Craigslist reportedly still being naughty

Chicago (IL) – More than two months after agreeing that it would curb prostitution being advertised on its site as well as prevent sexually explicit ads from being posted, the Chicago Police has no intentions of dropping its lawsuit against the company. Sex is still being sold through Craigslist, officials claim.

I appeared that government authorities and Craigslist had come to a solution how to better deal with sexual ads on the classified ads website. But now it seems that both parties are back to square one, with the Chicago Police stating that it is upset over the leisurely way Craigslist is handling the issue and that it has no intentions dropping the pending lawsuit.

“It makes me wonder, do they really think I’m sort of stupid, some bobblehead who will think they changed it?” said Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, who sued the San Francisco-based company earlier this year, calling it the nation’s largest source of prostitution. “They seem to insist on being cute and playing games (and) it’s getting old,” he was quoted by AP.

In fact, a quick look on Craigslist reveals that very little has changed over the past two months. There are still the same sections, including the questionable “casual encounters” category. The “erotic services” portion may be gone, but it is clear that advertisers have moved on into different categories and explicit pictures are easily accessible. Subjectively, however, it is this writers’ observation that Craigslist reacts much faster to flags and quickly removes inappropriate posts.

Back in May of this year, Craigslist agreed to replace its “erotic services” category with an “adult” section that is carefully reviewed by web site employees. A number of U.S. states have demanded that Craigslist removes erotic advertisements from its websites. For example, South Carolina attorney general Henry McMaster ordered the site to remove certain “portions” of its classifieds categories that allowed for “the solicitation of prostitution and the dissemination and posting of graphic pornographic material.” McMaster also threatened to initiate a criminal investigation against Craigslist.

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said a coalition of 40 attorneys general was considering options against Craigslist and could announce its next move this week. For now, Chicago Sheriff Tom Dart says that the Police is engaged in sting operations and is making arrests of those selling sex through Craigslist.