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SC to Craigslist: That Lawsuit Means We Win

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 28 comments

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.

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  • 19 Hide
    eqdarkleaf , May 21, 2009 3:04 PM
    Way to twist the facts to make yourself look important, like you have done something for the greater good of humanity.

    I can see the comercials now... "I went to battle with major prostitution rings and rid SC of its evils for you, the people".
  • 12 Hide
    frozenlead , May 21, 2009 3:16 PM
    Craigslist should continue with the suit. We don't need idiots like this as AG's. They need to bring to light that they were right in the first place, and not allow a politician to just mull it over and shrug it off.
  • 11 Hide
    jadedgamerx , May 21, 2009 3:15 PM
    McMaster is the kind of man I would like to have castrated to make certain he doesn't allow his idiocy and ignorance back into the gene pool.
Other Comments
  • 19 Hide
    eqdarkleaf , May 21, 2009 3:04 PM
    Way to twist the facts to make yourself look important, like you have done something for the greater good of humanity.

    I can see the comercials now... "I went to battle with major prostitution rings and rid SC of its evils for you, the people".
  • 11 Hide
    jadedgamerx , May 21, 2009 3:15 PM
    McMaster is the kind of man I would like to have castrated to make certain he doesn't allow his idiocy and ignorance back into the gene pool.
  • 12 Hide
    frozenlead , May 21, 2009 3:16 PM
    Craigslist should continue with the suit. We don't need idiots like this as AG's. They need to bring to light that they were right in the first place, and not allow a politician to just mull it over and shrug it off.
  • 5 Hide
    scryer_360 , May 21, 2009 3:33 PM
    @ Tank: why is it that you rednecks and nazis came out of the woodwork and onto the web after Obama won? Go dig your holes and stay in them. The only thing this did for South Carolina is forced people to find another website, and there are plenty of them.

    McMaster is just using this to try and lure old people and religious people to voting for him, regardless of his other platforms. He can make some blanket statement about values now and just sweep up these voters, he doesn't have to make an appeal on real policy initiatives.

    Just go ahead and search "massage" and "south carolina." And be sure to do it with no children in the room, because it might offend tank's fragile mind.
  • 3 Hide
    dman3k , May 21, 2009 3:41 PM
    SC taking credit... If you believe that guy, you're a moron, almost to the level as Mac lovers...
  • 7 Hide
    fuser , May 21, 2009 3:52 PM
    Now someone needs to catch McMaster with some prostitute's knickers in his teeth.
  • 2 Hide
    kingnoobe , May 21, 2009 4:17 PM
    Don't worry fuser I'm sure it won't be long. It's funny how most of the guys that scream bloody murderer about this kind of stuff are the ones that get caught doing it. I'm sure he's probably no different, probably just got ripped off by one and now it made him upset and cry.
  • -7 Hide
    clavote , May 21, 2009 4:25 PM
    The AG's actions not withstanding, it is a good thing CL has shut down a source of child prostitution. We would like to see the AGs take action against other venues for child prostitution. We would also like to see AG's prosecute pimps and treat child prostitutes as victims so they can be helped and removed from the situation that puts them in continued harm.
    However anyone feels about prostitution, we need to thank Craigslist for shutting down a main vehicle for CHILD Prostitution. Thank you Craigslist!
  • 0 Hide
    nerdherd , May 21, 2009 4:30 PM
    I'm glad to see that stupidity is over...
  • 0 Hide
    captaincharisma , May 21, 2009 4:34 PM
    easy just send a prostitute that was in the exotic section of craigslist over to his office and get a picture of him beside him/her lol
  • 2 Hide
    Parrdacc , May 21, 2009 5:12 PM
    So what happens now? People will just go to other online services or printed venues to get what they want? Then after they get forced or sued to take down any erotic services it will just flood the streets with these erotic services. Of course when that happens law enforcement will cry they need more money to counter act whats on the street. I just still do not understand why they never went after the actual people who posted, not hosted, these services. Nothing has really changed imo. The "goods and services" are still available so Mr. Henry McMaster how can you possiably declare victory. You still have not gotten rid of the real problem. Seems to me if your going to make issue out of this by going after Craigslist you would actually target the real perpetrators but you clearly did not. So I congratulate Mr. Henry McMaster for his complete lack of foresight and still leaving the real problem unresolved. Oh yeah, McMaster for Govenor! He really fights for the people! Sort of.:) 
  • 0 Hide
    mdillenbeck , May 21, 2009 5:23 PM
    Um, so what about all those other sites they threw up in the blog, like the yellowpages.com adult services link and so forth? I guess its okay for those guys to not take their advertising responsibility seriously...
  • 0 Hide
    maigo , May 21, 2009 5:57 PM
    This is sooooo stupid
  • 1 Hide
    chripuck , May 21, 2009 6:00 PM
    clavoteThe AG's actions not withstanding, it is a good thing CL has shut down a source of child prostitution. We would like to see the AGs take action against other venues for child prostitution. We would also like to see AG's prosecute pimps and treat child prostitutes as victims so they can be helped and removed from the situation that puts them in continued harm.However anyone feels about prostitution, we need to thank Craigslist for shutting down a main vehicle for CHILD Prostitution. Thank you Craigslist!


