Craigslist in response to the Senate’s recent passing of a controversial sex trafficking bill has shut down the personals section of its website.
The section still shows up on the classifieds site but clicking any of the links redirects users to a statement on its position. In it, Craigslist notes that any tool or service can be misused and that they can’t take that sort of risk without jeopardizing all of their other services. As such, they’ve taken personals offline.
Craigslist wished the millions of spouses, couples and partners that have met through its personals happiness, adding that it hopes to bring the section back some day.
The bill in question, the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA, H.R. 1865), passed by a vote of 97-2 in the US Senate earlier this week. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, an opponent of the bill, argues that it silences online speech by forcing Internet platforms to censor their users. The EFF adds that as lobbyists and members of Congress applaud themselves for enacting a law to tackle the issue of trafficking, “let’s be clear: Congress just made trafficking victims less safe, not more.”
In Craigslist's statement, it says the bill seeks “to subject websites to criminal and civil liability when third parties (users) misuse online personals unlawfully.”
Proponents of the bill argue that it’ll help curb online sex trafficking.
The bill will now head to President Trump’s desk to be signed into law.