Once Again, Craigslist Isn't Liable For Discriminatory Posts

from the can't-sue-the-messenger dept

A little over two years ago, a civil rights group sued Craigslist, blaming the company for the fact that some of its users were posting discriminatory housing/roommate offers -- which could violate the Fair Housing Act of 1968. However, as plenty of people noted at the time, section 230 of the CDA protects Craigslist as a service provider, not a publisher, meaning that Craigslist isn't the party to sue here. The group could certainly go after the original posters for violating the law, but Craigslist is just the service provider and has no say in the content. That seemed obvious right from the beginning, but the civil rights group pushed forward and lost its case. The judge explained all of this to the lawyers... who filed an appeal anyway. The appeals court has now ruled as well, and (no surprise here) affirmed the original ruling, saying that Craigslist is a service provider, not a publisher, and therefore is not liable for discriminatory posts. As Eric Goldman points out, the ruling (again) makes this quite clear:
"Using the remarkably candid postings on craigslist, the Lawyers' Committee can identify many targets to investigate. It can dispatch testers and collect damages from any landlord or owner who engages in discrimination....It can assemble a list of names to send to the Attorney General for prosecution. But given §230(c)(1) it cannot sue the messenger just because the message reveals a third party's plan to engage in unlawful discrimination."
What will be interesting, however, is to see what happens now in a very similar lawsuit involving Roommates.com that is currently being reviewed in a different Circuit. Hopefully the court there comes to a similar conclusion and we stop getting these types of incorrectly targeted lawsuits.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    dorpus, Mar 14th, 2008 @ 8:18pm

    Is it truly incorrect?

    If the New York Times posted racist ads by the KKK, the Wall Street Journal posted Whites Only job ads, are we sure that they have no responsibility whatsoever? Or is the time approaching for the IT industry to grow up and stop taking the adolescent attitude of thumbing their nose at any form of ethical responsibility?

     

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  2.  
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    Pooped On Dorpus, Mar 14th, 2008 @ 8:40pm

    Re: Is it truly incorrect?

    Huh?

    Do you think the average person (who posts a housing/roommate opportunity) on Craigslist knows these laws? Do they need to hire an attorney before posting an ad? Seriously now. That's just what we need- more employed attorneys.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2008 @ 9:34pm

    If the New York Times posted racist ads by the KKK, the Wall Street Journal posted Whites Only job ads, are we sure that they have no responsibility whatsoever?

    big difference there. with the ny times they have editorial control. they approve any ad. not so with craigslist. that should be obvious to anyone. blaming craigslist is like blaming the maker of a cork bulletin board for a note someone posts on it

     

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  4.  
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    Matt, Mar 14th, 2008 @ 9:42pm

    Re: Is it truly incorrect?

    Ok first off NO they would not be legally in violation of anything. Free speech is clearly protected under the law and this, although racist or ignorant, is protected as long as they do not directly advocate violence. This has been held up in our courts. Simply put if you have the right to post idiotic things (as you did and do all the time) it's no different, free speech is free speech. The consumer would have the final "verdict" if you will by either continuing to support that company or by not supporting it.

    I want to know how you think IT is thumbing its nose at ethics? Clearly you do not understand why they are not responsible and should not be held responsible. There is no way imaginable to police and read every post or watch every video on YouTube that is uploaded. If it was that easy the MPAA and RIAA would not be sending take down notices every 5 seconds. I believe there are good people in IT and most have and follow ethics as people in most professions do. If you can demonstrate where a majority, as you imply, are not acting ethically I would be willing to listen. (What's that? Silence?) Saying IT is not ethical because you think they should perform the impossible does not make it unethical.

     

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  5.  
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    fat Tony, Mar 14th, 2008 @ 10:04pm

    Not the job of IT

    IT aka the technology or the providers are not supposed to be ethical. Not to the content. Hear me out.
    They are liable to provide access and security. It is NOT the job of the geek to judge whether something should or should not be posted.
    Sit down for this one: IT and Service providers are a series of tubes.
    They are the conduit that data, memes, and life pass through, they are not the deciding factor on what that content is.
    The former VP was close to right. He just named the wrong subject in his statement. The internet is an organism consisting of human interaction, NO MATTER HOW DISGUSTING.
    If it is directly harmful to someone (including children)that is not the job of IT or any site unless they are directly influencing the content.
    We should assist in protecting...but we are not the liable for what comes and goes.

    tl;dr:
    No company should have any right to dictate what content, that they do not own, that is posted using their services. Nor should they be liable for the content that a 3rd party posts. They should however assist in legal protection of content.
    Tony

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2008 @ 10:45pm

    Re: Is it truly incorrect?

    dorpus, you answered your own question. The New York Times is a PUBLISHER, not a SERVICE PROVIDER. Very different things legally.

