Water’s Edge

September 4, 2010

Water’s Edge” (2008), acrylics, plastic shoe, on canvas, 18″ x 32″


September 4, 2010

I have never visited Craigslist and have therefore never seen their “Adult Services” section. That means I have no idea what was on it, and nor do I care. There has for years been pressure on the website to close down these postings and now, after a number of State Attorneys General wrote to the company, the listings have been made inaccessible — at least in the US — and blocked by a sign saying “Censored”.

I am sure regular readers here will know that I don’t believe in censorship of any kind and I find this latest attack on free speech to be just as disgraceful and patronising as any other. The interesting point is that the AGs could only use pressure, not the law:

M. Ryan Calo, a senior research fellow at the Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet & Society: “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.”

As the Times suggests, the “Censored” sign may be Craiglist’s way of thumbing their nose at the AGs rather than an actual capitulation.  However, if that is not the case, what evidence is there that “public opinion” was on the side of the AGs I wonder?