Yesterday Craigslist announced that it had filed a lawsuit suing Henry McMaster. Jim Buckmaster also revealed that a restraining order was part of that lawsuit. Henry McMaster’s response? Something along the lines of, “Finally!”
It seems what we assumed was wrong in the first place was actually what happened. From yesterday’s statement, we’re fairly sure McMaster didn’t understand that the ‘Erotic Services’ section was to stay online for 7 days (but not accept new postings).
In a statement issued yesterday afternoon, McMaster said the lawsuit meant Craigslist was finally taking the issue seriously. McMaster backed up his claims by pointing out the erotic services section had been removed.
“The defensive legal action craigslist has taken against the solicitors and my office is good news. It shows that craigslist is taking the matter seriously for the first time. More importantly, overnight they have removed the erotic services section from their website, as we asked them to do. And they are now taking responsibility for the content of their future advertisements. If they keep their word, this is a victory for law enforcement and for the people of South Carolina.”
We don’t need to remind you guys of the timeline -- however Craigslist froze the ‘Erotic Services’ section, pending their removal a week ago, saying it would be seven days before they were completely removed. They also said they were making the changes because when Attorneys General make noise, you have to listen. A couple of days later, McMaster said he would go ahead with the planned criminal investigation (and potential prosecution) because as of 5 p.m. Friday, “craigslist South Carolina site continued to display advertisements for prostitution and graphic pornographic material.”
We’re pretty much ready to write this whole thing off as AG Henry McMaster not getting his facts straight before he launched a groundless criminal investigation to boost his gubernatorial campaign. Now that the erotic services section is offline (and went offline at the scheduled time) and things are getting more serious, he’s declaring victory and oh so willing to forget the whole thing ever happened as long as they keep themselves in check.
"Unfortunately, we had to inform them of possible state criminal violations concerning their past practices to produce a serious response. We trust they will now adhere to the higher standards they have promised. This office and the law enforcement agencies of South Carolina will continue to monitor the site to make certain that our laws are respected.”
Let that be the end of this ridiculous legal battle.