Craigslist shuts down its personal ads section — in the US, at least.
The shutdown of the personals section follows Congress' passing of H.R. 1865, an act that fights online sex trafficking in the country. This piece of legislation holds websites accountable for any criminal misuse of their services. Craigslist released a statement saying, "We can't take such risk without jeopardizing all our other services, so we are regretfully taking craigslist personals offline."
The website, to most of the mainstream online world, is known to be a cesspool for stranger danger and scams. But the Internet isn't all happy about this move. While some are just upset about losing their fun flings, others are mourning the loss of a channel for sex workers to safely screen clients.
RIP craigslist personals I made lotsa money & met a lot of beautiful humans & also some tragic ones on you — gay inch rest (@missunitedface) March 23, 2018
RIP Craigslist Personals… lots of memories. 😢 First ever gay experience… with a guy in my biology class! Met in his truck at a park late at night. I was so nervous. Could you imagine my reaction when he sent a face pic? I sat like 2 seats away from him. Ha, good times. pic.twitter.com/iisOCuMuxk — Florida Bro (@floridabromo_) March 24, 2018
CityVibe and craigslist personals (platforms heavily used by poc and survival sex workers) have already shut down in the wake of #FOSTA and #SESTA
Thousands of people who were already just making ends meet lost their income source OVERNIGHT. — Vee Chattie (@VeeChattie) March 23, 2018
And now Craigslist personals are down too?! CityVibe, TER ads and CL all in a space of 12 hours.
This is going to hurt the most marginalised struggling workers the hardest and I'm in actual tears about it.
Use #survivorsagainstsesta to tell a story. Essentially this bill's going to shut down websites that allow sex workers to safely find/screen clients. Craigslist personals is gone, as well as sex worker forums on reddit. Convos re: sex/safety are being censored & this is beginning — Willam (@willam) March 23, 2018
Still, others are talking about how this violates Americans' rights to free speech, and how FOSTA/ SESTA is unconstitutional.
Twitter is violating #FOSTA right now. So is almost every other website you love. This is not about "websites that host sex traffickers," @tomjackmanwp — Elizabeth Nolan Brown (@ENBrown) March 22, 2018
Shout out to U.S
You spend so much time screaming into the void about 'Free Speech' & not tolerating censorship - yet you allow bills like #SESTA / #FOSTA to pass through government nearly unchallenged
I guess when rights are stripped away it doesn't matter if it's #SexWorkers — Cameron H❤rt in Sydney (@CameronHartAus) March 20, 2018
This the shortest explanation I can give of at least one argument for why #FOSTA / #SESTA are unconstitutional.
And in light of the current issues surrounding gun laws, people are calling out Congress for holding third-party websites like Craigslist accountable, but not gun manufacturers or retailers.
Note the irony of #FOSTA: Congress refuses to make gun companies or retailers liable for the shooting deaths of its users, but it has made websites liable for hosting sex trafficking created by its users.https://t.co/raSCofyZPJ — Ryan Smith (@RyanSmithWriter) March 24, 2018
Yet again, Twitter raises some pretty good points. We're all for making cyberspace safe, but is this "anti-sex trafficking" bill really the solution we need?