Craigslist agreed today to crack down on prostitutes using the site to drum up business, Bloomberg reports. The online ad service agreed with 40 states to require that anyone who advertises in its notorious “erotic services” section submit a valid phone number and pay a small fee via credit card. The information could be turned over to police if requested.
The company also sued 14 software companies accused of helping illicit advertisers circumvent filters. The site is visited by an estimated 40 million people in the US each month, Bloomberg notes, yet has a staff of about 30. It largely relies on users to self-police and to “flag” inappropriate postings.