The state of South Carolina has given Craigslist until May 15, 2009 to remove what the state considers offending advertising. The issue revolves around the policy that Craigslist has taken on its advertising of illegal sexual activities. Of course this all depends on what your definition of ‘illegal sexual activities’ may be.
But according to an article at MSNBC, South Carolina has taken the following position:
South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster sent the company a letter Tuesday giving site leaders 10 days to remove illegal content and prostitution ads or face prosecution, claiming managers had “knowingly allowed the site to be used for illegal and unlawful activity after warnings from law enforcement officials and after an agreement with 40 state attorneys general.”
That was a reference to a deal Craigslist struck in November with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and 43 attorneys general to crack down on ads for prostitution. Under the arrangement, Craigslist said it would require anyone who posted an “erotic services” ad to provide a working telephone number and pay a fee with a valid credit card; Craigslist said it would provide the information to law enforcement if it were subpoenaed.
It appears that what South Carolina is objecting to is the continuation of Craigslist to advertise or solicit prostitution. Other states are also looking into the advertising policies of Craigslist also and may also file additional lawsuits in the future. This appears to be being caused by the recent investigation in which one person had used Craigslist and attacked a woman he met through the service. The allegations also include one murder the perpetrator may have done as well.
But is it fair to single out Craigslist for prosecution?
What do you think?