SocraticGadfly: Does Craigslist abet criminality?

December 23, 2009

Does Craigslist abet criminality?

Especially in places where the housing bubble grew the most and imploded the loudest, buyers now getting foreclosed are doing "foreclosure stripping sales." Fixtures, appliances, trees, even ... if it's moveable, it's being offered for sale.

A lot of people are advertising the goods on Craigslist.

Of course, the story goes on to note that in Phoenix, this has led the FBI to be a regular visitor to the Phoenix Craigslist pages.

Here's Craigs' BS self-defense:
(Craigslist does not vet the postings created by its users, and a spokeswoman, Susan MacTavish Best, said the site had not been contacted by law officials about ads for stripped merchandise. “One wonders how one would know the provenance of each fixture and appliance,” she wrote in an e-mail message.)

Uhh, by doing a background check on a suspicious ad? Monitoring ads for suspiciousness? Rejecting suspicious ads?

Yet another dark side of the Brave New World of New Media, eh?
I hope, really hope, that the feds go after Craigs itself, and not just individual homeowners. Considering it has gotten off the legal hook so far on running racist home-for-sale ads, it would be a bit of poetic justice.

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