Craigslist Action On Adult Ads Is One Right Step Down A Long Road

Professor Ryan Calo, a research fellow at Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society, is quoted on the efforts of 20 attorneys general to prevent the posting of salacious ads on Craigslist:

Craigslist wasn't forced to shut down its "adult services" section on the popular online community board, but it did last weekend. And that's worth celebrating.

Legal experts say Craigslist could have continued offering the space, which law enforcement and victim advocacy groups blame for making it easier to find and sell underage victims of sex trafficking.

Craigslist and other Web site operators are largely shielded from liability arising from content entered by third parties. And the legal efforts of 20 attorneys general to stop ads promoting illegal activities weren't likely to pay off. (Oregon was not among states involved.) But as M. Ryan Calo, a senior research fellow at Stanford's Center for Internet and Society, told The New York Times recently, "What's happened here is the states' attorneys general, having failed to win in court and in litigation, have decided to revisit this in the court of public opinion, and in the court of public opinion they have been much more successful."