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Craigslist shuts down personal ads section

It follows the passage of a law that could find websites liable for sex trafficking.

Craigslist has taken down the personal ads section of its website following the passage of a sex trafficking law in Congress.

The classified ads site announced on Friday it was taking "personals" offline following the approval of the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) this week.

The law, Craigslist says, would make the company criminally and civilly liable when "third parties (users) misuse online personals unlawfully."

"Any tool or service can be misused," it wrote. "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!"

Related: 

– Craigslist ads seek topless women to serve wealthy Super Bowl clients.

The new law would create an exception to the 1996 Communications Decency Act, that CNN Money reports would "pave the way for victims of sex trafficking to sue websites that facilitate their abuse."

But the move has been met with disapproval from free speech activists, who argue it's a form of censorship, as well as sex workers who uses services such as Craigslist personals to advertise their services.

As NPR reports, sex workers fear it will make people in the industry less safe, as they'll be pushed further onto the street or "deeper into the dark web."

But supporters of the law say it will hold websites more accountable for the content users post that could contribute to child sex trafficking.

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