With Congress' recent passing of the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA), gone are the days of missed connections and anonymous personal ads.
Craigslist released a statement to its users:
U.S. 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 initial push for FOSTA dates back to 2016, when Carl Ferrer, the CEO of the online classified ad site Backpage, was arrested on sex-trafficking charges. The issue was eventually taken to Congress, where there was pressure to reprimand Backpage and comparable networks.
Though non-queer folks will also be affected by the measure, LGBT people, in particular, rely on the Internet to find sex, romance, and love. With Craigslist's Personals gone, they'll have one less online avenue to find community.
Reddit has since shut down its personals section as well, and similar sites are expected to do the same.