Objective, non-emotional answer: Where will past users of Craigslist personals now go? Probably OkCupid or Bumble. I think that these two platforms have very much established themselves as data-based, efficient modes of matching. As they have gained popularity over the past few years, I think that they have cut into Craigslist’s market share - since Craigslist is essentially just a newsgroup that doesn’t offer a whole lot of functionality. Accordingly, I don’t think that this closure will displace a lot of folks.
Craigslist pulled its Personals section in response to the combined Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act and the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act that Congress passed back in March 2018. That law makes websites criminally and civilly liable for any misuse of personal ads by their users. The Missed Connections community lives on, though, under the Craigslist Community section.
This week the U.S. Senate passed a bill to fight online sex trafficking, which could subject websites to more criminal and civil liability for the content that third parties publish on their platforms. As a result, Craigslist decided to remove its personal-ad section, posting the following 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. 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!”
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