Archive for the ‘People’ Category
We are pleased with the Chancellor Chandler’s split decision, which he foreshadowed in his concluding remarks at trial. As the Chancellor opines intoday’s ruling, “more fortunate than Goliath, eBay leaves this field with only a gash across its forehead; less fortunate than David, craigslist leaves this field with something less than total victory.”
He affirmed craigslist’s “Staggered Board Amendments,” finding they were approved “in good faith to prevent eBay, a business competitor, from having access to confidential craigslist board discussions.” He also provided valuable guidance to fiduciaries of closely-held private companies like craigslist, when carrying out their obligations to protect against conflicted, duplicitous, and/or predatory shareholders.
The Chancellor deferred to “the California judiciary” to decide “whether eBay’s use of craigslist’s non-public information or its competitive activity was unlawful.” These and craigslist’s other claims will now be taken up in San Francisco before Superior Court Judge Richard A. Kramer, in craigslist vs eBay, filed May 2008 but stayed pending today’s ruling.
I see you’ve now gotten around to requesting an interview with me or a company spokesperson, 90 days after you ambushed our namesake and founder, Craig Newmark, following his May 20th talk on veteran’s affairs and other issues unrelated to craigslist, at a conference in Washington.
You knew Craig was not in management or a company spokesperson, but setting CNN’s ethical code aside, you sidestepped company channels in favor of ambushing our semi-retired founder, complete with a misleading “set up” for your surprise questions. Now that CNN has aired your highly misleading piece dozens of times, mischaracterizing your stunt as a serious interview on this subject, and you’ve updated your “bio” to showcase this rare jewel of investigative journalism, you’re ready to try actually interviewing the company itself on this subject.
There is a class of “journalists” known for gratuitously trashing respected organizations and individuals, ignoring readily available facts in favor of rank sensationalism and self-promotion. They work for tabloid media. Your stunt has veteran news pros we know recoiling in journalistic horror, some of them chalking it up to a decline in CNN’s standards, which is unfortunate.
Seeing how you’ve pinned your career hopes on butchering this story, I’ll have to pass. If Anderson Cooper would like to come out to SF and sit with us for an interview worthy of CNN’s viewers, we’ll consider it.
Malika Saada Saar,
We saw your performance on CNN, and have read your recent letter.
You claim to be “appalled that [craigslist is] requesting the police reports from young victims as proof of their trauma.”
As you must know, because it was quite clear in my letter to you, we asked for the police reports for the **perpetrators** of these crimes, not for personal information about the victims.
We are stunned and appalled that, as an “advocate” for these young victims, you have chosen to provide the case information from the District Court of Maryland for one of the victims to CNN for display to its mass television audience and to the users of its website.
What possible reason could there be for doing such a thing? The case number was clearly displayed, and by doing so you have made the victim’s full name and other very personal details easily accessible to anyone who wants to look up her case, including to the criminals who victimized her.
For the victim’s sake, please work with CNN immediately to properly redact this court record (which we did not ask for), before the victim’s misfortunes are further compounded by your error in judgement, as well as CNN’s error in judgement in actually broadcasting this information.
In our view, victims of such crimes should not be arrested in the first place. It seems wrong to treat as a criminal the very victim of such a crime. In fact the case report you publicized reveals trial is pending against one of the victims, which seems very unfortunate indeed.
Returning to your conduct, that an “advocate” would display zero interest in the actual criminals who exploited these victims, or in the fact that the victims themselves are now being treated as criminals, choosing to focus instead exclusively on craigslist, strikes us as misguided at best. Obviously your financial backers had a very particular purpose in mind.
Regardless of what you believe about those issues however, we would like to think you would wholeheartedly agree that an “advocate” should not be gratuitously publicizing victims’ personal records for the “advocate’s” own purposes. Please address this critical error before it is too late.
Finally, please do respond to our request for the police reports of the criminals who you maintain misused craigslist in commercially exploiting these girls, so that we can make sure we have done everything possible to assist in bringing them to justice.
Although the person whose case information you displayed was actually nearly 19 at the time of her arrest according to the court record, and not underage as you had implied, and although these events took place before we implemented manual screening of ads, we would also like to be able to review these reports from the perspective of potentially further improving our preventitive measures.
To AK and MC:
We saw your recent half-page newspaper advertisements in the Washington Post and San Francisco Chronicle. Hearing your accounts of being victimized by criminals who you mention also misused our site, we are anxious to know that the perpetrators are behind bars. Would you or the advocacy groups who placed the ads please let us know where the police reports were filed? We have been unable thus far to identify police reports matching the crimes you describe. If craigslist was misused, we want to learn more so we can improve our preventative measures. If anyone committing such crimes has not yet been apprehended and prosecuted, we want to do everything in our power to assist the police in making that happen. You can send the information to firstname.lastname@example.org. We work with law enforcement to bring to justice any criminals foolish enough to incriminate themselves by misusing our site, and want to make sure everything possible has been done in your cases.
craigslist is used by more than 50 million Americans to facilitate billions of interactions each month, and criminal misuse of the site is quite rare. We are dedicated to eliminating it entirely however, and in this regard we have been working for years to ensure that craigslist is very much part of the solution to crimes such as trafficking and exploitation of minors. In November 2008, we issued a Joint Statement with 40 Attorneys General and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, describing an array of measures to prevent misuse of craigslist. In May 2009 we went beyond those measures and implemented manual screening of each adult services ad. Based on the time period mentioned in your newspaper ads, it appears the events you describe may have occurred before manual screening was implemented.
craigslist is one of the few bright spots and success stories in the critical fight against trafficking and child exploitation. We’ve been told as much by experts on the front lines, many of whom we have met with in person, and many of whom have shared helpful suggestions we have incorporated in our approach. Even politicians looking to advance their careers by publicly criticizing us grudgingly admit (when pressed) that we have made giant strides, and that craigslist is virtually alone among advertising venues in vigorously combating exploitation and trafficking.
For example, to our knowledge only craigslist, out of countless venues, takes any of the following measures, let alone all of them:
* educating and encouraging users to report trafficking/exploitation
* prominently featuring anti-trafficking/exploitation resources
* creating specialized victim search interfaces for law enforcement
* actively participating in NCMEC’s cybertipline program
* leading all awareness efforts for the National Trafficking Hotline
* meeting regularly with experts at nonprofits and in law enforcement
* manually reviewing every adult service ad prior to posting
* requiring phone verification for every adult service ad
* implementing the PICS content labeling system
We are not content however, and are committed to making further progress. Specific information about the outrageous misuse of our site you describe in your advertisements will help prevent such crimes in the future.
Enterprising CL user Steven Ortiz has reportedly traded his way up from an old cell phone to a porsche in Glendora, CA.
Not bad, although fellow barterer Kyle MacDonald traded up from a red paper clip to a house in Saskatchewan in 2008.
Hmmm, wonder what I could get for 10 tea bags of rich, robust Guayaki fair trade Yerba Maté?
As a long-time Ann Arbor resident, I enjoyed this A2 journalist’s paeon to CL, including this nugget:
Like a bottle of Kaopectate, you may not use Craigslist on a regular basis. But it’s good to know it’s there when you need it.
Hopefully this won’t spark a “run” on bismuth subsalicylate.
Here are the top 5 search providers, as ranked by Comscore for March 2010. Just for fun I’ve added % growth since January 2009, when Jeremy Zawodny(formerly at Yahoo) replaced craigslist’s old search architecture:
Wonder how CL would rank if we were actually in the search business?