David Lopez's picture

BREAKING: No More Looking for Hookups on Craigslist!

Before there were the popular dating apps that we have now, the world had Craigslist, the portal to all things for sale, for rent, for free, and for fun. The San Francisco based company gave way to a new form of online ‘dating’ through their personals section. Since Craigslist founding in 1995, the popularity of Craigslist personals has been overshadowed by the dark risk associated with posting or answering ads for NSA, spontaneous, or anonymous sexual encounters.

There have been many horror stories surrounding encounters on Craigslist that have heightened the warning signs for those who use the site’s personals. You may even remember a time when you answered those personal ads and found out that the person on the other end was a creep or didn’t match his description/pictures or when you felt unsafe or got yourself into a compromising position. Kind of like those other dating apps, but maybe even scarier because it involves email. But in the beginning of the online dating era, Craigslist was a giant in the game and instrumental for folks in rural or undeveloped areas to be able to make these human connections.

Still, Craigslist has had to block the solicitation of sex for money numerous times which catalyst for the negative stigma associated with the site. Craigslist has been linked to prostitution and human trafficking which is why you may have noticed that all personals on Craigslist have just been taken down. Interestingly enough the Missed Connections section is still available, but has been relocated to the Community section of the site. Some may say that this is a victory for censorship while others may be fearing the dark days without net neutrality.

All of this is because of Congress Bill H.R. 1865 which is a combination of Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) and the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA). On Wednesday the Senate voted to pass the bill with a 97-2 vote. As of January 2019 it will be illegal to post ads for prostitution or sexwork. The bill makes it so websites are liable for any misuse of their site by their users so Craigslist has decided to give an axe to their personals. The White House has even issued a statement in response to the bill.

When you log-on to Craigslist personals you will immediately see the following notification:

H.R. 1865 entails the following amendments from February 27, 2018:

(Sec. 2) This bill expresses the sense of Congress that section 230 of the Communications Act of 1934 was not intended to provide legal protection to websites that unlawfully promote and facilitate prostitution and websites that facilitate traffickers in advertising the sale of unlawful sex acts with sex trafficking victims. Section 230 limits the legal liability of interactive computer service providers or users for content they publish that was created by others.

(Sec. 3) The bill amends the federal criminal code to add a new section that imposes penalties—a fine, a prison term of up to 10 years, or both—on a person who, using a facility or means of interstate or foreign commerce, owns, manages, or operates an interactive computer service (or attempts or conspires to do so) to promote or facilitate the prostitution of another person.

Additionally, it establishes enhanced penalties—a fine, a prison term of up to 25 years, or both—for a person who commits the offense in one of the following aggravating circumstances: (1) promotes or facilitates the prostitution of five or more persons, or (2) acts with reckless disregard that such conduct contributes to sex trafficking.

A person injured by an aggravated offense may recover damages and attorneys' fees in a federal civil action.

A court must order mandatory restitution, in addition to other criminal or civil penalties, for an aggravated offense in which a person acts with reckless disregard that such conduct contributes to sex trafficking.

A defendant may assert, as an affirmative defense, that the promotion or facilitation of prostitution is legal in the jurisdiction where it was targeted.

(Sec. 4) The bill amends the Communications Act of 1934 to declare that section 230 does not limit: (1) a federal civil claim for conduct that constitutes sex trafficking, (2) a federal criminal charge for conduct that constitutes sex trafficking, or (3) a state criminal charge for conduct that promotes or facilitates prostitution in violation of this bill.

The amendments apply regardless of whether alleged conduct occurs before, on, or after this bill's enactment.

(Sec. 5) The bill amends the federal criminal code to define a phrase related to the prohibition on sex trafficking.

Currently, it a crime to knowingly benefit from participation in a venture that engages in sex trafficking. This bill defines "participation in a venture" to mean knowingly assisting, supporting, or facilitating a sex trafficking violation.

(Sec. 6) A state may file a federal civil action to enforce federal sex trafficking violations.

(Sec. 7) This section states that this bill does not limit federal or state civil actions or criminal prosecutions that are not preempted by section 230 of the Communications Act of 1934.

