Archive for the ‘CraigsList’ Category

CraigsList’s decision to adopt a Pay to Use model prettymuch killed the site   Leave a comment

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On the one hand, CraigsList has had a problem with criminals and scammers using the site to find their victims for some time. On the other hand, prettymuch punishing the vast majority of people who use the site as intended sends the wrong message. In the aftermath of Congress forcing the site to remove its Personal Section earlier this year, the site now charges per ad to post anywhere but the Community, Resume, Housing/Rent and For Sale sections.


  • Want to post a “We’re Hiring!” Ad? It’ll cost you $45 per ad (Jobs). Why such a large posting fee? Apparently, in years’ past scammers and criminals would post ads soliciting sketchy or illegal activities. That’s why the fee is so high. The only people who post ads in this section now are actual companies that don’t bat an eye at $45 and spammers.
  • Want to advertise a Service? That will cost you $7. This change was recently done because of scammers’ bait and switch tactics: What the ad says and what they actually offer end up being two different things. You would also have the usual overt sketchy stuff posted. The only ads posted now are all ironically spammers. All the change did was stop regular people from posting.
  • Want to advertise a short-term or one-time paid project or Gig? It’ll cost you $5. This change was recently done for the same reason as above as well as people with clearly sketchy intentions posting ads. The only ads posted now are all ironically spammers. All the change did was stop regular people from posting.
  • Ads advertising Massages or Therapeutic services can no longer be posted and this change was done shortly after the Personals Section was removed. Before that, it would cost you $45 to post ads of that kind in Gigs and Services. That ended up being pointless since a workaround was simply posting in the Personals section. The fee was thrown in about 12 years ago because rapists and prostitutes would post ads to entice their victims or clients. Again, bait and switch.


Most folks already understand this but The CraigsList Act passed by Congress earlier this year removed the site’s immunity from lawsuits due to third parties using the site to commit crimes. The site hid behind that immunity and prettymuch forced Congress to do something with every headline involving a criminal enticing their victim via CraigsList.

The fact that the site immediately removed its Personals section within hours of the law being passed spoke volumes: They wouldn’t have otherwise and prettymuch told users to blame Congress for it being gone. Two of the sub-sections–Missed Connections and Rant & Rave–were moved to the Community Section. Missed Connections is for folks to reconnect with someone they met via CraigsList but lost touch with. Rant & Rave is basically a place for people to say whatever they want about whatever they want no matter how offensive it may be.

The other Personals sections were removed completely, first in the U.S. and then worldwide a few weeks later to prevent U.S. users from posting Personal ads elsewhere as a workaround. Personally, I think they should have also kept Strictly Platonic and could have created a new Social Category for that. A category for folks to find other folks to do stuff with. Of course, I am well aware botters and scammers prettymuch took over all of the Personals sections by the time they were removed.

Speaking of, some of those same scammers and botters from Casual Encounters are testing their luck by posting bait & switch ads in the Community, Housing and Resume sections. Not in large numbers but they do have a presence. I am concerned given the Community section is a mixed use area and is meant to be exclusively used by and for locals only.

…It would be fair to say CraigsList as it was once known is now dead.

The overwhelming majority of ads posted are botters, out of area dealers and the usual commercial spam. There are ads posted by regular people but they have no chance against the botters and spammers who have taken over all sections long before Personals was removed. Signs point to the rest of the site being locked behind a pay wall sooner or later. A real shame at the end of the day.


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CraigsList shuts down Personals Section in response to Congressional Bill   Leave a comment

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I can confirm only the U.S. CraigsList sites are impacted. The CraigsList sites outside the U.S. are mostly uneffected. The only change is the Missed Connections and Rant & Rave categories were moved to the Community section. Those who access one of the U.S. CraigsList sites will see the following message:

US Congress just passed HR 1865, “FOSTA”, seeking to subject websites to criminal and civil liability when third parties (users) misuse online personals unlawfully.

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!

Click here for more info courtesy of CNN.

The bill, which was actually passed two days ago and will be signed into law by #45 amends the 1996 Communications Decency Act. The Act, which protects websites and online services from being liable for user-generated content will add an exception and that’s what the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (HR 1865) does. It removes a portion of the protection in the case of sex trafficking, sexual harassment and rape by allowing victims to sue websites.

What does that mean, you might ask?

CraigsList just shut down their Personals section because they don’t want to be sued. For those who don’t know, by design CraigsList is a site for arranging meetups with complete strangers. I forgot to say this before but ONLY the U.S. CraigsList sites were impacted. The Personals Sections in Canada and elsewhere are still active. The Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act only effects CraigsList directly and THAT’S why they removed their Personals section in the U.S.


