updated below: Craigslist apparently has caved to the pressures of state attorneys general who cracked the whip on the "erotic services" section of the site.
The Illinois Attorney General has said that craigslist will get rid of the "erotic" services category on the classified site and will replace it with a new "adult" category where ads will be reviewed by employees, according to an AP report.
Craigslist hasn't actually confirmed the changes but, when you click to post an ad, erotic services is no longer an option. Try to post an ad to the new adult services category (yes, I clicked through to get there) and you'll first see a set of new guidelines that include:
- Ads now cost $10 each to post, though a system for re-posting "approved" ads for $5 each is in the works.
- Ads cannot suggest or imply an exchange of sexual favors for money.
- No more pornographic or sexually suggestive photos.
- Adult services ads will be reviewed before being posted for compliance with terms of service and new guidelines
Oh, yeah, one more thing: Craigslist is warning up front that it may provide information about the poster's identity and posting activity to law enforcement "in response to subpoena or other legal process or as otherwise permitted or required by law."
The crackdown came after police in Boston arrested a 22-year-old medical student in the murder of a woman he allegedly met in the erotic services section of craigslist, earning him the nickname “The Craigslist Killer.” There have also been other reports of illegal activity on the site, including a report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about the flourishing of child prostitution on the site despite law enforcement efforts to curtail it.
update: Craigslist has issued a statement titled "Striking A Balance," detailing the bullet points above and applauding the community moderation that alerts the site about inappropriate content as well as law enforcement officials and legal expert who have offered input on changes. In the statement, the company said:
We are optimistic that the new balance struck today will be an acceptable compromise from the perspective of these constituencies, and for the diverse US communities that value and rely upon craigslist.
The full statement can be found here.
Also see: Craigslist becomes political pinata