DoubleList is clearly aggressively working to fill a certain void   Leave a comment

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…And specifically the void caused by CraigsList’s Personals section being taken offline. This was done in reaction to the FOSTA SESTA law signed two years back. The two Gay Men who created DoubleList two years ago made the website as a spiritual successor to CraigsList Personals’ Casual Encounters sub-section specifically. For those who may not know, that sub section was used specifically to find people to have a sexual encounter with. Yes, these guys made a whole website only for that purpose. For free.

The irony of DoubleList is they clearly have strict guidelines. They are NOT messing around and they can’t if they don’t want to go to jail or be the first people to be sued under FOSTA. The site’s been online for almost two years now so clearly they are doing something right. Unlike CraigsList, the site is manned by actual people and not just scripting programs.

The Co-founders revealed in an interview most of the posts they’ve rejected were either obvious sex work or people being too profane. They want the site to be welcoming to those who are not sex addicts obviously. CraigsList’s Casual Encounters Section was a free for all. People could post whatever they wanted and get away with it on Casual Encounters. On DoubleList you not only can’t use certain words in an Ad title but you can’t include pics of private parts either. All posts are prescreened before they’re posted as well.

The Sex Work concern is part of why FOSTA came to be. The other concern is Sex Trafficking. While yes there are some consenting adults who used CraigsList Personals, Backpage and other websites for Sex Work, the overwhelming majority were not consentual or it turned into illegal activities. So, Congress was forced to take action to hold websites accountable for when people use their websites for illegal activities or to commit a crime. The site has promised stiff penalties for anyone who tries to circumvent the site’s filtering system for sex work.

I made an account with Double List two years back to check it out but after finding out the sole purpose of the website is to find a sexual encounter, I’m pretty disappointed. It had the potential to be so much more than that and it’s a shame to know that the website’s main purpose is for people to find someone to have a sexual encounter with. If site promoted more than just sexual encounters, I think it would generate more traffic and acceptence overall.

Given the website just introduced three new sections–two of which are Sexually Explicit–I do think a Pay Wall will be coming. The site will need to come up with a way to keep teenagers and kids from accessing the site’s sexually explicit content and many kids have cellphones these days. I mention that because the site uses text verification to make an account. The website does emphasize common sense when arranging meetups. Mostly around personal safety and of course, safe sex.

I still can’t believe the site has no barriers in place to keep anyone from wandering in like I did. This would not have been possible 20 years ago even with CraigsList Personals. It would be more than fair to say DoubleList succeeded where Backpage, CraigsList Personals and even Ashley Madison all failed: They have succeeded in building an entire website where one can arrange sexual encounters for free AND normalized it. To me, this is one of those situations where having your way isn’t necessarily a good thing. Given today’s society is telling everyone they can do whatever they think or want, I expect worse to come.

 

 

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