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August 24, 2010

Miller Calls on Craigslist to Stop "Adult Services" Ads, Exploitation of Women and Children

(DES MOINES, Iowa) Attorney General Tom Miller, joined by 16 other state attorneys general, is calling on craigslist to immediately remove the “Adult Services” portion of its site due to continued rampant prostitution advertisements and its inability to police itself.

The multistate letter to Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster and founder Craig Newmark contends that Craigslist cannot -- or will not -- adequately screen these ads. Miller is imploring Craigslist to stop accepting these ads altogether and shut down the Adult Services section.

“The adult services portion is used for prostitution, human trafficking and child exploitation,” Miller said. “It's time for them to take this off and to stop profiting from it because it causes so much harm. Craigslist clearly can’t control it.”

Even following its 2008 public pledge to Miller and the public that it would better police itself, Craigslist continues to profit from blatant ads that exploit and victimize women and children.

In July 2010, two girls who said that they were trafficked for sex through craigslist wrote an “open letter” to craigslist officials, pleading for the elimination of the Adult Services section. The girls’ poignant account told a horrific story of brutalization and assault suffered not just by them, but also by untold numbers of other children, the attorneys general said.

The attorneys general call recent blog posts and public statements from Buckmaster and Newmark, including a CNN interview, “deeply troubling.” Their statements seem to imply that victims, law enforcement officials and children’s advocates are at least partially to blame for these incidents due to their failure to provide Craigslist with police reports, ad copy or links documenting these heinous crimes.

The attorneys general said this position fails to acknowledge that Craigslist is the only party positioned to stop these ads before they are published. While the perpetrators may eventually be apprehended and brought to justice, the victims -- assuming they survive -- will carry the scars for life, the attorneys general said.

States joining Miller’s letter include: Arkansas, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia.


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