As you may know, Craigslist abolished its “Personals” ads earlier this year after the passage of FOSTA and SESTA, two disastrous pieces of legislation which were supposed to protect victims of sex trafficking by making the hosts of websites liable if they were used by traffickers and pimps. The bills were intended to make life safer for vulnerable people, but have resulted in less safety and independence. Sex works are not only unable to post warnings about dangerous clients, but have been forced to rely more on pimps again.
Although most of the Personal ads on Craigslist were posted by people seeking companionship or romance, Craigslist decided they had to shut down the section entirely because of the risk of prosecution. However, plucky seekers of companionship have not given up on the beloved website. They’re simply using the “Missed Connections” section now. Despite being intended for people looking for that someone they briefly knew or encountered, the section has been co-opted in order to create relationships between people who have never “connected” at all.
One fellow in Albany, for instance, posts to Missed Connections to say he’s “Looking for my m2m regular” and declares, “I’m the best you have had yet. Hoping to keep that title.” If that boast title-ates you, contact him. Another anonymous poster is seeking an additional source of income, as they’re already working all of the “regular” jobs they can handle. Apparently, they’re “desperate and willing to do just about anything,” which isn’t even remotely suggestive.
In another equally suspicious vein, a recent poster has been asking if anyone has seen their friend “Krystal”, who “goes fast,” and would “like to get her number.”
Never fear, though. If you scroll a bit further you’ll find the more average Missed Connections fare you know and love, such as a young man from Lebanon trying to reconnect with the gas station girl he is “pretty sure” he had a “one-time thing” within high school. Not catching her name then, or on her name tag the other day, doesn’t seem like a promising start. Though he might be better off than the other Lebanite looking for “homeless girl at the park” to ask her out for drinks.
If you take an extended trip down the search results you’ll surely still find all sorts of posts to keep you busy. Among the very best are ongoing threads such as “I’m having a really bad time again,” which have multiple public replies. It’s like two ships passing in the night, only they’re not ships and it is quite possibly 8 a.m. Why are these people playing out their drama on Craigslist? Why not, I suppose.
By John M. Burt