Because unlike other sites that do similar things, there are no dedicated staff who moderate what’s posted. The site relies on its flawed Flagging system and Community Policing to moderate the site. The obvious problem is it assumes people both take the time to flag ads and know what types of ads to flag as well. CraigsList was basically a haven for criminal elements due to the lack of direct oversight.

The site has been around for 20 years and fell into notariety 10 years ago because of the CraigsList Killer Incidents. The incidents, which gained international headlines permanently destroyed the site’s repuation. To make matters worse, botters and scammers moved in and took over the Personals section a few years ago. Nevermind there have been instances in which crimes were committed using CraigsList. Not that many but they have happened.

What does this mean for the vast majority who didn’t misuse the site? I see one of three things happening:

  1. Internet Forums make a comeback: Social Media killed the model but they are still around. One can still make a free message board through InvisionFree on that note.
  2. Facebook groups: Most who use CraigsList are also on Facebook. It would then make sense for folks to migrate there and set up Facebook groups for the same purpose.
  3. Mobile Apps: Goes without saying.

It is unfortunate for those who didn’t misuse the site but personally, I think this was a long time coming because of the scammers and criminal elements who frequent CraigsList alone. Many people are already looking to CraigsList Personals in other countries so…yeah. Will CraigsList Personals in the U.S. ever come back? Yes, but I think it should be a separate website entirely AND should have moderation.

It is true that some tech companies voiced concerns over the bill but the only site that is really effected by it is CraigsList. You saw what they did in response to it. This was 100% avoidable but they stupidly used the CDA as a shield for too long and brought this on themselves. It’s Lose-Lose for CraigsList now as any other sites that are effected can just blame CraigsList and would be right to do so, too. This bill WAS passed specifically FOR CraigsList so…yeah.

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Developing Story: Anonymous has Craigslist in their sights   Leave a comment

…The media is either ignoring this or hasn’t picked it up yet. I was browsing Craigslist just now when I came upon this ad in one of the Personals categories:

To The Flagger whom Thinks They Are GOD – mm4ww (FLORIDA)

Pathetic Uneducated Slobs who Cannot control their Pathetic Lives

Dear Flagger, It Has Come to our Unfortunate Attention that YOU, Who cannot Control Your Pathetic Life, and Feel That NO One Has A Right to Free Speach, where you Must Be In Control of Others Lives. We are Anonymous, We Do Not Forgive, We Do Not Forget. We are Many yet we are One. We are The Embodiment of Humanity with No Caring, No Love, Lack of Morality and No Remorse. We Mock those who, Like You, Who are Uneducated and Less Fortunate SIMPLY BECAUSE we Can. You are Nothing but Worthless Piles of Decay, Who Think they can Control Every One Elses Life, and Always Give Themselves a Gold Star, and Pat their own Backs, Because NO One Cares About You. You Hide Behind a Computer Screen, and Glued to These Lists, Like Vepid Rot, with Nonhing Better to Do, than Be Jealous of Others, Who Don’t know you, and NEVER Will! YOU MUST ALWAYS FEEL in the Need To Interfer in Everyone Elses Life, because You Hate Your Own Pathetic Lives. This is Not Preschool, where you Need your Filthy Hands Held because of What Freedom of Speech is All About, What would you Do, when Your 16yo Daughter comes Home Pregnant, with Her 28yo BF? What would You be When The Waiter Spills Wine on You, Or, Your Mother Cannot Stomach You because of Your ***hole Ignorance? We are The Face of Chaos and The Harbingers of Judgement. We are Everywhere, Yet we Are Nowhere. You Think You Can control Everyone else, To make Your Dull, Seemingly Arrogant Selflessness is Not Worth a Penny and costs More to Every Worthless Hour you are Alive, We Are Legion, we have Been Monitoring ALL Craigslist Postings, and Have Traced Each One as a Direct Abomination of Freedom of Speech, a Hate Crime and in So Doing, will Be Dealt With Accordingly. A Binary Star System Is Approaching and is What is Known as the Destroyer Star / Nibiru System / Or in the Book as The Star Wormwood. Your Computer’s Have Now Been Selected to receive a Vital Blow to Your Disgusting State of Being. Nothing More than a Mouse, who is Ravaged with Plague. Your Computer and Cellular Devices will be Targeted for Destruction. As This Star System Nears, You will be Without Communication of Any kind or Type. Now, You Will know How Others Feel, when Their Freedoms are Depicted as Your Own to Control. The Only Communication you Will Have is Your 3rd Grade Education, and Selflfish Desire to Hold Control over Everything but your own Mind.Those of You whom Continually Police others While America’s Freedoms Are Being Taken Away by The Very Elect, Who Promised Protection that You Vote within, When Each Vote, is a Meaningless Waste of Time, as Each “Election” is Nothing More than a “Selection” by The Republican (Reptilian Elite) & The Democratic (Demonic) Political Scum, that Sell out America because of the Like of You, Have Nothing to Offer, but The Ignorance of a Tse Tse Fly, But, Rather Than Assisting Others Toward Peace, would Rather, Display their Ignorant, Snot Filled Faces with GMO Products and Slober over a Bingo Sheet, Instead, of Droll, Eaters of Lies whom Gather Together to create a Need for Government and Sold out Your Rights. The Dumb, like Yourselves, Who Vote, Like You Have Just Come From, or Work at MART*Law. You act Like Your Life is So Important, Yet You Appear as Some Whore getting F***ed in The Back Alley, While Drinking Your Daddys Everclear, and Playing with a Pipe Bomb in your Hemorrhoid Filled Mouths as Your Birth Rite. Are Nothing More than a Kindergarten coloring book Full of Worthlessness. We Are Coming, and, Your Disgrace, is Nothing More than Uneducated, Dumbed Down Stale Control as your Importantce Within Society is Measured Against a Deceased Alzhiemers Patient with a Stroke. A Jet Airliner Crashes, Killing All on Board, We Laugh, A Grown Pathetic Man takes His Anger out on a Cat, We Laugh, Hundreds Die in an Earthquake, We Laugh. We Are Protecting citizens Of Their Rights, From the Nazis whom you Are. Visions of Hell Await All Who Play GOD, robbing Those With the Same, Illalienable Rights, to the Same Rights of those Expecting Control over Others, as Acts of Hatred and Against the Constitutional Rights the United States. Expect Us! We are The End Gamers, Who Ruin Other People’s lives, Just Because We Can. We Only Have Desire for More and More, And, Now, Quite Simply, YOU HAVE GOT OUR ATTENTION!



