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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!”
FriendFinder pioneered and continues to innovate some of the most popular and widely-used dating and entertainment websites in the world. We run the world’s first and by far the largest adult dating network with one goal in mind: bringing in like-minded people together for fun, intimacy and love. Every day we’re finding new ways to help our members engage, communicate and connect with people who are looking for exciting experiences both online and offline.
After starting and successfully selling the Internet’s first online personals site, WebPersonals.com, Andrew founded FriendFinder in 1996 which has grown to become the world’s largest online personals network. He served as CEO until December 2007 and again throughout 2014. He also founded Focalink Communications/AdKnowledge, the first company to centralize Internet banner advertising, Medley.com Ad Agency, one of the largest online affiliate networks, and W3, the first commercial website personalization software company. He received his Ph.D. in Engineering Design from Stanford University.
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.
Dr. Neil Clark Warren, a clinical psychologist, Christian theologian, and seminary professor, co-founded eharmony in 2000, and now it’s responsible for 4% of marriages in the United States. Exclusively for marriage-minded heterosexual daters, eharmony offers its very own 29 Dimensions of Compatibility Questionnaire to match its users. Thanks to this intelligent match formula, you won’t have to do any of the searching — eharmony will use your answers to bring the most compatible people to you. All you have to do is say yes or no.
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.