(Sec. 8) The Government Accountability Office must report to Congress on information related to damages and mandatory restitution for aggravated offenses under this bill.

No word on how this development will affect Craigslist and its users or other sites and apps that have also been surrounded by similar danger and risk. But with any online dating/hookup situation, use caution and common sense.

h/t: Craigslist

Comments

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Although we had a lot of laughs (at work) reading through the shit show of decadence for many years, their decision was probably for the best.  Let's be honest; most of those ads were an embarrassment to the gay community, and Craigslist promoting, advocating, and providing a means for reckless and socially/sexually irresponsible behavior was shameful.  It's time for singles (and sluts in general) to get back to the basics by getting off their asses, go back to cruising parks, and/or cruising bars.      

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You don’t have to like it and you don’t have to partake in using the personals 

but this is complete censor ship

​are there’s sleazy ads ? yes ..that’s not for me but I have met very nice people on cl over the years and I’m disappointed it’s not available 

i don’t have low self esteem .. i don’t go to clubs 

it was an opportunity to meet other people 

if I want to place an ad and it’s not hurting anyone 

Who cares....

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You know.....this society is devolving into a bunch of prudish lemming "palm readers" (re fone addicts) who'd rather avoid actual real contact w genuine people. So what if people use CL for hook ups.....Grindr and the rest of it are full of sexless weenies who are just out for the tease. Hormonal counts for testosterone are way down these days in lieu of the "subway" diet of most youth....simply put....these cute guys never get laid....they have no actual human to human communication skills....no empathy....they do love the mirrors in the gym though and are generally too good for anybody. They will die alone or hook up w another selfless individual. Live and let live......give people choice and freedom.... a little anarchy please.....and keep your prudish ideals to yourself asshole

CastleSF's picture
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What people need is discipline, direction, and determination to snap out of addiction, not self indulgence in anonymous sex with strangers or promiscuity,

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It must get lonely in your ivory’ tower judging and making assumptions on everything and everyone perhaps that has been your experience but not mine... you must be exhausted being so righteous 

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You must be equally exhausted reciting that retired "judgemental" bit ad nauseam. Sorry folks, judgment is a vital part of lfe. You do it all the time in fact! His "ivory tower" sure sounds a hell of lot better than your fairy land where Craiglist and these other sites don't exploit the gutter aspect of human nature! The actual creator of the site is or WAS one of those pie in the sky idealists who think his overly optimistic beliefs about humans trumps reality. But I guess someone with the company finally got a clue and decided to stop taking for granted that people will do what's best/right if given the chance!

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All this is-is an attack at gay people another win for the Christians and terrorist Muslims

.

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censorship. law enforcement needs to go after the actual perpetrators of the problem, not stop a meeting venue for everyone

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this is pure censorship. stop up the symptoms instead of going after the perpetrators. 

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could they use a law similar to this to say if someone was shot they can go after the gun makers also

CastleSF's picture
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I am glad that they shut down the sleazy craigslist personals. Most of the disgusting ads of creepy men looking to act on their depraved fantasy with other men can be found on that site. 

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why do care what other people do ....it’s none of your friggin business what other people are looking for ... 

why you do fucking judgemental ?

who the fuck are you?

CastleSF's picture
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Exactly why do you care about what I think? I have an opinion and I express it on this open forum. I see Craigslist personals and other hookup sites detrimental to gays' mental health and I am glad the Craigslist owner decided to shut down the site. Heed your own advice and don't be judgmental.

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Im calling you out because you sit in judgement of others and make strong statement regarding there choices on this forum 

why?       Who made you God ? 

Live and let Live....

