Craigslist Calls Hookers in an Effort to Deter Sex Ads

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Internet classifieds giant Craigslist is cracking down on advertisers who use the Craigslist “erotic services” section to pimp themselves or others.

The result of talks between Craigslist and a consortium of 40 state attorneys general, lead by Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, the move follows Craigslist’s acknowledgement that, yes, prostitutes and “sex-oriented businesses” have long-used the erotic services section of Craigslist to hawk illegal activities.

Said Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster, “They identified ads that were crossing the line. We looked at those ads, we saw their point, and we resolved to see what we could do to get that stuff off the site.”


“What they could do” turns out to be this: Now when somebody posts an ad to the erotic services section, Craigslist requires a working telephone number, and before the ad can go live, an automated system calls the telephone number and reads off a number, which the advertiser must type back into the Craigslist webform. Think of it as an auditory captcha.

Beyond that, Craiglist is going to be charging a nominal fee for posting advertisements in the erotic services section, which must be paid by credit card. In theory this will allow Craigslist to positively identify the advertisers – a move which, on its own, Craigslist believes may reduce the illegal sex services traffic to almost nil.

As Buckmaster points out, “There are very few prostitutes who want to be called by Craigslist and asked to give additional identifying information.”

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Any service fees that they do garner from advertisers will be earmarked for charities which deal with fighting child exploitation and human trafficking.

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The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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One thought on “Craigslist Calls Hookers in an Effort to Deter Sex Ads

  1. These are hard times. Hard economic times. Everyone is being affected and everyone is feeling the squeeze. From the financial bailout to the soon-to-be auto bailout, the government seems willing to be accommodating and lend a helping hand. To everyone, that is, except those devoted providers who dedicate their life to making Mr. Happy…well….happy.
    Recently, craigslist restricted the posting of erotic ads on their site by starting a per post charge. Google, only a month earlier, restricted escort ads. Can you feel the economic ripple? Where will these girls turn now that their ads are prematurely evacuated? Uncle Sam has gotten into bed with a lot of people in the past. Maybe it’s time he got into bed with these flexible working girls and gave them the bailout they need.
    So while these rich CEO’s are getting multiple shots, more and more escorts aren’t getting the chance to give them. I frankly don’t understand the morality of the government helping CEOs who mismanaged and perhaps pilfered from their own companies (actually from their shareholders) versus cracking down on the oldest and frankly a perfectly reputable trade. These businesswomen definitely have more business sense.
    Can someone explain to me why the government should support those companies that have screwed up? At least with a provider, I’m getting screwed because I want to be.
    Fortunately, sites exist to help this industry under siege.

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