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Craigslist censors self, decries censorship

Molly Wood Sep 8, 2010
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Craigslist censors self, decries censorship

Molly Wood Sep 8, 2010
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Craigslist has taken down the “adult services” section of its site. This after 17 states attorneys general and advocacy groups charged the ads in that section promoted prostitution and human trafficking. It’s just the latest development in an ongoing war over what responsibility Craigslist has over ads on its massively popular website.

The ads used to be located in the “erotic services” category but after controversy there, they were moved to “adult services” where people posting them would be charged a fee and the ads would, Craigslist claimed, be vetted by actual human beings to determine if anything illegal was taking place.

But it’s difficult for a human being to know for sure what’s going to happen as a result of any particular ad. And besides, the section was protected by section 230 of the Communications Decency Act that protects websites from what users post on them.

We talk to Jeff Jarvis, he writes about media and news at buzzmachine.com and he teaches journalism at City University New York. We also check in with Ryan Calo, a senior research fellow at Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School, for a look at the legal issues at stake.

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