Late Friday TechCrunch broke the story that Criagslist had apparently shuttered CENSORED the entire Adult Services section for each U.S. location. However, those same service are apparently still available OUTSIDE the U.S.
It appears that Craigslist went tits up on its erotic services section after being strong-armed by a coaltion of state Attorney’s General, lead by wannabe senator, war record exaggerator and Conn. AG Richard Blumenthal. Despite the fact that the ads appearing in this section of Craigslist can be found on numerous other free websites and, indeed, in every free paper in major city in U.S., Craigslist was targeted.
In the past Craigslist has staunchly defended itself, saying that, Section 230 of Communications Decency Act provided it with a safe harbor that protects it (and any other website or service that hosts user-generated content) from any liability rising from user-generated. The courts, time and time again have agreed, upholding Section 230 as the cornerstone of free speech online.
But don’t tell that to Blumenthal and his pack of his moralistic thugs, they simply aren’t interested in the truth (kind of like Blumenthal himself was never interested in telling the truth about his service in Vietnam).
Blumenthal said in a statement:
We welcome any steps toward eliminating the adult services section and prostitution ads on Craigslist, as we have urged, and we are seeking to verify the site’s official policy going forward. If Craigslist is doing the right thing voluntarily in response to our coalition of attorneys general, it could set an example for others.
That “we” he’s talking about is a coalition of AGs that have had a hard on for Criagslist for many months now. It is chilling to see Blumenthal claiming credit for sending Craigslist scampering into some dark corner of the Net, afraid of the consequences of standing up his group of moralistic thugs. Breathe deep… that’s the smell of free expression being shredded on the Internet.
This is a bad moon rising. If it does “set an example” for others free expression is doomed. And if it’s happening HERE, in the U.S., you can believe that tyrants across the globe will gladly use such incidents as political cover for taking action to squash online free speech as well.
- Eric: Craigslist stops offering links to ‘adult services’ ads (washingtonpost.com)
- Craigslist Removes Adult Services Section (nytimes.com)