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When one live in reality, they make judgments. You are quite the immature one

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*their choices

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The fact that supposed out gay men would be upset about this platform closing down somewhat takes me aback. But I shouldn't be shocked. It's the nature of the addiction that CL and similar sites lead to or encourage. It's no accident either. It's by design. Sex sells is STILL a true statement. And sadly, sex addiction is closely related to drug addiction.  Needless to say, both are available in abundance on sites like CL. And trust me, the pimps and drug dealers know this. They prey on both desperate straight/bi guys looking for easy pussy, as well as desperate and low self-esteem having gay guys who lust after those same types, leading to a cesspool of sexual confusion and diseases (mental and physical) Not sure how it was in the beginning, but in the last few years, CL devolved in a place almost exclusively fo kinky bisexual party and players - crack whores, meth heads, butt plugs, bareback 

Any gay guy who thinks that scene is pro them is delusional! It's not pro straight per se, but it certianly doesn't help young gay people develop in a healthy way.

CastleSF's picture
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What an eloquent response! You only need to have one bad experience on these sites before you realize how dangerous these anonymous encounters could be. 

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It saddens me how much the mantra of "consenting adults" has led so many into a little deluded bubble where nothing can go wrong and real life is like sex in the city or an episode of friends. These people either have no actual experience with dark world that is online hookup/dating or they are suffering from severe myopia or amnesia to not see how inextricably linked their permissive sexual philosophy is with the issue of sex trafficking itself. Oh how quickly things can go from "consent" to the opposite. 

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Its ok mate we still have grindr plus a million more. You should taker the stick out of your butt and try a cock. It's 2018 the only people who are still homphobic are hiding something.

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amen

CastleSF's picture
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What a nasty thing to say! The Craigslist personals allow people to engage in anonymous sex with strangers in a questionable scenario and promote a promiscuous lifestyle. There is nothing I can say I like about the site. Use the hookup apps if you have to.

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Omg I laughed my ass off at your satire. I love anonymous sex w strangers too! 

CastleSF's picture
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Unfortunately it was not a satire and it was not a laughing matter. Anonymous sex hookups are dangerous and make a person feel lonely and unloved. 

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So, what about all the others.....any site could potentially and probably is used for trafficking/prostitution as well

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Yep.  Time to take down Facebook!

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Would like to know who is behind this.  Craigslist personals were the last bastion of freedom from pic-driven profiles and nonsense.  That said, Craigslist could conceivably allow users to create personals using a defined set of phrases and words.  They were already doing this to report stats.  So disappointing.  It really is the end of an era.

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Hello;And I can answer your question,it was Rep.Anne Wagner (R) Missouri ... "The Bible Belt" She is on the Commerce Committee the Energy Commission.But Sex Trafficing pertains to younger boys/girls that have been abducted,were ether runaways or homeless,brought here from anouther country & then were either forced into prostitution,placed for sale on online auctions where pedophiles to bid on them,then they're sold to the highest bidder.She initially tried to get HR 1865 passed in 2013,but she failed to get the required votes to move forward & she tried again in March,2018,this time both the Senate & the House passed the Bill,next is for Donny to sign it into law.I've been using the CL Personals for many years,I've never seen any Sex Trafficing.But I have seen dozens of post in regards to men offering money in exchange for sex,where they specifically offer to be Generous in they're post & where younger guys made it clear in they're post that they are only looking fo guys that are Generous.And every time that I saw these types of post I Flagged they're post for removal,because those types of people are the cause of problems on the CL Personals.For example a younger guy places post on CL that's either Bi/Gay that is just looking to meet a decent guy,he ever asked fo money,then an older guy Emails him offering money & he's either going to be offended or accept the money which is prostitution.So now the younger guy has been corrupted into asking every guy for money in exchange for sex.I've witnessed this vicious cycle on CL,Gay Bars & even on Grindr & this causes good decent gay guys to become stereotyped,then the Conservative Right Evangelical Republican "FAKE Christians" swoop in,because they're obcessed with sex,in particular Gay Sex.It's usually the male Conservative Republicans that are openly Anti-Gay that come up with Bills that were designed to target Homosexualls & to discriminate.

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Seems like casual encounters is still working in Canada. I guess this was coming; Personal encounters and sex, and ads is now illegal in the United States.

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Bullshit where do i look to hook up for fun now =(

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Exactly... what’s the next option

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How about getting a life and having fun with your clothes on? 

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you’re so clever ....

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Dogs are safe and friendly

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Dogs are pretty friendly

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