Direct Line Blog

Craigslist CEO sues SC over potential charges

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This report in the AP today notes that Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster "wants a restraining order to keep Attorney General Henry McMaster from pursuing criminal charges" if "an ad on the site leads to a prostitution case in South Carolina."

Interesting conundrum for the classifieds giant, which dropped its "erotic services" section after facing heat when a man allegedly killed a woman he met through the section.

It's part of an ongoing issue for e-commerce that we've reported on: How responsible are sites for the products (or services) its users sell? Who is really committing the crime? Do the sites have an obligation to report sketchy auctions or ads?

Most sites have terms of service that prohibit sales most consumers find objectionable or the law expressly prohibits. However, online users are savvy and are always going to find workarounds. Could a suit like this put undue pressure on sites that they may not ever be able to fully release from themselves? We'll be watching this closely.
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