Posted March 23, p. EDT Updated March 23, p.
Craigslist, little changed since it unveiled its spare text de in and began to crush the paid print classifieds business, will no longer offer a way for anonymous people to connect for romance or sex. Visitors to the personals section of Craigslist are now redirected to a short statement about the bill, the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act, which gives law enforcement officials greater authority to go after websites used for sex trafficking, while removing protections from legal liability for hosting such content.
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! Some users have found lasting relationships and marriage.
Craigslist has faced criticism over its role in facilitating prostitution and trafficking before. About a decade ago, after reaching an agreement with 40 state attorneys general, it undertook a series of changes in order to curb the practices.
The online forums site Reddit also removed a handful of escort-related communities in recent days, though the ban was part of a broader crackdown on the exchange of weapons, drugs, sexual services, stolen goods and falsified documents.
Many survivors of sex trafficking and the illegal prostitution trade have praised the legislation as a ificant advance in their fight against the practice.
Some tech companies, civil liberties groups and organizations of voluntary sex workers have argued that the FOSTA bill overreaches. Even anti-trafficking organizations are not united in their support.
Freedom Network USA, a coalition of groups, said in a statement that the bill would only drive voluntary sex workers further underground. While Hersh acknowledged that there may be some in the sex trade who use the websites willingly, the bill, she said, will save many others from exploitation.
Published: Updated: National News. Hersh said that some websites known to have been used for trafficking have already disappeared.
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