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Free speech and some sex crime victim advocates criticized the removal of the section, saying that it threatened free speech and that it diminished law enforcement's ability to track criminals.However, the removal was applauded by many state attorneys general and some other groups fighting sex crimes.The move came shortly before e Bay's planned spin-off of Pay Pal, and an effort to divest other units to focus on its core business.

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Matt Zimmerman, senior staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said, "Craigslist isn't legally culpable for these posts, but the public pressure has increased and Craigslist is a small company." Brian Carver, attorney and assistant professor at UC Berkeley, said that legal threats could have a chilling effect on online expression.

"If you impose liability on Craigslist, You Tube and Facebook for anything their users do, then they're not going to take chances.

It became a web-based service in 1996 and expanded into other classified categories. Having observed people helping one another in friendly, social, and trusting communal ways on the Internet via the WELL, Mind Vox and Usenet, and feeling isolated as a relative newcomer to San Francisco, Craigslist founder Craig Newmark decided to create something similar for local events.

In early 1995, he began an email distribution list to friends.

In January 2000, current CEO Jim Buckmaster joined the company as lead programmer and CTO.

Buckmaster contributed the site's multi-city architecture, search engine, discussion forums, flagging system, self-posting process, homepage design, personals categories, and best-of-Craigslist feature. On August 1, 2004, Craigslist began charging to post job openings on the New York and Los Angeles pages.

People trying to get technical positions filled found that the list was a good way to reach people with the skills they were looking for. User demand for more categories caused the list of categories to grow.

The initial technology encountered some limits, so by Majordomo had been installed and the mailing list "Craigslist" resumed operations.

e Bay owned approximately 25%, and Newmark is believed to own the largest stake.

to "remedy the substantial and ongoing harm to fair competition" that Craigslist claimed was constituted by e Bay's actions as Craigslist shareholders; the company claimed that it had used its minority stake to gain access to confidential information, which it then used as part of its competing service Kijiji. announced that it would divest its stake back to Craigslist for an undisclosed amount, and settle its litigation with the company.

It would likely result in the takedown of what might otherwise be perfectly legitimate free expression." Craigslist announced on September 15, 2010, that it had closed its adult services in the United States for good.