Craigslist Reading List


On Friday, after years of negative publicity and pressure from state attorneys general, Craigslist replaced the hyperlink to its controversial "adult services" section with a black rectangle labeled "censored." My column tomorrow discusses the role played by Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut's insufferably self-righteous attorney general, in this shameful episode. In the meantime, here is some relevant reading:

1. Craigslist is still officially mum about its decision, but CEO Jim Buckmaster's angry posts on the company's blog help illuminate the controversy, especially if you look up the criticism and press coverage that pissed him off.

2. According to A.P. and CBS News, the ads that offended Blumenthal et al. already are migrating to other sections of Craigslist or to its competitors.

3. Gawker highlights some of the more prominent Craigslist alternatives. Also check out the not-safe-for-work ads at Village Voice Media's Backpage.com or at The Back Room ("the Northeast's most discriminating source of adult content" and a popular choice in Blumenthal's neck of the woods). They make Craigslist's hooker posts seem subtle by comparison.

4. At The Huffington Post, Danah Boyd argues that "censoring Craigslist helps pimps, child traffickers and other abusive scumbags."

5. At the Guardian, Jennifer Abel writes: "Too many otherwise sensible people believe sex, alone among all forms of human interaction, spawns some malignant magic whenever money changes hands. It's still perfectly legal to search for sex on Craigslist; you just can't exchange cash for it."

Previous Reason coverage of Craigslist and prostitution here.