COVID-19: New York orders Craigslist to remove ads of fake treatments

It is no secret that coronavirus-related scams are flourishing (the FCC has issued a guide to prevent them), and New York is now exerting legal pressure to stop them. Letitia James State Attorney General ordered Craigslist to “immediately” remove ads that sell fake COVID-19 treatments or get involved in pricing items such as hand sanitizer. James also asked Craigslist to make all of its “proactive efforts” to identify and protect these ads.

In addition, James sent letters to GoDaddy and five other Internet registrars asking them to stop registering domain names for virus-related scams and to delete names already in use. Although this was not an order, the Attorney General warned that these sites are likely to violate “various laws” in addition to the terms of service.

It will not be surprising if companies step up their action in response if they haven’t already. Even if they are not forced in the public interest, threats of legal action and negative public perception can shift the balance. Whatever the reasons, repression can be vital if it prevents people from wasting money and exposing themselves to the virus.

Originally posted 2020-03-21 01:20:49.

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