CYBERSPACE—In one of the most immediate and alarming reactions to the U.S. Congress' passing Wednesday of the bill known as SESTA/FOSTA ostensibly intended to fight sex trafficking facilitated by online platforms, communal advertising site Craigslist.org shut down its perennially popular personals section.
Each of the links to the site's various types of personal ads—even "strictly platonic"—now lead to a page displaying the following message:
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!
This marks an indefinite end to one of the earliest pioneers of online dating—though the site already was forced in 2010 to close down its "adult services" section following pressure from a number of state attorneys general to do so on the grounds it was a hotbed of illegal prostitution and sex trafficking.