Men looking for sex with men? Craigslist bans personals section after law change

A gay couple kiss in the pride parade during the celebration of the day against homophobia and transphobia in Havana, on May 13, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Men and women looking to hook-up via Craigslist are in for a disappointment after the website closed their personals section.

Users trying to access personals ads on Craigslist in the US are now met with a message that says, “We are regretfully taking craigslist personals offline.”.

The platform had become popular for both men looking for sex with men and women looking for sex with women, with evidence that gay and bisexual people use online dating more than heterosexual counterparts.

The closure of Craigslist’s personals section comes after a bill was approved in the Senate to tackle online sex trafficking.

The Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) was approved earlier this week, a bill that will hold online companies liable for content posted by users.

The company says it is too difficult to monitor all posts on its platform, meaning they are unable to keep the personals section of the website open.

The news will come as a blow to thousands of Americans who facilitated relationships and sexual encounters on the platform.

Two women kiss each other during the International Day Against Homophobia in a massive kissing protest at the bus terminal station in Mexico City on May 17, 2013, against the intimidation two homosexual women suffered from police in that station when they were kissing past May 13. AFP PHOTO/OMAR TORRES (Photo credit should read OMAR TORRES/AFP/Getty Images)


Craigslist said in a statement: “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 bill comes on the back of an arrest against another ad site back in 2016.

Carl Ferrer, CEO of the online classified ad site Backpage, was arrested on charges related to sex trafficking.

Prosecutors said that the site’s adult section was frequently used by sex traffickers, and that Backpage “knowingly and willingly allowed women and children to be exploited in return for its own financial gain.”

The accusations were thrown out of court, as the judge ruled that the Communications Decency Act (CDA), which says that online companies can’t be held liable for the actions of users, meant the platform wasn’t liable.

The case prompted lawmakers to pursue the new Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) to clamp down on the loophole.