Craigslist is under attack – again. Though the format or structure of the popular online community forum, Craigslist, has not undergone any significant modifications in the past year, the website devoted to local classified advertisements is coming under attack from congressional members, as well as certain anti-prostitution advocacy factions. Many believe that this recent slew of political assault is due to overzealous congressmen trying to excel in an election year.
Up until recently, there had been no question as to whether or not Craigslist would excel. In 2009, it had been reported that upwards of 50 million individuals in the United States utilize Craigslist. There are approximately 20 billions hits each month. However, recent criticism has led executives at the company to remove the adult services category from its United States-based websites. Many claim that the only people who excel if Craigslist condones these specific classified advertisements are prostitution ring operators and minor sex traffickers.
Although the founder of Craigslist, Craig Newmark, remains a customer service representative for the company, Jim Buckmaster is the CEO of the organization. However, it seems that Newmark is taking the brunt of the political and media assault. Nevertheless, it will be hard for critics to excel over Newmark or Craigslist because of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, in which section 230 protects providers or users of an interactive online service from being held legally responsible for information posted by another, generally speaking.
This point is not stopping certain women’s rights advocacy groups from contemplating bringing forth a class action lawsuit against the company. A group called Fair Fund believes it is Craigslist’s responsibility to police every posting on its pages to ensure they are not advertising prostitution or hinting at related matters. On the other hand, groups like Shared Hope International feel that it’s an unrealistic perspective to think that the company can monitor every posting, considering the amount of internet activity the websites experience daily. The debate is sure to continue, leaving many to wonder who will excel in the end.