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A violation of 1st Amendment rights?

Posted by: | September 13, 2010 | No Comment |

The First Amendment Coalition reported in early Sep. that attorneys general in 18 states “demanded” that Craigslist.org removethe sites adult services page, arguing that Craigslist was not doing enough to stop ads for “illicit services” in Aug.  Last week Craigslist placed a black “Censored” bar over the adult services page.

Did the attorneys generals over step there bounds? Has state action taken place? Or did Craigslist simply crumble to the threat of a lawsuit?

Craigslist’s response is itself an act of free speech — a cleaver response to its legitimate concern that the attorneys general are over-reaching in their effort to regulate Craigslist’s content,” said Thomas Burk, an attorney at David Wright Tremaine on The Hill.com.

According to PCWorld.com Craigslist founder Craig Newmark has been “adamant about keeping Craigslist more about a community than a dysfunctional corporate entity.” Reported polls from The Washington Post and Mashable show that “many find nothing wrong with the ads or prostitution itself.”

Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier from Hillsborough has set up a House Judiciary Committee hearing this month to look into how sites such as Craigslist are being used to “facilitate criminal activity.”

Reports state that the adult services site will not remain permanently down, but the question still stands in the mean time: has Craigslist first amendment rights been violated?

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