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News Release

For Immediate Release
May 13, 2009

New Hampshire Attorney General's Office
(603) 271-4900

Craigslist Removes "Erotic Services" Section, New Hampshire

Attorney General Kelly A. Ayotte is pleased to announce that Craigslist will permanently remove its "erotic services" section within seven days. Attorney General Ayotte, along with other Attorneys General from throughout the country, have been pushing for Craigslist to remove this site, which has been used for prostitution and human trafficking. No new posts to the "erotic services" section were posted today in New Hampshire.

In lieu of the "erotic services," Craigslist has created a new "adult" section in the classifieds. Craigslist has agreed that an employee will actually review every posting before it goes up on the new section. Currently, most ads are placed without any review. Additionally, new rules will say ads "cannot suggest or imply an exchange of sexual favors for money."

On October 28, 2008, Attorney General Ayotte signed the Joint Statement with Craigslist and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), in which Craigslist agreed to verify identity and charge money to anyone who wanted to post an ad in the "erotic services" section in an effort to eliminate illegal use of the site for prostitution. Forty Attorneys Generals joined that agreement. Craigslist had also agreed to increase screening images and terms in an effort to eliminate pornography and prostitution postings. In New Hampshire, a prostitution ring that advertised on Craigslist was uncovered in part by the Portsmouth Police Department. The failure of Craigslist to adequately screen out prostitution and pornography prompted the Attorneys Generals to continue to press Craigslist to comply fully with the Joint Statement.

"While this appears to be a step in the right direction, I want to see that they keep their promise – to monitor each and every 'adult' posting before it goes up, and to strenuously remove any advertisements for prostitution or pornographic images that get posted on any section of the site," Attorney General Ayotte stated. The Attorney General has joined with her colleagues in also urging Craigslist to disclose their system of flagging and removing posts that do not comply with the terms of service, in the event that prostitution or pornography gets posted in a section other than the "adult" section. In the past, while Craigslist has claimed that flagged postings are removed, this has not proven to be true. The Attorney General stated, "Craigslist needs to police its site and follow through on the important promises it has made today. I will continue to work with my colleagues throughout the country to hold Craigslist accountable."

New Hampshire Department of Justice | 33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301
Telephone: 603-271-3658