Craigslist Shuts Down Personals Section After Congress …
Craigslist said Friday that it is taking the site’s personals section offline.
You can still find furniture or a roommate on Craigslist. But ads seeking romance or sexual connections are no longer going to be available, after Craigslist took down the “personals” section Friday for its U. S. site. The company says it made the change because Congress has passed the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act, meant to crack down on sex trafficking of children. It was approved by a landslide in the Senate earlier this week, as NPR’s Alina Selyukh has reported, but has been met with criticism by free speech advocates and sex workers. As Craigslist wrote, the law seeks “to subject websites to criminal and civil liability when third parties (users) misuse online personals unlawfully. ” “Any tool or service can be misused, ” Craigslist said. “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. ” The site added: “To the millions of spouses, partners and couples who met through craigslist, we wish you every happiness! ” Proponents of the measure have argued that it makes Internet sites more accountable for the content that users post that could contribute to child sex trafficking.
But as Alina reported, tech companies see this as “the first major cutback to the protections that these companies have had under the law. ” And sex workers have argued that this will make people who work in the industry less safe, pushing them onto the street or deeper into the dark Web. Trump has not yet signed the bill, which is known as FOSTA. It passed in the House by 388-25 and in the Senate by 97-2. Until 2009, Craigslist had a section of the website called “erotic services, ” where people openly advertised sex. That year it changed the name to “adult services” and promised stricter screening, after a medical student in Boston was accused of killing a woman he met through the site, NPR’s Tovia Smith noted. Craigslist eventually stopped listing ads for “adult services” in 2010, as NPR reported, though its personals section has continued until now.
The site’s popular “missed connections” section remains in place in the U. The personals section is still accessible outside the U. — users must confirm that they are 18 and understand they may see adult content. Reddit has also announced policy changes this week. It said that users could not use the site to “solicit or facilitate any transaction or gift involving certain goods and services, ” which include: “Firearms, ammunition or explosives; “Drugs, including alcohol and tobacco, or any controlled substances (except advertisements placed in accordance with our advertising policy); “Paid services involving physical sexual contact; “Stolen goods; “Personal information; “Falsified official documents or currency” The Reddit statement adds: “Reddit is not intended to be used as a marketplace and takes no responsibility for any transactions individual users might decide to undertake in spite of this. ” As the site wrote, “Always remember: you are dealing with strangers on the internet. ” Alina has dug into the legal history of how much responsibility Internet companies have for content published on their sites. Read it here.
Goodbye, Craigslist personal ads. Those seeking casual sex …
This week the U. S. Senate passed a bill to fight online sex trafficking, which could subject websites to more criminal and civil liability for the content that third parties publish on their platforms. As a result, Craigslist decided to remove its personal-ad section, posting the following statement: “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! ”What is a note about happy couples doing in a move made in response to a bill to fight sex trafficking? Well, this is the vast possibility and danger of Craigslist. For decades, it’s been the place where someone might find the perfect or most horrible roommate; a steal of a couch or total piece of junk; casual sex or even a spouse. One of my oldest childhood friends, for example, posted a Craigslist ad back in the mid-2000s and met her husband. Now they’re expecting their second child! As these ads go offline, we spoke to a 25-year-old man in New York who used Craigslist’s personal ads — specifically the casual encounters section — as a way of finding casual sex in his early 20s. He spoke to us on condition of anonymity, because, well, that’s what Craigslist personals were all about. It’s part of what made them successful, he dating apps that often require being linked to a social media account, on Craigslist you could be nameless and Facebook-less. “Most people didn’t even have pictures of their faces, ” our 25-year-old Craigslister says. “I didn’t know what they looked like until I met them. ”And sometimes he didn’t even get to see what they looked like:He estimates that he would answer hundreds of ads, which might net about 10 replies, which might then lead to one in-person interaction. That’s a LOT of email. But the encounters were memorable. “Usually the person I would meet would be someone unattractive or would have weird tendencies, ” he says. In one encounter, a woman insisted on having porn blasting the entire time. Another made him put on a blindfold the moment he arrived. “She was going to have sex with me, but I wasn’t allowed to touch her, ” he ’s not happy with Craigslist’s decision, even though he’s not using the platform anymore. (He has a girlfriend now. ) “There’s a lot of ads on there, for sure. But there’s a lot of people out there just looking for casual sex and some people find dating apps intimidating. ”He acknowledges that dating apps have lost a lot of the stigma they used to carry four or five years ago. But the public nature of dating apps — friends and friends of friends can see your profile — can make it harder to be forthcoming about just wanting sex, if that’s what you’re worry that saying “just here for a hookup, ” on an app “makes them look like they’re slutty or whatever, ” he says, “so people use Craigslist. ”
Best 10+ Craigslist Personals Alternatives and Replacements …
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When Craigslist closed its personals section, many people mourned the loss of their favorite online dating platform. While Craigslist is known for its traditional classified listings, many people used Craigslist to find local dates, casual meetings, and more. The platform was simple to use, and best of all, it was free.
