Good Move: Craigslist Proactively Takes Personals Offline

Who says nothing good comes out of Washington? Just last week, Congress took a giant step toward ending sex trafficking when it passed Rep. Ann Wagner’s bill (R-Mo.). Together, Republicans and Democrats stood up to the online businesses that are knowingly selling women and children into slavery. And barely a week later, the rest of the internet is taking notice.

Craigslist, the massive online marketplace, is putting a halt to one section of its site: the “personals” section. As NPR puts it, “You can still find furniture or a roommate on Craigslist. But ads seeking romance or sexual connections are no longer going to be available.” Executives at the company say they made the decision after the House and Senate passed its Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act. The move, they think, will help drive out the predators from their pages.

Since the law holds advertisers responsible for any trafficking their sites help facilitate, more companies are taking steps to protect themselves from a fine or lawsuit. “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. To the millions of spouses, partners and couples who met through craigslist, we wish you every happiness!”

Amazingly, the LGBT lobby is upset by the move, complaining that Craigslist was one of the most popular sites for “men looking for sex with men” and “women looking for sex with women.” “The news,” one reporter writes, “will come as a blow to thousands of Americans who facilitated… sexual encounters on the platform.” What do they suggest? Continue letting women and children be exploited just so they can find hook-up partners? That’s exactly the kind of culture that’s feeding this dark and insatiable world of sex slavery.

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Craigslist is doing its part to end one of the greatest human rights crises of our time. Others should take their cues and follow. The suffering has to stop. And thanks to Congress, more companies than ever have the incentive to help.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law. (Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)
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