Attorneys General Demand That Craigslist Stop Offending Them

Seventeen state attorneys general are demanding that Craigslist abolish its "Adult Services" section, which used to be called "Erotic Services" and still features ads for full-body massages, sexy blond hotties, and busty brunettes. Evidently some of these advertisers are actually prostitutes. This means that, unlike the men and women who offer up their bodies in the "Personals" section of Craigslist, they generally do not have sex for free or in exchange for in-kind payments such as jewelry and meals in fancy restaurants—a difference that is legally important for reasons that escape me. Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, fresh out of real crimes to prosecute, is determined to shut down this "online brothel."

I've heard similar allegations about the "Escort Service" and "Massage" sections in the yellow pages, but I don't recall any attorneys general trying to bully AT&T into dropping them, probably because the ads are more attractive and slightly more subtle. It's all a matter of taste, I guess. If Blumenthal at al.'s lust for indignation has not been satisfied yet, they should check out the "Pet Services" section of Craiglist. That sounds really disgusting.

Previous Reason coverage of Craigslist and prostitution here.

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  • ||

    Maybe they are not that many prostitutes on Craigslist and cops are wasting their time chasing false leads.

    Just tossing a different angle out there.

  • ||

    when they ask for "roses", they aren't actually asking for 300 roses.

    just saying.

  • Mosquevite Sandwich||

    Once you take this cyber "brothel" down, then you take down thousands of other ones. And then, when those are replaced, you take down those. The drug war is a perfect model. And what's a better bang for the taxpayer dollar than that?!!!!!

  • ||

    And what's a better bang for the taxpayer dollar than that?!

    Cash for Clunkers?

  • ||

    "And what's a better bang for the taxpayer dollar than that?!

    Cash for Clunkers?"
    ------------------------------
    With the prostitution angle here, I can tell you where THIS taxpayer gets the best bang for his money.

  • ||

    Because when it comes to taxpayer dollars, at least with prostitutes we get to have some control (if that's our pleasure). With the government and our tax dollars, we are forced to play the submissive Gimp and get assfucked sans lube.

  • ||

    Is that a program for older prostutes?

  • Federal Dog||

    Yes, in the sense that Martha Coakley is now campaigning just to keep her job.

  • Mosquevite Sandwich||

    Congress is the obvious answer.

  • Ska||

    Joel Pile is a fan of Pet Services. That's what I heard anyway.

  • ||

    +1

  • Pip||

    Baaaa...

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I've long argued that certain streets should be closed off and destroyed because apparently ladies of the evening stand on them and solicit customers.

    Not all streets, mind you. That would be stupid. But the red light districts. Jackhammer up that asphalt.

  • ||

    Plus, once the scourge of sex-for-money has been eliminated from those streets, think of the JOBS created in road work!

  • Jeffersonian||

    You know, that's pretty damn close to the dig-the-hole-and-fill-it-up-again mobius strip that Mosquevite alludes to.

  • KPres||

    Legal prostitution...pretty much the reason why I'm libertarian.

  • flye||

    You and Bill Maher, before he turned into... whatever unfunny thing it is that he does now.

  • ||

    I'm surprised the thugs in the US DoJ haven't gone after them as well. If someone in RI clicks open an ad for "personal services" that was placed in CT, then doesn't that constitute interstate commerce? If so, that would open the door for Eric Holder to go after said criminals.

    If the states can cash in on the smut trade, because it's safe to assume this is about the potential fines involved rather than stopping the crime of flesh-peddling, then the feds should be able to as well. It'd be a lot better than prosecuting thugs intimidating votors or SEIU goon squads disrupting people trying to exercise their 1st Amendment rights.

    As far as Bloominidiothal, I'm pretty sure this guy is just ensuring he can check off the "tough on crime" box for his campaign.

  • ||

    ""As far as Bloominidiothal, I'm pretty sure this guy is just ensuring he can check off the "tough on crime" box for his campaign.""

