Fresh on the heels of a controversy involving its erotic services ads section, craigslist has opened another can of worms. In his keynote at the Computers, Freedom, and Privacy 2009 conference today, founder Craig Newmark said he recently spoke with a customer who made a compelling case for allowing gun ads on the classifieds site.
Newmark said that craigslist is always evolving in response to requests from its customers. “We are driven by our community,” he said. That’s how Newmark and CEO Jim Buckmaster arrived at the decision to pull the site’s erotic services section, he said. South Carolina’s attorney general had pressured craigslist to make the move by threatening the site’s management with criminal investigation.
While craigslist’s execs are still weighing allowing gun ads on the site, they are already looking to make its content available in more languages. In his keynote, Newmark also underlined growing importance of cell phones in accessing mobile content — which could be an indication that craigslist will do more in mobile in the coming months. Other sites have created applications that are tailored to users of popular devices like the iPhone; so far, craigslist hasn’t followed suit.