Craigslist Missoula lists three adult services ads this week. One of them, posted by self-proclaimed sexy ebony bombshell "Kiyera Amour," says she's flexible and also mobile, willing to visit in your home or hers. Another, posted by "Vikki," displays a picture of a leggy blonde wearing a red push-up bra and a short black skirt. Vikki offers to "come make Your day Extra Special."
Pitches like this are raising the ire of Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock, who signed off on a letter Aug. 24—along with attorneys general from 19 other states—demanding Craigslist remove its adult services section from the online marketplace.
"Because Craigslist cannot, or will not, adequately screen these ads, it should stop accepting them altogether and shut down the adult services section," states the letter addressed to Craigslist founder Craig Newmark and CEO Jim Buckmaster.
Bullock told the Independent in an interview this week that this isn't the first time state officials have asked Craigslist to tone down erotic, and allegedly illegal, advertising. More than a year ago, the same coalition of attorneys general asked the company to clean up its act. Craigslist responded by replacing the "erotic services" category with "adult services" and promised to screen ads more thoroughly.
"The changes are insufficient," Bullock says.
Bullock and the other attorneys allege the site continues to provide a venue for individuals engaged not only in prostitution but also sex trafficking.
Craigslist spokeswoman Susan MacTavish Best says the company is committed to working with law enforcement to ensure the online marketplace operates aboveboard.
"We strongly support the attorneys general desire to end trafficking in children and women, through the Internet or by any other means," MacTavish Best said in a statement. "We hope to work closely with them, as we are with experts at nonprofits and in law enforcement, to prevent misuse of our site in facilitation of trafficking, and to combat such crimes wherever they appear, online or offline."
A request asking the company to detail specific steps Craigslist plans on taking went unanswered.
Bullock says he's optimistic Craigslist will comply with the most recent formal request. If not, the attorneys will reconvene to plan their next move.