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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.
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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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As I said, I haven’t used the platform in a matter of years - but the sentimental value of this part of the website is so high for me that it’s painful to see this happen. I still vividly remember the moment I saw her post and felt such a surge of excitement - and an even greater one when she emailed me back. So to see this disappear has me bummed out for no rational reason at all. Sorry if that doesn’t do anything for the question. I just needed to get that out.