What lies at the seedy intersection of the sex trade and online media? Craigslist, of course -- or at least it did. Under pressure from several state's attorneys general and law enforcement officials, the classifieds site has officially shuttered its "adult services" section worldwide.
"This worldwide shutdown of the erotic services sections on Craigslist is a victory in the fight against sexual exploitation of women and children and human trafficking connected to prostitution," Connecticut attorney general Richard Blumenthal
said in a statement cited by The Wall Street Journal.
"Evidently, it's hard for companies that want to be recognized as legitimate to have any kind of association with something unsavory," writes VentureBeat
And while most news outlets are focusing on similar legal and ethical issues, there's also the little matter of lost revenue.
How much? Oh, about a third of the company's total revenue, according to estimates cited by paidContent
. "The adult services ads, which had cost $10 each to post in the U.S., were a significant portion of the company's revenue -- almost $45 million of the $122 million in [worldwide] revenue the company would have made this year."
Regarding what was once called "Erotic Services" on Craigslist, Mashable put estimates closer to $36 million in revenue
Craigslist originally removed adult services ads in the United States on September 3 following months of pressure.
At the time, writes Agence France Presse
, "Craigslist said it was being made a scapegoat and stressed its efforts to pre-screen all submissions and work with state law enforcement and advocacy groups."