I’m considering forwarding this to Craigslist founder Craig Newmark, who has a Facebook presence. He’s kept away from the site that bears his name since 2000 but given Anonymous has marked its next target…actually scratch that. He’ll find out soon enough.

More importantly, note the part I bolded. Looking at the format, it’s easy to dismiss this as gibberish. I’ve seen Anonymous’ calling card enough times to know this isn’t an idle threat. This is a warning and a promise of what’s to come very soon to everyone who uses Craigslist. Anonymous always gives those smart enough to pay attention time to get the hell out of the way.

Presumably everyone with an active CL Account will have their account(s) compromised and their info stolen and/or made public. I am not personally concerned given the email address connected to my Craigslist Account is one I set up only for Craigslist. It is not connected to any of my other online accounts in any way. I also haven’t used CL for more than a few months (I made the account in late January) and very infrequently at that. That said, I will not use CL after this week until September to be on the safe side.
This brings us to the big question: “Why is Anonymous targeting CraigsList?” I outlined the big reasons in my blog about the site last month and I’m honestly hoping that caught their attention. CraigsList’s sins are great and many. They are getting their reward as far as I’m concerned. I look forward to the fallout from this. CraigsList prides itself on the site being strictly community policed: There is no oversight from the admins. There actually are thousands of people who literally do nothing but flag ads just because they can. In every city. This is a guess on my part but this is who Anonymous’ message is directed at but I’m simply taking some additional precautions.

Anonymous will remind America that they’re still here when they take down CL. THAT is why they chose CL specifically: It’s a very high-profile site that’s become notorious for its unmonitored and unregulated ad posting system and more specifically, the Personals section. I touched on this in my previous blog post on the subject but folks post Personal ads on CL with unrealistic expectations. It’s become nothing but a place for people to find someone to have sex with. Those are the only Personal ads that have any hope of being responded to.

From what I’ve heard from longtime CL users, it wasn’t always that way. Clearly the CL Community wants it the way it is now so…yeah. Like I said before, the CL Community will be rewarded accordingly by Anonymous.

I checked out Craig’s List for the first time a few months ago. Didn’t like what I saw.   Leave a comment

I’m not the type of person who goes by what other people say about a website. If I don’t care to know, I won’t bother with it. This is my opinion of 4chan prettymuch. I know enough about that site to know I want to know nothing to do with it. I’d heard the trash talk about Craig’s List for about 10 years. The media did its part to portray the site as nothing but a hunting ground for sociopaths and rapists, too. Mind you, I’ve known about Craig’s List since 1999. Despite all that, my genuine curiosity in the site got the better of me earlier this year.

It wasn’t until early February that I decided to make an account and use the site. The website was founded by Craig Newmark in 1995, who cut all ties with the site in 2000 and never looked back. He has a Facebook account on that note. Any attempts to complain to him about the site he founded will be ignored and deleted on sight. It is what it is but I digress.