    And you know this how? You been cruising for child prostitutes? Sicko...

    That being said I have one word about McMaster... douche.
  • 1 Hide
    p05esto , May 21, 2009 6:12 PM
    Henry McMaster is a complete idiot and the new person to hate in America. If adults want to get together and date, have dinner and a drink who cares? If that fun night out gets hot and heavy who should stop them? Why is this illegal again? i think amlost everyone sides with Craigslist on this. let adults make their own decisions if they want to go to this section or not...good grief.
  • 0 Hide
    The Schnoz , May 21, 2009 6:17 PM
    Way to go South Carolina, now johns looking for hookers will get their hookers from a pimp on the street intead of paying a woman for her services after meeting her at her apartment, or whatever. I just don't see this as a win. On another topic, I would never pay for sex, not directly at least ;) , but I think prostitution should be legal. Don't get me wrong, I think it's morally wrong, but what gives the government the right to tell us what we can and can't do with our bodies. Drugs can be illegal because thwey're a substance, but sex can't be made illegal, soneither should payng for or being paid for sex. Why can't it just be legal but highly frowned upon, like being a pornstar, which really isn't much different and in many ways a lot worse.
  • 1 Hide
    gm0n3y , May 21, 2009 6:23 PM
    eqdarkleafWay to twist the facts to make yourself look important, like you have done something for the greater good of humanity.I can see the comercials now... "I went to battle with major prostitution rings and rid SC of its evils for you, the people".


    Exactly. He's not stupid though, he planned this. He wanted to do the "get tough on crime" thing and he knew that CL was going to take down the section shortly after. Once its down, he declares victory. Actually a pretty good political move on his part. The average voter is too stupid and uninformed to realize that he is a dipshit.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , May 21, 2009 7:10 PM
    Yeah... this was just posted in my local newspaper, even though I've been following it online. Totally TWISTED the FACTS, which were: McMaster wanted the ES section down, and Craig's List was like: "Hmm, well that sounds reasonable, we'll begin taking it down now. It will take 7 days for it to be completely removed from our system."
    McMasters: "It's been 4 days, I can still see your ES section, prepare to be prosecuted"
    Buckmaster: "WTF? We told you we were removing it and it would take a week. I'm going to request a restraining order for you so you can sit and watch as the section gets taken down like we said it would."
    McMasters: "We win everyone! I have fought tirelessly to make our community safe from prostitution, and it's ringleader Craig's List! Rejoice, your children are safe! If Craig's list ever tries this again, we will hit them even HARDER!"

    I pity the people of SC. If McMasters really understood the steps Craig's List was taking to remove the section, then he's a snake, twisting words into getting what he wants, glory. If he really didn't understand what Craig's List told him, then his ignorance levels are off the charts and electing him to ANY office would be ill-advised. How hard can it be to understand: "It will take seven days to remove the section, please give us 7 days before having a crap-fit"
  • 0 Hide
    hakesterman , May 21, 2009 7:14 PM
    I agree this doesn't change anything. Law enforcement is barking
    up the wrong tree. I think they just want attention because they
    aren't getting any out in the real world by accomplishing anything
    important. It won't be long and South Caralina's law inforcement
    will be long forgottin.
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