Craigslist Not Held Accountable For Discriminatory Housing Ads

Posted Mar 15, 2008

“The soapbox is not liable for what the speaker has said,” stated Kurt Opsahl, senior staff attorney of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit organization.

Craigslist was taken to court recently. The lawsuit was regarding whether Craigslist should be held accountable for housing ads that contain discrimination. Craigslist won the case based on a decision at the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Craigslist is a classifieds web site where 30 million posts are made per month. Craigslist generates revenue by charging certain major cities a dollar amount per post. The Associated Press called this decision, a triumph for web sites that receive user-generated content.

A consortium of lawyers in Chicago, Ill. got together and decided to accuse Craigslist for over 100 ads that prevented potential housing buyers to be customers.  Some of the ads that appeared in the housing ads included: “NO MINORITIES,” “Requirements: Clean Godly Christian Male” and “Only Muslims apply.”

“We’re pleased the Court agreed that online service providers like Craigslist should not be held liable as `publishers’ of content submitted by their users, and view this outcome as a win for the general public’s ability to self-publish content (such as free classified ads) on the Internet,” stated CEO of Craigslist, Jim Buckmaster.

Craigslist was founded by Craig Newmark.

[Information Source: Associated Press via Google]