April 24, 2019

Sri Lanka

We try to avoid political comment, but one of the team knows a person directly affected by what just happened there. The horrific and cowardly bombings in Sri Lanka are an offense to the people who follow the religion which the responsible people claim to be 'fighting' for. We are all disgusted by this violence, especially when it is done in the name of a religion where the majority of its followers reject it.

Sri Lanka recently emerged from a decades-long civil war (it's complicated, but it was great that it stopped, however ugly the events were). Tourism surged, rebuilding started and a lot of people started to get out of poverty. That progress is going to be stopped dead because of some idiots in explosive vests.

We have been helping a charity in Sri Lanka looking out for vulnerable girls and women over the last couple of years. We will now look to see if we can help more there or in other ways.

We just dropped advertising prices in Colombo by 40% as we know our paying advertisers might suffer as well. Our commitment to providing a free service to all advertisers remains - we know this has generated thousands of inquiries for them in the last months. Every cent an advertiser doesn't need to pay to a middle-man or woman is a cent closer to better life.

Sri Lanka is a beautiful country, full of welcoming and very nice people. Go visit.
April 21, 2019

End of service in the US

We are sad to announce we will end service in the US within the next 10 days. Yeah, not cool.

For US advertisers:
  • We recommend you list on Slixa - they have built a high-quality platform covering the major cities in the US & Canada. It is a service being run by people who care about their advertisers, providing leads from high-caliber clients and they have strong testimonials from their current advertisers. Please check them out.
  • Sorry, but your account, listing and associated data will be deleted within 10 days. If you also have a listing in another country, only your listing in the US and its associated data will be deleted.
  • If you want to keep your data make a copy on your computer or phone of the description on your listing, public questions & answers, reviews and download any images.
For US users / visitors:
  • Sorry we won't be able to help any more. Try Slixa
  • We will try to identify US-only users. Those accounts and any associated will be deleted and we will send an email to confirm.
Why are we doing this?

FOSTA/SESTA came from an initiative to combat 'human trafficking' and 'exploitation' (which we, you, and pretty much everyone agrees are very bad things). They were already illegal under US law, but the new legislation added a lot of other things which made life difficult for independent adult sexworkers and any online platform they might use. A few very brave members of Congress and senators voted against it because of the problems they identified in the bills - but politics being politics - they were not fixed. So a 'dumb' law got passed. In the current environment, we are not sure that the challenges to it (like this one) will succeed, so decided to suspend service.

It is making life difficult for US law enforcement to do their jobs, there's a good write up here. It's also making life hard for real people - here's one reaction from an advertiser to our announcement:
This is where my main source of income came from. I'm heartbroken. [...] Rent is due soon and my car payment [...]

Statement: since FOSTA/SESTA, this site has not billed a single dollar to any advertiser or user, nor has received any other financial income or benefit based on any activity in the US. We assumed a large cost in that period to continue providing service in in terms of listings moderation, advertiser and user support, and costs for bandwidth and hosting.

We maintained service to help advertisers avoid costs (e.g. avoiding enriching intermediaries) and so they could exercise their rights to free speech under the US Constitution.
Individuals advertising services on the platform range from people in a good economic position to those close to or in poverty. We do know from some advertisers that we helped them get 'to a better place'. Many others have asked us to "please carry on and don't stop the site". Unfortunately, we know that suspending service in the US will make life worse any advertiser who is already having trouble surviving. We doubt many legislators who voted for the law understood the real-world effects it would have, or that most US citizens would be in favor of it.

The main justifications for the new law in the US were child exploitation and human trafficking (even if existing laws already covered those things). We have processes in place to identify this type of behavior, stop listings of that type and have never got a complaint for the US about anything like this. Stopping exploitation and trafficking is something everyone who cares about people and building better societies completely agrees with. Confusing these things with the much more complicated debate about what individuals are allowed to do (or not) is not useful. Often, media coverage of these issues often does not look at the root causes, the real effects on people or why the law got passed in the first place. Nor does it call to account the law-makers to do their jobs and revise legislation to actually help people.


We will make a donation to EFF on the behalf of common sense in the world. In the same way we have donated over the past years to a number of projects to help women and children in vulnerable situations, single mothers trying to escape exploitation and other good causes.

Learn more here https://stopsesta.org
January 18, 2019

Service problems

UPDATE: 02:46 GMT 20/01/18: We are still under a DDoS attack. We have service resumed, although it is running a little slow. We will continue to make a series of changes to mitigate the impact.


Since this morning we have been experiencing some issues on the site. The cause of this is some 'amusing' people sending millions of requests to flood the service. Our servers felt like this:

We have restored service, but they are still going pretty hard so are causing some delays in returning pages.

We are working on it, but service may be interrupted as we make changes. Sorry!