When I set up my CL account, I also set up a disposable email account specifically for Craig’s List using an alias I never used before. Then I dove right in, perusing the Boston version of the site for the last 3 months. I spent most of my time specifically in the imfamous Personals section. You’ve all heard the horror stories about CraigsList Personals: Just last month a young mother was killed, cut to pieces and thrown in a dumpster by a man she met via CraigsList. The thing worth pointing out is these are extremely rare incidents. The sad truth is there really are alot of sick people online in general. That said, let’s just say my expectations when I started using CraigsList  Personals were met in some regards and exceeded in others. I’ll explain what I mean by that in a bit.

I did use other parts of the site. The forums, unlike the actual site is worldwide. You can chat with basically whoever uses the website in short. The problem is the only people who use the forums are trolls, scammers and spammers. CL has gained a pretty bad track record in recent years with people posting fake ads, bogus ads and dealers mass spamming the site in the last few years.

More and more police departments nationwide are asking people who arrange exchanges via CraigsList to do it in front of a prcecinct. There has been a noticable rise in people getting robbed or mugged by the very people they arrange transactions with from CraigsList so…yeah. Try to practice this common sense safety tip: Only agree to meet in a public place or bring at least one person with you. I never met with someone I met via CL on that note. Mostly because not owning a car limits how I get around a bit.

Now let’s get back to CL Personals. Before I proceed, let me explain the main sub-sections of CL Personals:

  • Strictly Platonic: Folks looking for an activity partner or a friend. No romance.
  • Misc. Romance: Folks with a particular fetish looking for a like-minded person. Romance with Sex in mind. Also for those who identify as Binary or Transgender.
  • Casual Encounters: Folks looking for sex and only sex with “no strings attached” aka no commitment. Just a purely physical relationship is expected be it one-time or recurring.
  • M4M/W4W: Self-Explanatory. Folks looking for a relationship with someone of the same sex. These are two different categories.
  • M4W/W4M: Self-Explanatory. Folks looking for a relationship with someone of the opposite sex. These are two different categories.
  • Missed Connections: Folks who may have met up with someone before and are trying to reconnect.
  • Rants & Raves: General Chat. People can say whatever they want in short as long as it isn’t illegal to say. Be warned: People like to post very offensive things here.

…There are filters in Casuals, Misc. Romance and Platonic. Aside from M4W/W4M/M4M/W4W there are also T4X/X4T (T for Transgender) and even filters for groups of men/women such as M4MW (Man looking for a Man and a Woman), W4MW (Woman looking for a man and woman), MW4M/MW4W (Man and Woman looking for a man/woman) and even W4MM/M4MMW (Woman looking for Multiple Men/Women). It doesn’t necessarily mean they want an orgy on that note.

Anyway, according to many of the people I’ve talked to who’ve used the site for years, CL Personals was a half-decient place. You were at least guaranteed to arrange a meetup within 24 hours of posting a Personal Ad. Starting about 10 years back, Prostitutes showed up in droves and prettymuch took over Casuals. In recent years they’ve overrun Misc. Romance, the main X4X categories and are even moving in on Platonic, which is strictly for non-sexual/romantic connections. To make matters worse, there is a verification scam running rampant that’s effectively rendered using most of CL Personals nearly impossible. Folks are afraid to both post ads and reply to ads for fear of getting spammed.

You will notice I never mentioned to site’s admins. This was not an oversight on my part: CraigList staff are hands-off: In fact, the site strictly uses community policing. In short, the lunatics run the asylum. This means anything not flagged can stay up forever and anything can be flagged for any or no reason with ZERO oversight. Oh, there is a Help Forum and a Flag Help Forum but only go there if you wanna be judged by the sociopaths who frequent those two boards. Actual CL Staff are not around. Like I said, the lunatics run the asylum. LOL.

…Would I reccommend anyone use CraigsList? Absolutely not. The sheer amount of precautions that must be taken every step of the way from making an account to arranging a meetup regardless of the reason. CraigsList for the vast majority is the epitome of the saying “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Those who have things go well for them are the exceptions. More of than not, you wasted your time posting an ad or replying to one. I mean this in general, not just Personals.

The site’s been around 20 years and hasn’t changed AT ALL. This despite the bad press it continues to get from the extreme cases the media decides to pick up. I consider myself lucky I went in not expecting to actually meet anyone. 3 Months later, I don’t feel as bothered compared to many others who use CL Personals. I had realistic expectations is all. Said expectations were met. The amount of crap on CL…well, it has to be seen to be believed.

It’s no wonder Craig Newmark cut all ties with the site he created and still bears his name. I’m pretty sure that at some point after he left, he quietly asked himself “What was I thinking when I made this website?” yet rather than do the humane thing and have it shut down, he’s content letting the wildfire burn itself out. The obvious problem is the process is gonna take YEARS.

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