A Chicago fair housing group has sued classified ad Web site craigslist for allegedly publishing discriminatory advertisements, the Chicago Tribune reported yesterday.
With a few exceptions, it’s free to post classified ads on craigslist, and you can upload photos with your ads – a boon to consumers selling stuff ranging from cars to used baby clothes to, in some cases, their homes.
In the classic tradition of no good deed going unpunished, the Chicago Lawyers Committee For Civil Rights Under Law is suing craigslist for allegedly violating the Fair Housing Act.
The question is, should craigslist be held accountable for ads it publish, written by other people.
Craigslist does run a disclaimer on its site: “Stating a discriminatory preference in a housing post is illegal – please flag discriminatory posts as “prohibited.”
But, should it be required to manage and maintain all its listings? It wouldn’t be a “bulletin board”, then, but more of a service, and that would probably mean much more work on the part of craigslist, increasing its costs, and perhaps reducing its effectiveness.
I have to side with craigslist on this one. I think they do enough.
Source: Free craigslist! Inman News blog
Craig Newmark: On the lawsuit filed against us
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