BY WILLIAM MANSELL ON 3/23/18 AT 1:31 PM
Craigslist's personals section shut down today in response to the passage of H.R. 1865, also called the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) bill, the company announced Friday.
“U.S. Congress just passed HR 1865, ‘FOSTA’, seeking to subject websites to criminal and civil liability when third parties (users) misuse online personals unlawfully,” Craigslist said in a statement. “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.”
Craigslist’s personals section featured several categories including "strictly platonic," "women seeking women," "women seeking men," "men seeking women," "men seeking men," "misc romance" and "casual encounters." When a user clicks on any personals link now, they are directed to Craigslist’s statement about the section shutting down.
The FOSTA bill easily passed the Senate with a 97-2 vote this week. Congress put some of the blame for the ongoing sex trafficking problem directly on websites like Craigslist.