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I remember pouring over the ads with friends, amazed at the sheer variety of sexual and romantic asks and desires out there, the strange and tantalizing mix of anonymity and eros and possibility.

I brokered my best ongoing "casual encounter" through the Craigslist personals. I know others who met long-term partners and even spouses that way. But as of Friday, the Craigslist personals section is no more. Consider it one of the first—but certainly not the last—casualties of new legislation passed by the Senate this week It's been largely portrayed by the media and those in Congress as an "anti-sex trafficking" measure.

But while doing nothing to realistically fight sex trafficking, it manages to muck up all sorts of other serious things. FOSTA will "subject websites to criminal and civil liability when third parties users misuse online personals unlawfully," Craigslist explains in the brief notice that now appears in place of potential partners if you try to go to a personals listing.

Under current law, the site can't be held legally liable if someone uses veiled terms to solicit commercial sex—aka prostitution—through the Craigslist personals. But FOSTA will change that, opening up Craigslist and every other digital platform to serious legal and financial jeopardy should it accidently "promote" or "facilitate" prostitution. Prostitution, mind you, is not sex trafficking, which has a distinct meaning both colloquially and under the law.

In the simplest terms, prostitution involves consent and sex trafficking does not. 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! On Friday, the adult-ad forum CityVibes disappeared. Reddit said the purge was enforcing its new content policy, which bans "transactions for certain goods and services," including "paid services involving physical sexual contact. This failure to distinguish between ads for prostitution and any discussion of prostitution is part of what has sex workers and free-speech advocates so worried.

Sex worker blogs could be shut down, and they could find their social-media accounts suspended simply for being honest about their work. This is because the core of FOSTA makes it a federal crime to "promote or facilitate the prostitution of another person," punishable by up to 10 years in prison, plus fines.

For promoting the prostitution of five or more people, the penalty is 25 years, and the same if promoting someone's prostitution "contributed to sex trafficking. Sex workers don't have to worry about being punished for posting their own ads, but they could run afoul of the law if working in pairs or helping a colleague place an ad.

Start and finish your day with the top stories from The Daily Beast. A speedy, smart summary of all the news you need to know and nothing you don't. The primary target are websites, apps, messageboards, and other digital publishers, which have deeper pockets.

To reach them, Congress had to carve a hole in Section , which has governed the internet for 22 years. It protects web platforms from being sued in civil court or criminally charged by state prosecutors for third-party i. It doesn't apply for federal crimes. Section says that unless they create the content in whole or part, these platforms shall not be treated as the speaker of such content, and good-faith efforts at content moderation like banning ads that explicitly mention illegal acts or auto-filtering out content that contains prohibited words do not change this.

That's why sites are scrambling right now to prohibit any content that could get them held liable. It's probably too late, or at least would be if legislators get their way. FOSTA "shall apply regardless of whether the conduct alleged occurred… before, on, or after such date of enactment. No less than the U. An unusual weapon against modern slavery. Abused orphan gets second chance. Safe house helps teenage sex trafficking victim. Survivor overcomes her sex trafficking past. Sex trafficking in Colombia.

Students fight modern slavery. Artists draw attention to modern slavery. From domestic slave to the Democratic Convention.

Sex trafficking victim speaks out. Story highlights The bill that passed Congress may actually harm sex workers, critics say Internet forums provide protections for sex workers, who find work off streets.

Seeing her own reflection "was so traumatizing" for Stark, a transgender woman who hadn't yet undergone the surgical treatments she knew she needed. Some days, she couldn't leave the house. She tried taking her own life. An Army veteran living with disability, she could not get this surgical care from her usual provider, the Department of Veterans Affairs, which does not pay for or perform gender transition-related surgeries.

Stark calls Wisconsin home but mostly lives out of a suitcase, maintaining a busy schedule as an escort, adult film performer, photographer and phone sex operator. But now, her career is coming to an abrupt end after a bill passed by Congress in March. Senate approves anti-sex-trafficking bill. I just call it the end of my career, essentially," she said. The bill, called the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act , prompted the online bulletin board Craigslist to shut down its personal ads two days after its passage.

The bill was directed against sex trafficking, not the volitional career in sex work to which Stark credits her own survival. Craigslist is an online classifieds site, divided by city or geographic area, through which users advertise a range of goods, services, jobs and housing.

