General for the controversial “erotic services” column.
- Were you aware Craigslist even had such a category?
Craigslist has become an household name as the place to go to find jobs, to buy and sell items anything from a used DVD to cars to houses. The service boasts 40 million classified ads posted every month. Amidst all the different categories and millions of posting, what often goes unnoticed is the “erotic services” section that is unfortunately accessible to anyone. Adults, Children- anyone can access these classified section.
The Attorney Generals of several states demanded that Craigslist shut down this service as it promotes prostitution. Craigslist chose to implement changes in response to their concerns. It adopted screening measures that were recommended and removed the “erotic service” category… kinda.
Craigslist is Protected under Federal Law Section 230
To Craigslist credit, they did this despite technically being protected under federal law for content posted by users. Section 230 CDA protects free speech online and it is often used to protect sites like Youtube from being completely shut down to do user videos that violate copyright law. If a prostitute advertises illegal services and carries it out, the prostitute is guilty but Craigslist is free of any crime.
However the Attorney General of South Carolina, Henry McMaster, believed this wasn’t enough and threatened criminal charges if Craigslist did not comply. Craigslist had recently entered into South Carolina and was quickly adapted by it’s residence. McMaster sent Craigslist an ultimatum demanding ALL sexual postings be removed from Craigslist South Carolina. He first threatened legal action if Craigslist did not comply in 10 days.