The popular classifieds website has announced it has pulled its personal ads section from the site. Craiglist made the move after the passage of the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) on Wednesday. The act makes it easier for sex trafficking victims and prosecutors to sue websites that allowed sex traffickers to post ads on the sites. Numerous tech companies fought against the bill arguing they couldn’t be held liable for what people post on their platforms. In a brief statement about the nixing of its personal ads section, Craigslist said:
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!
FOSTA has been highly criticized by advocates for sex workers who say its overly broad language could result in this already-marginalized community being pushed further underground. More on that here.