    Yeah, because it's a winning strategy. It's the fault of the people who want tough on crime politicians.

  • ||

    Exactly. Blumenthal is CT's version of Elliot Spitzer and he's aimed like a laser at the governor's seat. Total scumbag, but I think he's smarter and more careful than Spitzer.

  • Ted S.||

    Actually, Blumenthal is running for Senate. But yes, AGs are scumbags who prosecute cases with political ends in mind.

    Sadly, we in New York are going to get another AG as our next Governor.

  • Warty||

    Every single one of those ads ends in "-4m". This is blatant sexism. Is Feministing aware of this outrage?

  • Brett L||

    I don't even want to think about the type of woman who would pay for service on craigslist rather than just go down to the nearest (or if too well known -- next town's) bar when lonely.

  • ||

    The comments on this Jezebel thread are superb. Feminists- it's not just their bitterness that makes them unfuckable!

    (Seriously, Warty, I think there is a market for handsome companion-ry. Get out there and be a "-4w".)

  • Warty||

    There is no banging old ladies or dudes, all right? I will be providing a very important service, however, as what I would like to be called: a handsome companion. No, not to dudes. No, hang on. Hold on. Hang on. To old fancy rich ladies who want to do classy, exotic, fancy things with me.

  • ||

    Great, Warty. You keep banging dudes.

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    But what doesn't really get discussed amidst (often quite justified) rants about men invading our space is that women who don't conform to particular beauty standards often get a different kind of unwanted attention — mockery, scorn, slurs, or the suggestion that they shouldn't show their nonconforming faces or bodies at all.

    heh heh. Uh, this kind of shit usually comes from other women, not men.

  • Warty||

    All uggos are invisible to men. Women are their torturers.

  • ||

    They are their own torturers. One of the prevailing themes on those boards is the constant competition over who's got it worst. Maybe, gals, it is not your small tits, or big tits, or any other part of your body that is making you unhappy. Just a thought.

  • Pip||

    I fucking LOVE small tits!

  • ||

    We shouldn't have wasted the HTML pic-posting episode last week. It would have served a better purpose on this thread, methinks.

  • ||

    I think you got the order of "fucking" and "LOVE" reversed.

    Big tits work much better for that, FWIW.

  • Pope Jimbo||

    This fits with my pitch for a new reality TV show.

    It would be sort of like The Swan, but instead of spending $$$$ on plastic surgery, the uggos would simply be brought to a local bar around closing time.

    The audience would ooh and ahh, and the gal's self confidence would soar as they get a man despite their general unattractiveness. I would call my show The Owl.

  • Brett L||

    No, no, no. See there is a fee for the massage, the tip is just a way of showing your appreciation for the way the contracted service was rendered, and anything that happens afterwards is just a friendly thing between consenting adults. The ladies are just so friendly and giving that pretty much any guy has a shot.

  • ||

    Craigslist is teaching The Kids These Days about tranny hookers. This must be stopped. In my day, you first encountered ads for shemales the old-fashioned way: in alt-weeklies, goddammit.

  • ||

    Sorry, Dagny, but the public school system has taught our kids about tranny hookers long before they teach them how to log onto the net.

  • Ragin Cajun||

    Perhaps Blumenthal is trying to protect some old ladyboy cartel.

  • Mosquevite Sandwich||

    Black and white? The print that is, not the trannies. I found a few of those walking to the corner store as a little gangsta. What's a woman with a dong to a kid these days? Besides a mayor of small town in Oregon.

  • ||

    "What's a woman with a dong to a kid these days?"

    It's a trap!

  • ||

    I keep hearing on the news that Blumenthal et al not only want to fight the prostitution on Craigslist, but the child sex trafficking.

    But if that was really the case, wouldn't Craigslist make it easier for the police to catch criminals .... sort of like how it would be easier to catch child sex traffickers who worked out of public parks as opposed to those who keep their operations much more hidden.

