Craigslist has blocked access to its “adult services” section and replaced the link with a black label showing the word “censored,” the New York Times reports. Law-enforcement officials and groups that oppose human trafficking have said `the adult ads helped facilitate prostitution and the selling of women against their will. It was unclear whether the block represented a permanent shift in policy or a temporary protest against the outside pressure on the company, which has lasted several years.
Last month the attorneys general from 17 states sent a letter to Craigslist asking the company to remove the adult services section. The controversy raises the issue of how much responsibility Web site has for what is posted by its users, or for potential criminal activity that results from the posts. he company, while promising to provide more rigorous oversight of the ads, has defended its right to run them and says it is protected under federal law – the Communications Decency Act – a position that judges and legal experts have generally backed.