Human trafficking legislation prompts Craigslist to take down personals section

Posted at 10:59 AM, Mar 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-23 18:53:05-04

Craigslist has shut down the personals section of their website following bipartisan legislation that attempts to make it more difficult for human traffickers to use websites to fuel modern day slavery.

The U.S. Senate passed this anti-sex trafficking legislation on Wednesday in an effort to hold human traffickers accountable and give prosecutors the legal means to prosecute traffickers, something that has been difficult in the past because of Section 230 of the Communications Act of 1934.

The bill now awaits a signature by President Donald Trump.

Craigslist posted a message on their page that reads, "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!"

Dawn Maglish an advocate for helping victims of sex trafficking says the federal registration is a step forward and that people attempting to combat human trafficking have been fighting to hold websites like Backpage accountable for years.

However, Maglish who runs Inside Out Salon in Eagle, said that locally there is still a lot of work to be done, she said she was disappointed after a bill that would enable harsher penalties for people who buy sex died on the committee floor of the state legislature, Maglish worked with Representative Brent Crain on the bill.

Maglish also said it is important for Idaho to keep up with the surrounding states to make sure that Idaho doesn't have looser regulations, she worries if that happens more traffickers would attempt to do business in the gem state.