CYBERSPACE—Craigslist has thrown in the towel. Nearly four months after state attorneys generals in the United States succeeded in pressuring the online classifieds site to close its adult services section, the company has now done the same for its international editions.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, one of the AGs who most aggressively campaigned to close the section, confirmed the worldwide closures to the Associated Press.
“This worldwide shutdown of erotic services sections on Craigslist is a victory in the fight against sexual exploitation of women and children and human trafficking connected to prostitution,” Blumenthal said in a statement. “This move is another important step in the ongoing fight to more effectively screen and stop pernicious prostitution ads.”
The WSJ noted that Craigslist was not required legally to close the section, but had done so under intense and increasing pressure after Philip Markoff, a Boston University medical student, was accused of killing Julissa Brisman after meeting her through a Craigslist ad.
Neither will the national and now global closure of Craigslist adult section end the availability of erotic online classifieds. The Village Voice’s BackPage.com is still open for business despite calls for its closure, and other similar services have opened since and will likely continue to open and proliferate as long as, according to the WSJ, “Craigslist, and other website operators, are largely shielded from liability arising out of posts, commentary, etc., made by third-party users.”