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“People would look at the ads and be shocked by how sexual they were,” said syndicated advice columnist Dan Savage, who also hosts a popular podcast, “Savage Love.” “It facilitated human connections that were not always exploitative or dehumanizing — I know people who are in 10- and 15-year relationships that began on Craigslist, that began with a hookup.” When I asked Savage what impact losing services such as Craigslist personal ads could have on the queer community at large, he paused and said, “It’s just hard to put into words.” For a generation that came of age with the Internet, Craigslist and its contemporaries were queer spaces where people could “tiptoe out of the closet” without having to risk outing themselves, Savage said.“Apps and Craigslist turned everyone’s apartments, if they wished, into a bathhouse — cruising moved online.” Craigslist was, of course, not the first such “bathhouse of the Internet,” as Salon so dubbed AOL in 1999.“There’s an exhibitionistic impulse that’s met by posting on Craigslist, and certainly a voyeuristic need that’s fed by reading it, too,” she told me.Now an assistant professor of communications at California State University at Fullerton, she has continued frequenting the classifieds site — up until last week, when Craigslist suddenly axed its personals section.“For the last decade, the press has labeled Craigslist as a hotbed for prostitution, using the website as a scapegoat for the U. This comes in response to a controversial new bill — a fusion of the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) and the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA) that the Senate voted 97-2 to pass last week.President Trump is expected to sign the bill when it reaches his desk.

Robinson also believes these Craigslist users will be the least inclined to try the more mainstream dating apps, most of which require users to use their first names and connect to their social media accounts. “There will always be a market for trafficked girls, and closing Craigslist’s sex forums will only make it more difficult for law enforcement officials to observe, identify and apprehend sex criminals operating in the U. “Craigslist is an essential resource for the queer community, and it seems that lawful Craigslist users are being punished for traffickers’ crimes.” READ MORE: Even in a progressive environment, I had trouble coming out as gay How being on ‘Ru Paul’s Drag Race’ changes a queen’s love life Alone in a new city, I found my people on Craigslist. This legislation purports to stem the rising tide of online sex trafficking, even as groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union claim it will, in fact, “harm the very people it is intended to protect.” And free-speech advocates view the amendment to Section 230 as an “unambiguous chilling of free speech,” according to the Center for Democracy & Technology.But for the majority of LGBT people who have used Craigslist for decades, the deletion of the personals section amounts to the shuttering of yet another queer space — one that provided a free and accessible cyber haven for many wishing to explore their sexuality and gender.The bill will amend the “Good Samaritan” clause in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which shields websites from liability of content posted by its users.Without it, it’s likely that the social-networking-driven nature of the Internet as we know it today would not exist.

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When Chelsea Reynolds was in graduate school at the University of Minnesota, she and her friends would read Craigslist personal ads together, specifically the casual encounters section.