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Pressure grows for Craigslist to take down all adult services ahead of hearing

Several anti-trafficking groups sent a letter to Craigslist’s founder and chief executive, asking for the popular classified Web site to cease all adult services ads around the world.

The letter, signed by the Polaris Project, National Organization of Women and Salvation Army, comes before the testimony of an official from Craigslist at a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing on the prevention of child trafficking. The hearing, Wednesday at 1 p.m. EST, will explore the role of the Internet in the trafficking of children for slavery and prostitution in the United States.

More than one week ago, Craigslist surprisingly took down the adult services section of its U.S. sites, replacing that link with the word “censored.” The company didn’t explain its reasoning for the move, and later took down the word “censored.” Craigslist founder Craig Newmark didn’t immediately reply to an e-mail requesting comment about the action.

“The signers of this letter are the experts on the issue of human trafficking,” the groups wrote. “We are telling you that on the whole, Craigslist’s Adult and Erotic Services sections continue to be more part of the problem than part of the solution.”

Craigslist has been under pressure by several attorneys general who have filed suit against the firm to stop allowing ads to be placed for adult services that have become classifieds, they say, that lead to sex violence and crimes against women and children.

Please check out our previous posts on the debate over Craigslist’s role in facilitating online prostitution.

Dozens of experts signed the letter, including the Rebecca Project for Human Rights, the Coalition Against Trafficking of Women, Girls Educating and Mentoring Services, the National Children’s Advocacy Center and World Hope International.

By Cecilia Kang  |  September 14, 2010; 4:29 PM ET
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It's just mind-boggling that the government can shut down the call-girl ads on Craigslist but cannot stop WikiLeaks from posting national security documents.

Posted by: blasmaic | September 14, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Human trafficking does not equal posting adult services ads on a web site. They've cast too wide a net and have snared much more than just the adults who exploit children. It's a problem, yes - but it is this the way to solve it - by denying the rights of many ?

Posted by: tancred | September 14, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

actually, most of the prostitutes are not entrepenurs. instead, they are victims of prostitution, controlled by abuse, and trafficked illegally. this includes adults who are victims of prostitution.

Posted by: Joe901 | September 14, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Craig's list, don't give in. You have rights, the whole nation is behind you. Please don't give into censorship! If you give in, they will start going after everyone. Please stand up to the play ground bully, once and for all!

Posted by: madstamina | September 14, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Let the legal authorities fight and enforce illegal acts--that's their jobs. Craigslist, please continue to fight and stand up for the nation's freedoms!

Posted by: madstamina | September 14, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

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