Now awaiting the president's signature, the bill paves the way for sex trafficking survivors to hold websites accountable for "knowingly" facilitating their abuse. The legislation chips away at part of a act that gave a broad layer of immunity to online companies, such as Facebook or Twitter, from being held liable for what their users post. The company did not immediately respond to a request for further comment. Though the bill aims to crack down on sex trafficking and protect survivors, critics say it threatens the lives and livelihoods of sex workers who choose to work in the profession by encouraging websites like Craigslist to censor their content -- pushing some sex workers back out to the street and removing their tools for finding and screening clients.

Some sex workers are already losing their housing as a direct result of forums like Craigslist personals going dark, according to Christa B.

Daring, board president of the Sex Workers Outreach Project. Many pay rent week-to-week and struggle to feed themselves and their children, they said. Craigslist was the first site Stark used to transition away from the street, where she relied on her military training to make "snap judgments" to stay out of harm's way, dodge potentially dangerous clients and avoid getting arrested -- again.

Even with the advantage of her military training, however, "most often, physical appearance and demeanor really don't tell you a whole lot," she said. Many sex workers run background checks on clients, communicate through online forums and check "bad date lists," which sex workers create to warn others about hostile clients.

Stark also has a mandatory hour waiting period before she agrees to meet clients, giving her time to check for criminal records and other warning signs. She learned ways to stay safe and grow her business from other sex workers online, some of whom keep blogs. We can mentor each other. We can support each other. We can screen our clients," said Akynos. Bolstering these concerns about sex worker safety is a recent research paper -- still under peer review -- that suggests Craigslist's "erotic" services section may be linked to a drop in the female homicide rate.

Prostitutes speak out against Senate health bill. I don't think Waco had one. But Craigslist didn't launch this section in every city at the same time. Cunningham's team found that cities where Craigslist launched the section for erotic services reduced their female homicide rate by up to However, it is not possible to say what portion of those homicide victims were sex workers, Cunningham said, nor is it possible to prove that Craigslist was directly responsible for the dip.

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ESCORTS WESTERN FREE NSA SEX Adult classified craiglist personals TaskRabbit, Moonlighting is a site and app that connects job searchers with clients, but rather than complete tasks, Moonlighting curates longer-term freelance jobs. Can we have a moment of silence to acknowledge importance of Craigslist personals, now gone as a result of bullshit FOSTA bill? The joy of Craigslist's list "for sale" section was that almost anybody could post or respond to a listing. After all, how can we say that Craigslist should be prosecuted if its ads broker prostitution but not a gun sale that leads to the next school shooting? Some took to Twitter to explain how Craiglist's decision would impact users. Business Culture Gadgets Future Startups.
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Adult classified craiglist personals But if you're looking for alternative platforms for peer-to-peer purchases, be sure to check out: The bill followed a two-year Senate investigation into online sex trafficking on the classified ads site Backpage. Know where and how to search, and Craigslist can be a job hunters go-to career board. Many pay rent week-to-week and struggle to feed themselves and their children, they said. I Hope Journalists Are Murdered. Sex trafficking is horrific. Escaping slavery in Hong Kong.

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Start and finish your day with the top stories from The Daily Beast. A speedy, smart summary of all the news you need to know and nothing you don't. The primary target are websites, apps, messageboards, and other digital publishers, which have deeper pockets.

To reach them, Congress had to carve a hole in Section , which has governed the internet for 22 years. It protects web platforms from being sued in civil court or criminally charged by state prosecutors for third-party i. It doesn't apply for federal crimes. Section says that unless they create the content in whole or part, these platforms shall not be treated as the speaker of such content, and good-faith efforts at content moderation like banning ads that explicitly mention illegal acts or auto-filtering out content that contains prohibited words do not change this.

That's why sites are scrambling right now to prohibit any content that could get them held liable. It's probably too late, or at least would be if legislators get their way. FOSTA "shall apply regardless of whether the conduct alleged occurred… before, on, or after such date of enactment. No less than the U. Department of Justice has urged against passing FOSTA, calling it unconstitutional and saying that it would make prosecuting sex traffickers harder.

Ron Wyden Wednesday from the Senate floor. Wyden—who co-authored Section —was the only Democrat to vote against the bill, and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul the only Republican. An amendment to FOSTA proposed by Wyden would have clarified that websites can try to filter out illegal content without increasing their liability, but it was overwhelmingly defeated.

Wyden stressed that FOSTA is not a matter of substituting some free-speech rights for a better ability to stop sex trafficking. Rather, it's imposing serious burdens while at best doing nothing for trafficking victims and quite likely making their lives worse. For one thing, it incentivizes law enforcement to go after third parties rather than stop traffickers or rescue victims. It also takes away an important tool for finding trafficking victims—the open internet. Online ads have allowed an untold number of victims to be identified and found.

