WASHINGTON â€” Online classifieds website Craigslist has blocked US access to its “adult services” listings, replacing the section tab with a “censored” label after criticism it was facilitating prostitution.
On Saturday, Craigslist sites for US cities all featured a black and white label reading “censored” where the adult services link was previously.
The move did not appear to affect non-US sites, which continued to feature listings for “erotic services.”
Craigslist in May shut down the erotic services section of the website in the United States, replacing it with the adult services section. It pledged that all listings under the renamed section would be manually reviewed.
The website — which offers users free and paid advertising for everything from houses to babysitters to furniture for sale — has been under pressure for months from state law enforcement officials over some of its listings.
The popular website has faced accusations that its erotic or adult services listings have facilitated prostitution, including cases where the sex workers were trafficked and exploited.
In August, 18 state attorneys called on Craigslist chief executive Jim Buckmaster and the company’s founder, Craig Newark, to remove the renamed adult services section.
“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,” they wrote in an open 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.
Craigslist’s blog offered no explanation for the changes and Buckmaster, who has been quick to defend the site in the past, made no comment on his Twitter feed.
The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment from AFP.