  • ||

    Couple of things come to mind.

    Websites like craiglist are not responsible for content people post.

    People could easily post it under a different catagory.

  • BakedPenguin||

    People could easily post it under a different catagory.

    Personal Ad, F s M:
    "Generous Gentleman wanted..."

  • ||

    I remember the first filters to stop "the children" finding porn on the internet. They would block results from searches for things like "porn." And about five minutes later the term "pr0n" was born.

    Same thing.

  • ||

    But if we'd have had craigslist in my day, I could have gotten a real blonde.

  • Michael||

    I posted another article about this in the morning links thread, but this is the first I've heard about the open letter. Does the idea of two girls paying for ad space in the print edition of WaPo and the Chronicle strike anyone else as being a bit odd? Anybody know who funded it?

  • Michael||

    The attorneys general also accuse the company of a "blame the victim" mentality, claiming that it has been putting the onus on victims and law enforcement by criticizing them for not providing Craigslist with police reports to document alleged crimes.

    There is something seriously wrong with that sentence.

  • Pip||

    "I've heard similar allegations about the "Escort Service" and "Massage" sections in the yellow pages, but I don't recall any attorneys general trying to bully AT&T into dropping them, probably because the ads are more attractive and slightly more subtle."

    I bought a phonebook hooker about 20 years ago, so it is true.

  • ||

    There's some guy in NYC who was posting leaflets for years demanding that the government "Call Block Escort Service". I wonder if he supports this gesture, or is pissed off that they still aren't applying it to dead media.

    Or maybe this is all an elaborate scheme to prop up the Yellow Pages.

  • wingnutx||

    As someone who has a financial interest in backpage.com, I hope that Craigslist wins this after a long, financially draining fight.

    Thanks for taking the hit, Craig.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    The Missouri AG - who looks like Conan O'Brien, but is far less talented - is on-board with this nonsense.

    And he's a Democrat, which proves that even fucking liberals can be nosy prigs just like Republicans.

  • ||

    Blumenthal's a hypocrite. Everyone knows that if you were a leatherneck in the heat of fire in 'Nam, you partook of the local ladies as a way to blow off some steam (no pun intended).

    Given his war record then, he should be straight up and...oh, he wasn't even in Vietnam, right. Oops.

  • ||

    they generally do not have sex for free or in exchange for in-kind payments such as jewelry and meals in fancy restaurants

    usually the price demanded by women is to establish emotional intimacy with them, or at least do a really good job of feigning that.

  • Fire Tiger||

    I though My Red Book was the place to find hookers.

  • ||

    apparently only in CA

  • bags||

    As far as Bloominidiothal, I'm pretty sure this guy is just ensuring he can check off the "tough on crime" box for his campaign.

  • jemo||

    I hope that Craigslist wins this after a long, financially draining fight.

  • scarf||

    And he's a Democrat, which proves that even fucking liberals can be nosy prigs just like Republicans.

  • ||

    I heard about this on the radio today.

    So is the A.G. office getting too many complaints about them not doing
    their jobs? And the response is to ask Craigslist to stop making them look bad?

    After all, taking down Craigslist postings doesn't make the activity go away.

    This should be just like building a road for 65 mph and posting the speed
    limit at 45 mph. It's like shooting fish in a barrel.

  • JB||

    "exchange for in-kind payments such as jewelry and meals in fancy restaurants"

    If I live to be old, I'm at some point going to go into a restaurant and perform a citizen's arrest on a politician or a cop when they are on a date.

    "You are your dirty whore are going to jail."

  • JB||

    *and*

  • ||

    I'm glad I didn't post on this thread.

  • ||

    This is just another example of the amazing refusal of collectivists to accept reality. They still believe, after centuries of failed attempts, that they can regulate human sexuality.

    And they have the brass to call libertarians "utopian".

  • lilly zhang||

    good article.

  • burberry scarf||

    here are nice burberry scarves at a good discount,great welcome every one order from us.

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