Craigslist Take Personal Ads Offline Permanently, Citing New FOSTA Law
Blaming new legislation, the company says it does not want to be liable for data misuse
March 26, 2018
Despite predictions, it was not sexually transmitted diseases that ultimately brought down Craigslist, the king of anonymous meetings. It was Congress that finally ended it.
Blaming new legislation, the uncrowned king of free, anonymous personals has taken the ads down. Thousands of couples of every gender have met online though the ads, but they have apparently come and gone. In place of the women seeking men, men seeking men, men seeking women and women seeking women ads, viewers today received the following notice:
US Congress just passed HR 1865, "FOSTA", seeking to subject websites to criminal and civil liability when third parties (users) misuse online personals unlawfully.
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!
The company has relatively few employees and over the years, the ads have been controversial. The free ads for prostitutes ("Sexual Services") were the first to go, about 5 years ago.
Craigslist (stylized as craigslist) is an American classified advertisements website with sections devoted to jobs, housing, for sale, items wanted, services, community, gigs, résumés, and discussion forums.
Craig Newmark began the service in 1995 as an email distribution list to friends, featuring local events in the San Francisco Bay Area. It became a web-based service in 1996 and expanded into other classified categories. It started expanding to other U.S. cities in 2000, and now covers 70 countries.
In March 2008, Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Portuguese became the first non-English languages Craigslist supported. As of August 9, 2012, over 700 cities and areas in 70 countries have Craigslist sites. Some Craigslist sites cover large regions instead of individual metropolitan areas—for example, the U.S. states of Delaware and Wyoming, the Colorado Western Slope, the California Gold Country, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan are among the locations with their own Craigslist sites.