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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.“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.“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.
He deems the bill a “classic shoot-yourself-in-the-foot sex panic.” “What’s going to happen when sex workers move to Ok Cupid or Christian Mingle or Farmers Only? “Anybody can go anywhere on the Internet and put up a personal ad on a million different apps and sites. Robinson, who uses gender-neutral “they” pronouns, has studied how queer people’s lives are often shaped by the Internet.“We were amazed at how many straight-identifying men and women were seeking same-sex hookups on the site’s sex forums.” This phenomenon inspired Reynolds to conduct an analysis of hundreds of Craigslist personal ads.While completing her master’s degree, she published a 2015 academic article titled “I Am Super Straight and I Prefer You Be Too.” Reynolds studied media coverage of Craigslist casual encounters ads for her 2017 doctoral dissertation, and found several patterns: About 50 percent of the news stories focused on sex crimes or sex work, and an additional 20 percent covered law-enforcement efforts related to the site’s personal ads.The overwhelmingly negative coverage did not seem to jibe with what she had discovered in her review of hundreds of Craigslist personal ads, posted from 2005 to 2016 in New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles.“My research shows that most Craigslist sex forum users were normal people seeking to explore their sexual desires with strangers online,” she said.