No Such Thing As Craigslist Censorship the last twenty-four hours Craigslist has “censored” their adult services section. When users go to access that facet of the site they will now be met with a black bar reading “censored.” I wish this post was a celebratory one, or at least a sigh of relief for a step in the right direction. It, however, is not.

Last month, Craigslist founder Craig Newmark gave an interview to CNN where he attempted to dodge and disarm questions regarding whether the Craigslist site facilitates child prostitution. Craig’s shaky, tangential response was far from an answer and it wasn’t just the correspondent who noticed. In the wake of the interview, 17 attorney generals multiple states called for the removal of the adult services section. In typical Craigslist fashion, Newmark and Bucky (Jim Buckmaster) pointed the finger elsewhere and attempted to direct attention from the obvious…that their site facilitates child prostitution! AND THEY KNOW IT!

Shockingly, Craigslist minimally acquiesced by censoring that part of their site. Removing it, however, is obviously out of the question. It is likely that once this bit of bad press dissipates, the adult services section will again be up and running. How do I know? Empirically, this tactic has been employed multiple timnes by Craigslist over the past few years. Even when a murder or rape has been attributed to the site, Craigslist has managed to do as little as possible during the headlines, and then revert back to their regular practices once a new tragedy occurs. It is a sick twisted cycle that is in full swing throughout media outlets today.

The last thing people should be doing is applauding Craigslist’s “effort.” Their personal ads section is still fully functioning, providing the same prostitution promoting features as their adult services section. Such illegal activities are simply being posted under a different name. Instead of “adult services,” one can access “casual encounters.” Last time I checked, casual encounters were still very adult. They are also full of the same ads that adult services section contained…including those that facilitate the exploitation of children.

The personal ads section also lacks any sort of regulatory features. Posting in this section does not subject a user to a more rigorous screening simply because the classification is more PG. Craigslist is able to operate per usual, while receiving an undeserved commendation for change. This is not right.

It isn’t the existence of one section over another that makes a difference…it comes down to regulation and responsibility. Until Craigers and Bucky opt for accountability, no one should cheer on their manipulative tactics. A headline today does not ensure safety for their users tomorrow.