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ACSOL’s Online EPIC Conference: Empowered People Inspiring Change Sept 17-18, 2021

General News

Craigslist Shuts Down Personals Section After Congress Passes Bill On Trafficking

You can still find furniture or a roommate on Craigslist. But ads seeking romance or sexual connections are no longer going to be available, after Craigslist took down the “personals” section Friday for its U.S. site.

The company says it made the change because Congress has passed the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act, meant to crack down on sex trafficking of children. It was approved by a landslide in the Senate earlier this week, as NPR’s Alina Selyukh has reported, but has been met with criticism by free speech advocates and sex workers.

As Craigslist wrote, the law seeks “to subject websites to criminal and civil liability when third parties (users) misuse online personals unlawfully.” Full Article

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However, Ads seeking romance or sexual connections are still available on Craigslist’s International Websites. The problem is obviously an RSO cannot travel to utilize any of those romance connection services.

The most concerning sentence in this law is this:

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

This is entirely new territory in US jurisprudence. Never before has the state been able to imprison you for something which wasn’t a crime when you committed it. That is a tenet which is (was) at the core of our justice system. Previously, there is no way anyone could possibly be punished ex-post facto like this, (apart from the so-called “administrative-not-punitive” SO laws) but times are changing. With this administration anything is possible.

You are correct, but companies have to try and fight it which costs money and time. Unfortunately, Section 230 is trampled on all the time. Just recently went through that.

Correction: That law is not seeking to crackdown on CHILD sex traffickers, it is targeting ALL sex traffickers, it says nothing about children specifically; I’ve read it. And don’t forget, under the change of legal definition, sex trafficking is not that, it is simply prostitution. And by law it is now always “trafficking” no matter the circumstances, and the woman is always a victim, the man is the trafficker, even if all the solicitation is by the woman and the man merely finally relents and says OK. By law, women now are exempt from prosecution, as they are now always… Read more »

Oh no! What are law enforcement and advocacy groups going to do now when they need to pad their stats?

Go back to the newspaper ads perhaps now that CL did away with that section?

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x