April 28, 2010
When Brad Stone at the NY Times asked about craigslist’s charitable organizations, I let him know by email that “The craigslist Charitable Fund is a grant making foundation established and funded by craigslist.” He thanked me for this information several days before his deadline, saying he would be continuing to work on the story.
Here’s what he printed however:
There is also a newer organization, the Craigslist Charitable Trust, which was capitalized in 2008 with $2.7 million by Mr. Buckmaster and Craig Newmark, the company’s founder, according to public documents.
Not sure what “public documents” he’s referring to, but there is no such thing as the “Craigslist Charitable Trust” let alone such an entity funded personally by Mr Buckmaster and Craig Newmark.
For those interested, the craigslist Charitable Fund, established in 2008, and funded by craigslist, focuses on subject areas including the following:
- peace and disarmament
- supporting US military veterans
- human trafficking and child exploitation
- social justice and civil liberties
- health and the environment
- journalism and new media
- sustainable transportation and energy
- clean water, poverty, and other developing world issues
- homelessness and other urban challenges
- education, and disadvantaged youth
The Fund concentrates on organizations with annual budgets less than $5 million, and on orgs highly rated by CharityNavigator and other rating services.
Inquiries from interested 501(c)3 organizations can be sent to email@example.com
April 27, 2010
Senatorial candidate CT AG Blumenthal is again pointing a misguided finger of blame at a faithful partner of law enforcement.
Misuse of craigslist for criminal purposes is utterly unacceptable, and craigslist continues to work with its partners in law enforcement and at NGOs to eliminate it. Among the many steps CL has taken that collectively set it far ahead of the countless other companies accepting adult service ads (including many among the Fortune 500) when it comes to combating crime:
- educating and encouraging CL users to report trafficking/exploitation
- prominently featuring a directory of trafficking/exploitation resources
- providing specialized anti-trafficking tools for law enforcement
- providing support for law enforcement anti-crime sweeps and stings
- actively participating in NCMEC’s cybertipline program
- meeting regularly with experts at NGOs and in law enforcement
- manually reviewing every adult service ad submitted
- requiring phone verification for every adult service ad
- implementing the PICS content labeling system
craigslist figures in newspaper “crime stories” periodically in part because it is extremely law enforcement friendly — we are known for our responsiveness to law enforcement inquiries, and we actively assist in sweeps and stings — and those foolish enough to misuse the site in connection with crime are disproportionately likely to get caught.
Of the thousands of US venues that carry adult service ads, including ones operated by some of our largest and best known companies, craigslist has done the best and most responsible job of combating child exploitation and human trafficking. Period. We would challenge anyone to find a company that goes anywhere near the lengths to which CL does.
Lagging behind (to mention but a few) are the large mainstream internet portals, the major search engines, large telephone companies (yellow pages), major newspapers, chain operators of alternative weeklies, etc — which derive vastly more revenue from adult service ads than craigslist, while doing far less than craigslist to combat exploitation/trafficking.
Better questions for AG Blumenthal — questions I understand he is finally starting to be asked — where is his “outrage” toward all of these companies? Why does he continue to offer a free pass to larger venues that have yet to take any of the positive steps CL has already taken? Why continue to scapegoat craigslist?
April 27, 2010
From Techdirt’s “Banging Your Head on the Virtual Wall Department” :
The grandstanding of some Attorneys General never ceases — even when they created the “problem” they’re now grandstanding against. Case in point: Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and his crusade against Craigslist.
Blumenthal acted irresponsibly when he put bogus grandstanding pressure on Craigslist to put in place the tollbooth in the first place. At what point does he recognize that Craigslist isn’t the target here. It’s the people using Cragslist to break the law — and that Craigslist is more than willing to help law enforcement track down those law breakers
As always, the Techdirt user comments are worth reading as well.
Speaking of which, if you can get past the gross inaccuracies and apparent absence of fact-checking in Brad Stone’s NYTimes piece, there are some interesting user comments there as well:
Citizens would be better served if law enforcement stopped wasting our money fighting against the very laws they are paid to enforce – the Communications Decency Act and the first amendment to the Constitution – and went after the real criminals who are committing crimes.
Law enforcement – from the attorneys general of the several states down to the local law enforcement agencies – are out to look like they are doing something by pandering to their perceived constituencies. They attack Craiglist, while ignoring others, because such attacks garner them a huge amount of publicity.
Why is Craigslist always singled out for this garbage? Craigslist provides one of the best and most valuable services on the internet. If newspapers wouldn’t have abused their customers for years by overcharging for simple ads, Craigslist wouldn’t be the success it is today. Organizations like the NYT and AIM Group won’t be happy until Craigslist is jacking people like the newsprint industry used to.
March 27, 2010
“Group of Investors looking for experienced carpenter to build over-sized catapult sturdy enough to fling Rush Limbaugh all the way to Costa Rica and help him make good on his promise to leave the country if the health care reform bill became law.”
January 15, 2010
Original CL ad is viewable here. Will go quickly, but would be purchasers note that “Buyer must honor Barry Manilow booking next Thursday”