I brokered my best ongoing "casual encounter" through the Craigslist personals.
I know others who met long-term partners and even spouses that way.
It protects web platforms from being sued in civil court or criminally charged by state prosecutors for third-party (i.e., user-posted) content.
(It doesn't apply for federal crimes.) Section 230 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.
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 .
"We can't take such risk without jeopardizing all our other services, so we are regretfully taking craigslist personals offline. To the millions of spouses, partners, and couples who met through craigslist, we wish you every happiness!
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.
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.