Those who have used Craigslist to meet romantic, platonic, or sexual partner will soon have to find another outlet. Founded in 1995 the site has had online classified ads, however, this will be it's last week - and that includes the "casual encounters" listings and sex-sex ads - "m4m, etc.
While the subsections are still listed under “personals,” the site is now redirecting users to the following message:
US Congress just passed HR 1865, "FOSTA", seeking to subject websites to criminal and civil liability when third parties (users) misuse online personals unlawfully.
Any tool or service can be misused. We can't take such risk without jeopardizing all our other services, so we are regretfully taking craigslist personals offline. Hopefully we can bring them back some day.
To the millions of spouses, partners, and couples who met through craigslist, we wish you every happiness!
The aforementioned bill, H.R.1865, entitled "Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017” passed the Senate on March 21 and is currently awaiting President Donald Trump’s signature. Commonly referred to as FOSTA, the bill amends section 230 of the Communications Act of 1934 (which prevents platforms like Facebook from being held liable in situations of harassment, hate speech, cyberbullying, etc.), to make websites criminally liable for knowingly hosting, assisting, supporting, or facilitating sex trafficking.
The bill came to life following insights discovered in a Senate investigation report, “Backpage.com’s Knowing Facilitation of Online Sex Trafficking” which found that the website Backpage.com — a similar classifieds site to Craigslist — knowingly allowed advertisements for child prostitution.
The Internet Association called the bill “overly broad” and “counterproductive” in the campaign to fight human trafficking. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., but is considered to be a bipartisan bill.
Craigslist's personal ads section was never created to facilitate sex trafficking and prostitution, buy somehow it worked it's way onto the Craigslist platform. The company made national headlines when in 2010 it was reveiled that women were being prostituted by pimps on Craigslist.
Critics of the current bill fear that it will put sex workers in more dangerous position. “The problem is that these bills target websites that are widely and inaccurately believed to be hubs of trafficking activity when it is precisely those websites that enable people in the sex trades to do their work safely and independently, at the same time as they make it easier for authorities to find and investigate possible trafficking cases.” stated by Alana Massey in Allure Magazine.
I suppose those that use Craigslist will have to find another outlet; at least for now.