Finding love and sex online has a history, and apps like Tinder and Bumble couldn’t really exists without Craigslist, their embarrassing and pervy grandparent.
Craigslist is an unusually simple website, where people put up all sorts of ads and postings and the site simply separates them under different headings. If you wanted to look for jobs you’d click on the jobs link, and if you wanted to look for that person with whom you shared a very special moment but never saw again, you’d click on Missed Connections.
Last week, after the House of Representatives passed a bill known as FOSTA, Craigslist decided to pull their entire personal ads section, eliminating the area of the site where people would go to find Missed Connections or where they’d go to find paid companionship.
According to The Cut, FOSTA places legal responsibility on companies for sex-work interactions, and not on individual users. Craigslist posted a brief note explaining why they decided to take down the link:
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!
Thanks for all the stories, Missed Connections! Online dating wouldn’t be the same without you.