If you miss the personal ads from Craigslist, you’re in luck. After the website was shut down, a whole crop of new personals sites popped up to take its place. On this list, you’ll find several Craigslist personal alternatives to find everything found on Craigslist personal ads.
Top Three Alternatives
Huge user base of open-minded individuals
Lots of extra dating features
Potential for inactive or scam accounts
Old school website design
If you’re interested in sites like Craigslist, it’s safe to say you may want to spice up your love life. If that’s the case for you, AdultFriendFinder will have a lot to offer. This site was created specifically for any type of relationship that might be slightly unconventional.
AFF is one of the best Craigslist personals replacements because of its open-minded community. If you’re dating preference is off the beaten path, you don’t have to worry about getting judged on this dating site. Like Craigslist, the users on AFF are looking for a wide variety of different things, making it perfect for people with specific relationship interests.
Aside from classic dating features, AFF also has plenty of extra features for its users. You can browse and write user blogs, as well as forums. You can also check out the live cam feature for some added fun.
Best Feature on AdultFriendFinder:
If you’re interested in finding casual dating, AFF has you covered. Just click the tab on the top of the page to find a multitude of offerings.
2. Ashley Madison
Sleek, user-friendly interface
Available as a mobile app
It’s only suitable for married dating
History of security issues
Although Ashley Madison is not technically a listings site, it’s a surprisingly great Craigslist personals alternative. That’s because Ashley Madison is used primarily for married dating. Believe it or not, many people used Craigslist personals for that very reason, making this an excellent replacement for the popular listings site.
When it comes to non-traditional online dating platforms, Ashley Madison provides one of the best user experiences around. Both the app and the website give users simple, easy navigation. You can enjoy features such as online chatting, virtual gifts, and more.
New users can get started on Ashley Madison for free. To access premium features, you’ll have to upgrade to a paid account.
Best Feature on Ashley Madison:
The best feature of Ashley Madison is the ability to filter your search results. Unlike other dating apps, you don’t have to rely on a matching algorithm to make connections. You can use the search function to find matches with similar interests.
Users on Seeking are interested in open or non-traditional relationships
Seeking has been around and trusted for over 15 years
Seeking is not free to use but the perks are worth the price
Not all users are vetted
When you’re looking to fill a need that Craiglist casual encounters offered, Seeking is a one-stop shop. Since its inception, Seeking was founded on mutually beneficial relationships. This site has long been the go-to spot for people looking to have a unique dating experience.
Seeking is a great option to replace Craigslist’s personal ads because all the users are very upfront with what they are looking for in a relationship. Just like Craigslist personals, you’re free to look for a non-traditional dating experience, without fear of judgment.
Now, the one main area where Seeking differs from Craigslist is the price. While Craigslist was essentially free to use, Seeking does charge a monthly subscription to use premium features. The upside is that you’ll have access to a plethora of excellent dating features such as video chat, user verification, and more.
Best Feature on Seeking:
As mentioned, Seeking recently added video chat to its list of premium features. This feature makes it incredibly easy to stay in touch with your online connections, even when you can’t meet in real life.
A modern approach to adult classifieds
Intuitive, user-friendly platform
The application glitches at times
Paid membership can get pricey
Pernals is an exciting new option for those of you who miss Craigslist personals. This classifieds site is the most modern of all the options on this list. You can download it as an app for any mobile device. You’ll find that the user interface is sleek and intuitive, even for beginners. For that reason, you’ll find younger users in their 20’s and 30’s than on a typical classifieds site.
Pernals was created specifically to be the new Craigslist personals and is widely considered the best alternative to the much-missed personals site. As a new user, you can download the application and begin posting ads for free. You can also browse through listings in your area to see who is nearby. Because this site is available in app form, you’ll also get cool features such as built-in messaging.
Best Feature on Pernals:
Pernals is one of the only Craigslist personal alternatives that have a dedicated mobile app. Members can download the dating platform onto any Apple or Android device. This is a great feature a lot of dating sites don’t have.
It’s free to use
Great for the straight and LGBTQ community
Smaller cities may not be included
There is no screening for new members
Doublelist may be the best Craigslist personal alternative out there. This classified ads site is fully dedicated to personal listings, so you don’t have to weed through anything else. Just like Craigslist, you can find listings for men seeking women, men seeking men, women seeking women, and more. It’s one of the most inclusive personals sites for gay, lesbian and bisexual singles.
Unlike Craigslist, you do need an account to get started on Doublelist. Once you’re signed up, you can post ads and check out the various ads sections to find dates in your city. Doubelist is free to use, making it an excellent Craigslist personals alternative.
Best Feature on Doublelist:
Doubelist has several listing categories that make it easy to find exactly what you’re looking for. You can find everything from a casual encounter to a friendship depending on which category you choose.
The dedicated personals section makes it easy to find casual dates
It’s a full classified site just like Craigslist
You need an account to post on the site
Some ads are pulled without warning
Oodle is another excellent option for anyone who loves Craigslist personals. This personals ads site is fully dedicated to listings, giving its members the classic classified listings experience. Oodle is just about as close to a Craigslist replacement as you can find. The site has all of your classic listings such as rentals, cars, and services, as well as personal listings.