What's more, the digital trail of ads, emails, and texts can provide evidence that makes catching and prosecuting the perpetrators easier. Law enforcement loses this when traffickers switch to private, encrypted, or dark web forums. Many sex-trafficking survivors and victims groups vocally opposed FOSTA, saying it fails to address the things they really need like housing and job assistance and will make saving future victims harder. Plus, even those being forced or coerced into prostitution benefit from things like screening out violent clients and not having to walk the streets.

The bottom line is that FOSTA "is not going to prevent sex trafficking [and] it's not going to stop young people from becoming victims," Wyden said. What it will do is create "an enormous chilling effect on speech in America," as sites move to squelch anything remotely related to a liability and "powerful political" forces weaponize it against minority voices.

And it goes beyond speech related to sex. For instance, Reddit's sex-work subreddit bans were accompanied by bans of forums for gun talk and trading gaming logins, among others. While Reddit would still have Section protection should any illegal conduct arise from these forums, it's hard to say how long that will last now that's Congress has decided to start making exceptions. After all, how can we say that Craigslist should be prosecuted if its ads broker prostitution but not a gun sale that leads to the next school shooting?

How can we say that social media is criminally liable if a "john" meets a year-old girl there, but not if two terrorists hook up and hatch out plans through their DMs? The dark ingredient in your chocolate. An unusual weapon against modern slavery. Abused orphan gets second chance. Safe house helps teenage sex trafficking victim. Survivor overcomes her sex trafficking past. Sex trafficking in Colombia. Students fight modern slavery.

Artists draw attention to modern slavery. From domestic slave to the Democratic Convention. Sex trafficking victim speaks out. Story highlights The bill that passed Congress may actually harm sex workers, critics say Internet forums provide protections for sex workers, who find work off streets.

Seeing her own reflection "was so traumatizing" for Stark, a transgender woman who hadn't yet undergone the surgical treatments she knew she needed. Some days, she couldn't leave the house. She tried taking her own life. An Army veteran living with disability, she could not get this surgical care from her usual provider, the Department of Veterans Affairs, which does not pay for or perform gender transition-related surgeries.

Stark calls Wisconsin home but mostly lives out of a suitcase, maintaining a busy schedule as an escort, adult film performer, photographer and phone sex operator. But now, her career is coming to an abrupt end after a bill passed by Congress in March. Senate approves anti-sex-trafficking bill. I just call it the end of my career, essentially," she said. The bill, called the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act , prompted the online bulletin board Craigslist to shut down its personal ads two days after its passage.

The bill was directed against sex trafficking, not the volitional career in sex work to which Stark credits her own survival. Craigslist is an online classifieds site, divided by city or geographic area, through which users advertise a range of goods, services, jobs and housing. Now awaiting the president's signature, the bill paves the way for sex trafficking survivors to hold websites accountable for "knowingly" facilitating their abuse.

The legislation chips away at part of a act that gave a broad layer of immunity to online companies, such as Facebook or Twitter, from being held liable for what their users post. The company did not immediately respond to a request for further comment. Though the bill aims to crack down on sex trafficking and protect survivors, critics say it threatens the lives and livelihoods of sex workers who choose to work in the profession by encouraging websites like Craigslist to censor their content -- pushing some sex workers back out to the street and removing their tools for finding and screening clients.

Some sex workers are already losing their housing as a direct result of forums like Craigslist personals going dark, according to Christa B. Daring, board president of the Sex Workers Outreach Project. Many pay rent week-to-week and struggle to feed themselves and their children, they said. Craigslist was the first site Stark used to transition away from the street, where she relied on her military training to make "snap judgments" to stay out of harm's way, dodge potentially dangerous clients and avoid getting arrested -- again.

Even with the advantage of her military training, however, "most often, physical appearance and demeanor really don't tell you a whole lot," she said. Many sex workers run background checks on clients, communicate through online forums and check "bad date lists," which sex workers create to warn others about hostile clients.

Stark also has a mandatory hour waiting period before she agrees to meet clients, giving her time to check for criminal records and other warning signs. She learned ways to stay safe and grow her business from other sex workers online, some of whom keep blogs. We can mentor each other. We can support each other. We can screen our clients," said Akynos.

Bolstering these concerns about sex worker safety is a recent research paper -- still under peer review -- that suggests Craigslist's "erotic" services section may be linked to a drop in the female homicide rate. Prostitutes speak out against Senate health bill. I don't think Waco had one. But Craigslist didn't launch this section in every city at the same time.

Cunningham's team found that cities where Craigslist launched the section for erotic services reduced their female homicide rate by up to

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