This was an interview I did with TV station KCRA in Sacramento, California about violent crimes and craigslist. Yes, I know they call me Trent Reynolds. That’s more TV friendly than Trench. It’s not like either of those are my real name anyway so there you have it.
I thought I would be going head to head with Jim Buckmaster himself but that turned out not to be. I would have loved to have had that opportunity.
First let me brag about my one and only quote in the article…
Crimes such as stolen items for sale, offers of prostitution and money fraud are much more common. A clearing house for these crimes is found on the Web site crimeclassified.com — a site where victims can share their Craigslist horror stories.
“I see more crimes reported on the West Coast and in the Pacific Northwest. The big hotspots would be in Northern California,” site developer Trent Reynolds said.
The area is a Craigslist fan base: The site was born just down the road in San Francisco, and Northern California’s in turn use it more and are more likely to become victims.
It’s true. Violent crimes like armed robbery are more rare on craigslist than prostitution and fraud but that doesn’t make it any less of an issue. And Northern California is the epicenter of craigslist related crime since that’s where the site got its start and people have been using it longer there than anywhere else.
Now let’s hear from craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster…
According to Jim Buckmaster, CEO of Craigslist, the percentage of postings that end in significant crimes is low when compared with the legitimate use of the site.
Buckmaster claimed Craigslist is unable to track the number of crimes involving the site. He said the task would be daunting, pointing to the 50 million monthly users, 35 million listings and 12 billion monthly pageviews.
“The incidence is not zero. We’d like it be zero, but it’s not zero,” Buckmaster said.
It’s definitely not zero but like I said it’s a large enough number to cause concern yet Mr. Buckmaaster just washes his hands of it and refuses to do anything to protect his userbase.
User profiles, while not a perfect solution, would go a long way to discouraging a lot of crime on craigslist. So would eliminating the erotic services section. Two things that craigslist is not considering. So anonymous crime will continue unabated on craigslist. Eventually people will get so fed up with it they’ll move on to other sites and then the big wigs at craigslist will wonder what happened.
Again, how have they not hired me as a consultant. I’m not above selling out to the man. craigslist and its users see themselves as going against the grain but in reality they’re just another corporation hence they are ‘the man’.