What is a note about happy couples doing in a move made in response to a bill to fight sex trafficking? Well, this is the vast possibility and danger of Craigslist. For decades, it’s been the place where someone might find the perfect or most horrible roommate; a steal of a couch or total piece of junk; casual sex or even a spouse. One of my oldest childhood friends, for example, posted a Craigslist ad back in the mid-2000s and met her husband. Now they’re expecting their second child!
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!”
Obligatory sentimental preamble (and I don’t care if it gets me downvoted): As soon as I received the A2A notification from Darren Johnson on my phone, my heart dropped… and as soon as I clicked on the link and saw that this was, in fact true, I felt some kind of activity in my tear ducts. I wasn’t quite on the verge of tears. But like, 15% of the way to being on the verge? I haven’t been on Craigslist personals in years. However, I met my first love on Craigslist personals - and the way in which meeting someone on Craigslist is just so laughable to most people has always been somewhat of a running joke between us.
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