    If you actually READ for once in your life you'd notice TechDirt made that distinction in passing. Even if you didn't know the law before hand, if you can comprehend English it is more than clear that publishers can be held liable for that but service providers can not.

    But again, you are either a) incredibly stupid or b) a troll.

    Now shoo. No one has missed you so why come back and spout nonsense?

     

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  7.  
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    vista, Mar 14th, 2008 @ 11:04pm

    the hell with the law people have the right to do what they want and rent to only certen people the law has no right
    in any houseing renting

     

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  8.  
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    Librarian, Mar 14th, 2008 @ 11:20pm

    Re: Not the job of IT

    Word!
    Librarians have dealt with this for over 100 years. We are often targeted by those "looking" for issues, substantive or otherwise.

    Considering that Craigslist is really just an electronic bulletin board, providing users with the means to immediately report discriminatory comments, I don't know why these complainants didn't just "out" these freaks on Craigslist, or other online entities.

    On another note, Free Speech moves in all directions, but the NY Times critique is uninformed. The NY Times has "editors" and "qualified" reporters to vet the "information" to be published. Craigslist does not represent itself as comparable to a newspaper in any way.

    Why the quotation marks? Librarianship entails a Master's degree that is intellectually and physically grueling. The MLIS/MLS degree is terminal, and we KNOW information. Subsequently, I have earned the right to put quotes on these terms.

    The folks who provide you news do NOT have to possess Journalism degrees. Hence, unless they reveal their credentials and resources, I'm not buyin' it.

    Maybe the hysteria surrounding this has to do with a lack of intellectual/technical reference points. Go to a library, and work with a librarian, before you go-off.

     

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  9.  
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    racist bob, Mar 15th, 2008 @ 12:37am

    he did it wrong

    It's easy to be covert about discrimination. Just say something like, "Must be a US Citizen" or "Must have proof of income" or "Background check required." You will discourage minorities, and you won't even have to worry about having to say something that sounds racially discriminating. You gotta cover your ass these days, be more and more subversive with your racism, the NAACP is always watching... but they don't have to win.

     

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  10.  
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    dorpus, Mar 15th, 2008 @ 1:46am

    Re: Re: Is it truly incorrect?

    dorpus, you answered your own question. The New York Times is a PUBLISHER, not a SERVICE PROVIDER. Very different things legally.

    If the New York Times provides a publishing service for ads by third parties, then what is it? If nytimes.com has popup ads for whites-only jobs, is it a "publisher" or a "service provider"? If craigslist has buttons for "publish this ad", can it still call itself a "service provider"?

    If Techdirt wants to argue that the world of publishing and the net have become one, then it cannot have it both ways.

     

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  11.  
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    kjpweb, Mar 15th, 2008 @ 5:00am

    Re:

    That might be a good idea for a class action suit!
    Cork industry beware!

     

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  12.  
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    I'm Not a Bubba, Mar 15th, 2008 @ 6:00am

    Get a clue dorpus.

    How about you get a group of your friends together, get a permit, and protest the landlord for being a racist or biggoted bastard! Stop complaining about people that hurt your feelings and do something about it. Make him look like the ass that he is. If he is "free" to be a crap spewing racist or biggot, then show him that there are consequenses for his speech/actions. This is not the job of the service provider, dorpus.

     

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  13.  
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    Jack Sombra, Mar 15th, 2008 @ 7:06am

    " If the New York Times posted racist ads by the KKK, the Wall Street Journal posted Whites Only job ads, are we sure that they have no responsibility whatsoever?"

    NYT maintains full editorial control, nothing gets put in their paper without their so, absolutely nothing. Even if it 100% legal or not

    Even though something like craiglist looks similar on the surface to the NYT it is actually more akin to a telephone company and suing them is like suing AT&T because someone used the telephone to arrange (or even commit) a crime.

     

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  14.  
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    Helter, Mar 15th, 2008 @ 8:31am

    publisher vs. provider

    The NYT provides a *product*, Craigslist provides a *service*.

