Craigslist is under fire … again. Connecticut Attorney General William Blumenthal issued a subpoena yesterday to investigate whether or not the Web site is fulfilling an earlier promise to remove prostitution ads from its boards.
Blumenthal is leading a coalition of 39 states who also have a problem with the ads that appear in the site’s “Adult Services” section. The Attorney General and Co. feel the Web site continues to promote prostitution and, even, human trafficking.
This subpoena is a repeat of what Craigslist went through last year when Illinois’ Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart filed a lawsuit that accused the site of knowingly promoting prostitution.
“Craigslist is the single largest source of prostitution in the nation," Dart told CNN in 2009. "Missing children, runaways, abused women and women trafficked in from foreign countries are routinely forced to have sex with strangers because they're being pimped on craigslist."
Dart’s lawsuit, in conjunction with the emergence of Philip Markoff, the accused "Craigslist Killer," who allegedly found victims from posted advertisements on the site, forced the site to succumb to legal pressure and Craigslist made a verbal agreement to impose restrictions on their posts.
Their response included changing the bulletin board’s name to “Adult Services” and agreeing to donate the profits collected when the section was called “Erotic Services” to charity. The site also promised to issue a manual review process when accepting ads for the newly-christened “Adult Services” section.
But Blumenthal, who was involved in the 2009 investigation, feels that, since then, few things (other than the site name) have changed. He is also concerned that Craigslist is profiting off of illegal services.