This is not the first time Craigslist listings have come under scrutiny in relation to sex trafficking.
In 2010, the site shut down its section for erotic services after it faced mounting pressure from state attorneys general - a move that may have actually endangered sex workers.
"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.
Gai Pied published personal ads from 1979 until 1991.
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There is little precedent, however, for the knee-jerk removal of the personals section last week - what to many of the site's LGBT users might have felt like waking up to discover Tinder had simply vanished off their phones overnight.
The SESTA-FOSTA bill diffusely raises concerns for consensual sex workers.