Feb 20, 2008

Craigslist Legal Battle

The legal battle continues as to whether online site craigslist.org is allowed federal liability protections for discriminatory housing ads posted by site users that violate the Fair Housing Act. The Fair Housing Act makes it illegal "to make, print or publish, or cause to be made, printed or published" discriminatory notices, statements or ads for rental and for-sale property. There have been reported housing-related postings on craigslist.org that included discriminatory language such as “no minorities”,“Jewish neighborhood”, and “no children”. Realtors are careful to follow the Fair Housing Act, however many postings on craigslist are without Realtors. The case centers on whether craigslist is considered a publisher, like a newspaper, that has related liabilities for their published content or whether craigslist is a service that has protections when users conduct illegal activity (such as a telephone service). You can follow the case on the Real Estate Law Blog.

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