Currently, Craigslist only charges for job and housing listing in certain cities (NY, San Francisco) and still maintains its “non-corporate” culture and says it will donate fees from the “erotic services” ads to charities. The cost of placing the ads, payable only via credit card (another addition to the paper trail), would add to the current requirements of having a telephone number which can be called using computer software.
So what does this mean for the average user of Craigslist? Not much.The site is still almost entirely free and useful for selling old stuff, letting people know about your garage sale, or trying to find a used digital camera. How does it relate to sex? Besides the fact that the changes are directly tied to the complicated issues around sex work in the United States, I don’t think it’s unfair to take the next step and ask when Craigslist might start regulating other parts of its website such as “missed connections” or “casual encounters,” where people might go to find sex partners.
Either way, it’s an interesting development to a very popular website and something to keep an eye on in the future.