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.
As these ads go offline, we spoke to a 25-year-old man in New York who used Craigslist’s personal ads — specifically the casual encounters section — as a way of finding casual sex in his early 20s. He spoke to us on condition of anonymity, because, well, that’s what Craigslist personals were all about. It’s part of what made them successful, he thinks.
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.
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