Blumenthal sends letter to Craigslist over prostitution ads

Keith Loria Aug. 24, 2010, 12:38pm


HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal announced on Tuesday that 16 other attorneys general have joined him in an effort to get the classified ad Web site Craigslist to remove its Adult Services section.

In a letter sent to Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster and founder Craig Newmark, Blumenthal mentions a growing amount of prostitution advertisements that are featured on the site.

"The increasingly sharp public criticism of Craigslist's Adult Services section reflects a growing recognition that ads for prostitution-including ads trafficking children-are rampant on it," Blumenthal said in the letter.

"In our view, the company should take immediate action to end the misery for the women and children who may be exploited and victimized by these ads."

The letter suggests that Craigslist does not adequately screen the ads, and it would be best to eliminate them altogether.

Recently, CEO Chris Tolles said Blumenthal is "running point" for a group of attorneys general that wants to take on technology companies.

"Craigslist clearly lacks the wherewithal -- or will -- to fight flagrant prostitution ads that persist on its site," Blumenthal said. "Prostitution is a booming business on Craigslist, perhaps more than ever before."

In 2008, to calm critics, Craigslist made a public pledge that it would make a better effort to police the site for blatant prostitution ads, but the actions didn't make much of a difference, Blumenthal said.

Attorneys general from Arkansas, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia have joined Blumenthal in signing the letter.

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