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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! In theory, the bill, which revises Section of the Communications Decency Act, is designed to crack down on internet sex trafficking, but in reality, sex workers say that it will make their jobs less safe by giving them one less way to vet potential clients.

This isn't the first time that Craigslist has removed sections, says Chelsea Reynolds , a professor at California State University who wrote her dissertation on the media portrayal of Craigslist. In , Craigslist dumped their "erotic services" section after pressure from Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who called it "nothing more than an Internet brothel. The data, which was widely picked up by the media, turned out to be false, as the Village Voice later uncovered.

By that time, however, it was too late for Craigslist's adult service providers. In reality, the vast majority of people who use Craigslist personals aren't doing anything illegal, Reynolds says.

While the media tends to push stories about sex trafficking victims , when Reynolds looked at the data, she found that "Most people on the site are just exploring their sexuality. These bills get pushed over moralistic and paternalistic concerns about young girls' welfare, but we need to remember that there are many, many people who use these sections responsibly.

There are also many, many people who enter sex work willingly, and these laws really hurt people like that. Even as technology advanced and others moved on to Tinder and other apps, I remained loyal to Craigslist, preferring the anonymity of the platform as well as the democratic base of people attracted by the free, low-commitment interface.

The message users receive if they attempt to click on any of the personals sections reads:. I was capable of losing a whole day to the section, refreshing my email inbox and responding in a trancelike state. The section enabled my addictive personality, allowing me to too easily engage in behaviors that became unhealthy for me. I found myself in dangerous situations that sometimes had consequences.

In my 20s, I went through extensive therapy for sexual trauma and addiction, during which I had an extensive system of passwords and blocks set up to keep me off the section. It just got a little bit harder to engage in risky behavior around anonymous sex, which for me personally may ultimately be a good thing.

And yet, something is lost. That such a free space existed for kink to flourish, for unedited human desire that was inclusive of every type of person to thrive, for consenting adults to find their complementary sexual puzzle piece, for men and women to independently and anonymously exercise their right to sexual liberty is more precious and rare in retrospect, as we look toward a digital future affected by the reach of the new sex-trafficking law.

For better or worse, the section meant something to me. Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you.

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