Craigslist is under pressure to get control of its escort advertisements

Craigslist has several important issues it must deal with, as company representatives recently met with officials over suspected advertisements posted on the site related to erotic services and other sexual activity.

Craigslist attorneys and representatives met with the attorneys general from Connecticut, Illinois, and Missouri to discuss safety concerns related to the site.

"Craigslist has continued to develop further improvements, some of which have been introduced in the last two weeks,” Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster said.  “We’re optimistic this goal can be reached while preserving all beneficial aspects of a site enjoyed by tens of millions of Americans, and without compromising the quintessentially American values of free speech embodied in our constitution.”

Buckmaster described the meeting as "cordial and productive."

Specifically, the meeting was arranged when Philip Markoff, a 23-year-old medical student at Boston University, was charged with murder after allegedly meeting with a masseuse through the website.  Nicknamed the "Craigslist killer," Markoff met and robbed several people through the site.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan requested Craigslist close the "erotic services" portion of the site, which often includes prostitution ads.  She also said the "walls are really closing in" on the popular web site, and hopes to see drastic change in the company's policies moving forward.

Last year, 40 state attorneys general reached an agreement with Craigslist to crack down on suspected illegal behavior, but it's still rampant on the site.  Suspicious activity can be flagged by users, but the small staff of just 28 employees often has a difficult time trying to keep up.

Even though Buckmaster previously said its company can't be held accountable for the content its users post on the site, legislators still expect serious changes to be made.  Until Craigslist begins to seriously crack down on illegal activities on the site, it's unlikely state officials will give the site any slack.

"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein

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