Craigslist Removes Their Personals Section – Result Of SESTA?


Craigslist Removes Personals Section Post-SESTA

Craigslist, the world’s most popular classifieds site, has removed it’s personals section days after the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA) was passed. SESTA (and similar proposed legislation) was primarily created to combat BackPage, who was known for allowing people (including escorts) to advertise adult services. Because the government couldn’t convict due to “Safe Harbor” provisions of other laws. SESTA would amend those other laws, in what opponents say will ‘remove the safety nets provided to webmasters and hinder Free Speech and a free internet’. Opponents also argue that the law will hurt independent and legit escorts, while giving the bad players even more power and protection, by moving everything further into the shadows.


Craigslist’s Official Statement:

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!


What Other Mainstream Platforms Are Next?

SESTA just passed, so everything is still very new. Craigslist was very fast to react by dropping services, and you got to wonder if they’re going to be the first of many. Only time will tell. Another thing to keep in mind is that until a court rules on a SESTA case, there isn’t any precedent set. So at this point, there’s still some questions to be answered and somewhat of a ‘gray area’ until a court actually rules on specific language.

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