Craigslist shutters erotic services ads worldwide

Posted by Kate Taylor

Craigslist has finally bowed to pressure and closed all its 700 adult services sections around the world.

The classified site's erotic services section was closed down in the US in September and replaced with a paid-for 'adult services' listings section which required a valid phone number and credit card number for advertisers and was moderated by Craigslist staff.

The erotic services section was, however, allowed to remain in the rest of the world.

But now, according to AP, the company has confirmed to the US attorney general that it has removed ads for erotic services in every country in whichn it had previosuly been available.

Craigslist has been under heavy pressure from human rights groups and state attorneys general to remove its erotic ads since 2009, when masseuse Julissa Brisman was found murdered in a Boston hotel. Police said the killer found her through a Craigslist ad. Philip Markoff, who was arrested for the murder, committed suicide while awaiting trial.

The site has also been linked to child trafficking.

"This move is another important step in the ongoing fight to more effectively screen and stop pernicious prostitution ads," Connecticut attorney general Richard Blumenthal told AP.

It remains to be seen how effective the closure will be. In the US, many advertisers of sex services have simply moved their ads to other sections of the site such as 'encounters'.