The popular Web site Craigslist has removed its "adult services" section, surrendering to a brewing legal battle over prostitution and sex trafficking linked to erotic ads posted on its site.
In its place, the massive online classifieds site placed a black bar that reads "censored."
"It certainly appears to be a statement about how they feel about being judged in the court of public opinion," Thomas R. Burke, a First Amendment lawyer at Davis Wright Tremaine who specializes in Internet law, told The New York Times.
Despite Craigslist's action, some say there's still illegal sex trafficking taking place on the site. CBN News spoke with Nathan Burchfiel of the Culture and Media Institute about this. Click play for his comments.
The move comes after several state attorneys general sent the company a letter in August demanding they take the section down.
The states also pressed Craigslist to do more in blocking ads that promote prostitution and other illegal acts.
The site, which has been linked to online prostitution, has for years been embroiled in a legal battle over how much responsibility it bears for its advisements.
"I'm very convinced that this is permanent, even if it was not their intention to make it permanent," Peter M. Zollman, founding principal of the Advanced Interactive Media Group, told the Times.
"I think it will be difficult, if not impossible, for them to go back and reopen that section without really running into a buzzsaw of negative publicity and reaction," he said.