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Craigslist CEO To AG: You Owe Us An Apology

Online site's top exec says wrongly accusing Craigslist of criminal misconduct is 'beyond the pale.'

"Our adult ad screening regimen is stricter than the one you endorsed," blasted Buckmaster in a scorching blog post. "We're willing to accept our share of criticism, but wrongfully accusing Craigslist of criminal misconduct is simply beyond the pale."

"We would very much appreciate an apology at your very earliest convenience," said Buckmaster. "As I'm sure would all of the other fine companies whose executives you've called out as criminals."

Craigslist has been under fire since a Boston University medical student, Philip Markoff, was accused of murdering a woman, Julissa Brisman, who had posted an ad on the Craigslist Web site offering massages.

Buckmaster's blog post came after South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster threatened legal action against Craigslist.

This was after Craigslist buckled to pressure from McMaster and other law enforcement officials and effectively closed down Craigslist's controversial "erotic services" section in favor of an administrator-moderated "adult services" section.

Buckmaster pointed out that what he called the "dramatic changes" at Craigslist were "widely applauded by other attorneys general" and "go far beyond the policies and procedures that McMaster himself endorsed just six months ago."

"Our 'adult services' and soon-to-be-retired 'erotic services' sections combined, for all cities in South Carolina, currently feature a total of 40 ads, all of which comply with our terms of use," snapped Buckmaster. "That's 40 ads out of a total of 334,180 currently listed on our SC sites. The rest comprise a thriving marketplace for South Carolinians offering jobs, housing, for-sale items, local services and just about everything else.

"Many prominent companies, including AT&T, Microsoft and Village Voice Media, not to mention major newspapers and other upstanding South Carolina businesses, feature more 'adult services' ads than does Craigslist, some of a very graphic nature," continued Buckmaster. And then he promptly directed the South Carolina Attorney General to links to 11 sites.

"Have you fully considered the implications of your accusations against Craigslist?" questioned Buckmaster. "What's a crime for Craigslist is clearly a crime for any company. Are you really prepared to condemn the executives of each of the mainstream companies linked above, and all the others that feature such ads, as criminals?"

Buckmaster's blog post drew applause from Craigslist fans.

"Another Bible Belt politician exploiting the religious sheep infesting the South with his feigned outrage and superior morality complex," said Mike in Milwaukee in a comment response. "Maybe you should countersue the office."

"Please resign from your position as AG, effective immediately," wrote Jake in a response to the McMaster threat. "The people of SC do not need you wasting their tax money on you trying to further your political career."

"I am embarrassed to admit I live in the great nation of South Carolina, where the governor is obviously doing nothing for our state, all-the-while he is posturing for a race to the Whitehouse in 2012," said Patrick in another comment.

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