Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson


Company agrees to monitor posts to cut down on crime

OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna today applauded Craigslist for its decision to eliminate its erotic services ads and create a new adult category that Web site employees will review.

“This change should significantly reduce the blatant misuse of Craigslist’s online classified ad service to promote prostitution,” McKenna said. “It will only be successful if Craigslist follows through on its promise to actively monitor its site for illicit images and messages. If Craigslist does follow through, it will help state attorneys general and our law enforcement partners as we fight sexual exploitation to make our communities safer.”

Postings to the “erotic services” category on Craigslist will no longer be accepted and will be removed in seven days, the company announced today. A new category called “adult services” will be created for legal postings that will be manually reviewed to ensure compliance with Craigslist terms. 

Craigslist reported that it has reduced the number of inappropriate listings on the erotic services section by 95 percent since November, when the company reached an agreement with 42 attorneys general including McKenna and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. That agreement requires users who post erotic services ads to provide a working phone number and pay a fee with a valid credit card, which McKenna said helps provide a road map for law enforcement to track down criminals. The company will continue to charge for postings to its new adult services section.

craigslist graph

Pressure to remove the erotic services category increased this spring after a Boston medical student was charged with killing a masseuse who authorities say he met through Craigslist. Last week, several attorneys general met with Craigslist officials to discuss their concerns.


McKenna is in Philadelphia today attending a national policy summit to address strategies to empower children and their parents on the safe use of online technology. Attorneys general will discuss MySpace and Facebook updates, cyberbullying, the dangers of peer-to-peer file sharing networks and current trends in online safety technology, among other topics.

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Media Contact:  Kristin Alexander, Media Relations Manager, (206) 464-6432