Craigslist cleans up Erotic Services
Creative Commons License photo credit: InfoMofo

Craigslist has a new blog that is nearly totally useless. I love Craigslist for everything it is and for everything it isn’t: simple, no frills, with a lot of information; but the Craigslist blog is useless because it really isn’t a blog without permalinks (I don’t care about the comments, really). In fact, when a post rolls off the main page it seems to be gone forever. Because the fine folks at Craigslist can’t pull it together, I’m going to create a permalink to some information they posted a couple of days ago.

Craigslist has created a new phone verification system for the erotic services section of their site, meaning people wanting to post there will have to verify by phone, which is similar to what Google does for Checkout and some other services. Here’s what the blog post says:

In early March we implemented a phone verification system for our “erotic services” category, which taken together with other measures has reduced the volume of ads in this category by 80%, and more importantly has signficantly [sic] improved compliance with our terms of use and other posted guidelines.

This might put a dent in the police work at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, who in the past have enjoyed putting ads on Craigslist to entice suspects, then charge them with illegal solicitation. Here are two examples of the fine police work at UMass Amherst.

Hey, I bet cops using Craigslist is against the terms of use! Craigslist should take them to court! What do you think?


It is not just phone verification in the “erotic” section of Craigslist that has been effected by this policy, but all the services now have been effected, e.g. Labor/Move , skilled trade, household,computer, etc..

For individuals who needed to post several ads per day to compete with the incredible number of ads that are posted for labor and household services offered, and who were not spammers, this policy is a disaster. This policy not only cuts out the honest individual workers ability to compete, the same workers who get part time work from their ads, but it allows the commercial spammers to control the board using deceptive methods to bypass the verification system, e.g. getting multiple yahoo accounts and using friends home phone numbers to retrieve the verification code number. All in all this phone verification system has “Nothing” to do with abuses in the “erotic” section, or it would have been dealt with in the erotic section, that was an excuse to implement the phone verification in additional sections of craigslist to bolster the demand for paid advertising and to destroy the privacy of the individual. There could have been an easy method to halt the abuses in the erotic section simply by adding additional rules that would have resulted in the elimination of that section. However it became a convenient opportunity to exploit the possibilities of forcing people to pay for their post.

Yes the other day someone tried to REPLY to one of my ads and they actually put a FAKE message like they were from CL. Telling me to enter my user/password. It even looked fake. I bet a few people will fall for that one.

America is a free country, and when things paid for my privates means should be controlled by the person(s) in charge of that item or company or service. When item or company or service is paid with public dollars (your money and my money)then we the people control it.

Scumbag morals or not it is a free country and that is why the original 13 colonies where made to get away from the King to have freedom of speech and religion. Craig’s list is paid by private company’s dollars. I am in no means protecting erotic services and prostitution, just protecting what makes this country great.

Thanks for your time.