Craigslist's Hooker Listings Are Officially Dead

After silently turning off its Adult Services section earlier this month, Craigslist has made it official: Its listings for escorts, masseuses and barely disguised prostitutes of all sorts have been terminated.

"Those who formerly posted adult services ads on Craigslist will now advertise at countless other venues," Craigslist's law enforcement director said today in testimony before the a House of Representatives subcommittee, which had convened a hearing on the sex trafficking of minors. Which is true. In fact, there are already plenty of prominent alternatives to Craigslist, some of which we documented in a previous post.

The legality of Craigslist's adult services section was well established - a provision of the Communications Decency Act shields websites from liability for user postings - but the company has been under pressure from state attorneys general and, more recently, from aggressive questioning by CNN. Actual former prostitutes, and some advocates for them, meanwhile, have argued that Craigslist offered a less exploitive, more visible, and safer venue for the sale of sex. Whether Craigslist's competitors will get those sorts of reviews remains very much to be seen.