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You may notice that the M4M section of Craigslist is gone with an broken page or message from the site. In response to the Senate passing H.R.1865, an anti-online sex trafficking bill that has the potential to seriously harm consenting, adult sex workers, Craigslist has shuttered its all of its personals sections. This includes the massage ones and yes the platonic ones. The official erotic sections were already shut down.
Early Friday morning, Craigslist made a public post regarding the bill commonly known as FOSTA (Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act) that explained the logic behind their decision to shut down one of the most widely-used subsections of the platform. The message was straight and to the point:
“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!”
Because of most of Congress and FOSTA, websites like Craigslist where sex workers commonly posted ads for their services would be legally responsible for the whatever kinds of illegal interactions users ultimately took part in.
They expect FOSTA to play a role in fighting off sex trafficking. In reality the bill (as is the case here) is causing a chilling effect that gooses sites like Craigslist to close up at least part of their shop and actively hurts consenting sex workers who rely on the website. As drastic as it may seem, it’s easy to understand the why of Craigslist’s decision to avoid the consequences of FOSTA, but the question now is whether other sites frequently used by sex workers will follow suit.
This is ultimately just bigger government controlling us when it comes to two consenting adults:
One person online was quoted saying:
Once again the wandering morals of the GOP are in play.
They want smaller government…unless its things they don’t like.
They want smaller government…unless its about stuff that scares them.
They want smaller government…unless its legislating the bedroom.
They want smaller government…unless its to tell you exactly how you should live your life.
They want smaller government…until it impacts them directly.
Remember, the GOP just wants to dictate your sex life and make rich people richer. That is the sum total of their real agenda. If you believe anything else you are a damn fool.
Although one of the only NO votes was Kentucky (R) Senator Rand Paul. We have to thank our true libertarians when it comes to our freedoms although that is normally not the same from Senator Ted Cruz that is fighting against Beto in Texas.
This just didn’t happen to Craigslist personals. Backpage has also announced they will no longer provide personals. If this takes down all personals sites then maybe it will be a wake up call to repeal this ridiculous bill. We wonder if Grindr will get more strict with the relaxed hands we see on the app: