Monday, September 06, 2010
Craigslist started to block adult content from its site over the weekend with the word "censored" in place of the word "adult." Some are interpreting this as a protest against attorneys general who were pushing the site to get rid of ads for prostitution, among other X-rated services. From a Free Speech point of view, this is a good PR move. From a moral behavior point of view, it is suspect. The attorneys general have a point that adult services rarely occur without some criminality associated with them, so why allow them to advertise? It is a hard call for an organization like Craigslist, especially since it is costing them tens of millions in revenue. It might not be so hard a call, if Craigslist realized that scoundrels of all sorts abuse Free Speech regularly to their advantage and to the cost of society at large. From a broader PR perspective, Craigslist should not have allowed the services in the first place.