Similar to Craigslist personals, this classified site has a huge selection of cities to choose from. In addition to a huge selection of U. S. cities, Oodle also has options for members in the United Kingdom, India, Canada, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. If you live in a small town or rural area, this is a good choice for you.
You can browse listings without an account, but you’ll need to sign up to post in the ads section. Luckily, it’s free to post a personal ad.
Best Feature on Oodle:
If you’d like to find someone while you’re traveling, Oodle is the way to go. As mentioned, this site is active in multiple countries, so you can find a date as you travel.
Very popular website for dating listings
Huge number of cities to choose from
Lots of fake, spam accounts
Posting ads is not free
Bedpage is ideal for those of you who used to turn to Craigslist to find a partner. Bedpage is a free classified site with a robust personal ad section. Regardless of your sexual orientation, you can easily find someone in your city using this website.
Now, as with any site like Craigslist, you’ll need to be on the lookout for spam accounts. This classifieds site doesn’t have a particularly good screening system for new users, so you may run into fake accounts from time to time.
Other than that, out of all the sites on this list, Bedpage comes the closest to the Craigslist experience. You can sign up for this site for free, however, you’ll have to pay a small registration fee to post your ads.
Best Feature on BedPage:
One very cool feature on Bedpage is Bedpage Pro. This premium version of the popular classified site gives users the ability to video chat, send and receive pictures, and more.
Available as a mobile application
Free to use
Members report their ads being moved to different categories
Too many fake ads and scammers
Locanto is another traditional classifieds site with an excellent personal ads section. You can use locanto to find used cars and trucks, housing, and events. Of course, if you’re reading this article, you’re interested in the personals section. Locanto personals are extremely similar to Craigslist personals.
Members can find both long-term and short-term relationships as well as alternative relationships. Locanto has several categories to help you find exactly what you’re looking for, such as casual dating, and virtual adventures. The best part is, Locanto is free which makes it easy for users to post as often as they want to.
Best Feature on Locanto:
Locanto gives its members the ability to find partners with similar sexual preferences.
Made just for the LGBTQ+ community
Lots of international listings
Not available as an app
The interface could use an update
OutPersonals is the best Craigslist alternative for gay singles. This personal ads site is best for finding casual dating in your city
This site is like a cross between a classic dating site and a personal site. Users get the convenience of personal ads, with added features made specifically for dating. Features like the live chat option allow users to connect and flirt directly on the platform.
This personals site has a diverse user base so you can meet members from a variety of cultural backgrounds. In fact, you can check out listings from cities around the world. OutPersonals is totally free, but you’ll need to set up an account to get started.
Best Feature on OutPersonals:
OutPersonals has a number of online chat rooms that are great for making quick connections. Users can join a chatroom to chat with other users who are currently online.
Made specifically for personal ads
Great for nontraditional dating
High male to female user ratio
The user support could be better
AdsEncounters is a Craigslist personal alternative that has gained a lot of popularity. Unlike other classified ads sites that list everything from rentals to pets, AdsEncounters is strictly for personal ads.
The personals section on this website is absolutely massive. Some of the listings you can search for on AdsEncounters are:
Men seeking men
Men seeking women
Women seeking men
Women seeking women
Women seeking groups
Men looking for couples
As you can see, this is a great personal site for finding nontraditional dating and relationships. Aside from casual dating, you can also find serious relationships. People even use this platform for social networking and making new friends. New users can get started on AdsEncounters at no charge.
Best Feature on AdsEncounters:
One of the coolest features of AdsEncounters is the ability to find local events. Users can post events where singles can meet and get together. You can also find fetish events such as parties and more.
What happened to Craigslist personals?
Craigslist personals had a thriving community of online daters before it was shut down. The platform made it easy for users to find a one-night stand or even true love.
Craigslist personals had all kinds of unique features such as the “missed connections” section where members would post about people they had encountered in real life. People loved Craigslist personals for the open-minded and laid-back environment not found on serious dating sites.
Although the removal of Craigslist personals was controversial, it looks like the change is here to stay. Luckily, there are tons of alternatives to Craigslist for those of you who loved the personals section.
How to Use Personal Ads Safely
When it comes to using sites like Craigslist, there are quite a few safety concerns to be aware of. If you’re new to using online personals and Craigslist alternatives, you’ll have to look out for scammers and fake accounts.
Here are a few tips for using personal ads safely:
Never give out your financial information to strangers online.
Always keep your personal information private. Things like your personal phone number, home address, and place of work should not be shared online.
If you choose to meet up with someone in person, be sure to meet in a public place for your first meeting.
Always take your form of transportation to a date, rather than sharing a car.
Tell your friends or family that you’re going on a date and let them know when you expect to be home.
If a user profile looks too good to be true, it probably is. Listen to your instincts.
Craigslist Personals Alternatives- Final Thoughts
If you’re in search of a great alternative to Craigslist personals, look no further. Check out the dating sites above to find the best sites like Craigslist personals. Each dating site on this list is ideal for finding a casual relationship or date in your area. Remember to keep the safety tips in mind, and enjoy these excellent sites!
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