     

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  15.  
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    dorpus, Mar 15th, 2008 @ 9:32am

    Re:

    Even though something like craiglist looks similar on the surface to the NYT it is actually more akin to a telephone company and suing them is like suing AT&T because someone used the telephone to arrange (or even commit) a crime.

    But as Craigslist says, it has the right to revoke posts it doesn't like. So this is comparable to the NYT that maintains 100% editorial control, and thus it is a publisher with an editorial board. I have not heard of phone companies that drop calls based on offensive topics.

     

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  16.  
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    Lucretious, Mar 15th, 2008 @ 9:35am

    *cue whiny student protester voice*

    "Words huuurt!"

     

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  17.  
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    dorpus, Mar 15th, 2008 @ 9:47am

    Re: Get a clue dorpus.

    This is not the job of the service provider, dorpus.

    If it is "not the job of the service provider", why does craigslist take it upon itself to remove posts it doesn't like?

    Keep in mind that you are posting on a forum that is run by homosexuals, so you may not want to be too eager to bash minorities.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 15th, 2008 @ 10:03am

    Publishers v. Providers

    The real difference between a publisher and a provider is the fact that the publisher is being paid for the advertising space. They are making a profit off of the fact that someone is discriminating.

    I realize the argument that craigslist.org wouldn't exist, let alone stand to make any money if it weren't from the fact that people can advertise on it, but there really is a huge distinction between the two on this point alone.

    Also, the laws behind housing discrimination are rather convoluted; for instance, it is perfectly legal for some people to discriminate when they are selecting their tenants, and to discriminate as blatantly as they want. However, this privilege is reserved to owners of fewer than three rental properties (or something along those lines). The law was designed to prevent people who earn their living, based upon housing, from illegally discriminating. In fact, you lose your right to discriminate if you use any kind of advertising, as that goes to show a commercial quality in your renting.

    By the way, I am not an attorney, so don't take any of this as legal advice (probably not a good idea to take legal advice from an anonymous post on a blog anyway), but you can certainly look up the Fair Housing Act yourself - 42 U.S.C. 3601.

     

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  19.  
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    PaulT (profile), Mar 15th, 2008 @ 10:09am

    Re: Re:

    Dorpus, the big difference is editorial oversight. Craigslist (like the rest of the internet) has no editorial vetting prior to publication, it merely provides the service to allow messages to appear. It retains some control over particularly offensive or misleading messages, but this is in response to complaints not because somebody has oversight and editorial control. This is the reverse of the traditional publication industry, where an editor will vet messages prior to publication.

    To give your example: the NYT is a publisher who is responsible for editing content and preventing illegal and/or inflammatory messages from appearing in its classified - similar to the responsibility it has over news, sports and a book publisher would have over its content.

    Because there's no editorial oversight at Craigslist, it doesn't work like that. It's more like a physical bulletin board - anyone can come and post a message and someone else will take down unsuitable content, but you don't have to gain permission for each message. If you did, the service could not work (the overheads involved in hiring relevant people would kill it), and the same can be said of any such service.

     

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  20.  
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    Triatomic Tortoise, Mar 15th, 2008 @ 11:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Is it truly incorrect?

    Well, legal system is not that dumb fortunately. First off, NYT and WSJ would never be successful by arguing that in certain cases they are publishers and in other cases they are service providers. Additionally, when a person or an individual posts an advertisement that violates the law, the so-called service providers (NYT, WSJ) will be held liable by the court as they work as an agent for the advertiser in this case doing illegal activities.

    Anyway, if common sense says that something looks obviously wrong and done deliberately to dodge the legal system, there is a good chance that the legal system will catch them.

     

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  21.  
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    Triatomic Tortoise, Mar 15th, 2008 @ 11:16am

    Re: Publishers v. Providers

    "The real difference between a publisher and a provider is the fact that the publisher is being paid for the advertising space. They are making a profit off of the fact that someone is discriminating."

    In the eyes of the law, they are both for-profit organizations. The problem, as I said before, will be an agency problem where the publishers work as agents to the advertisers.

     

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  22.  
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    Triatomic Tortoise, Mar 15th, 2008 @ 11:21am

    Re: Re: Is it truly incorrect?

    "Do you think the average person ... knows these laws?"

    An average person is expected to know civics and commonsense. It is not a rocket science to __know__ that racism is not ok and normal people are not racists.

    Oh, and talking about civics, US laws mandate that a foreigner must know civics in US before they can be a citizen, but there is no way to mandate the same knowledge for the rednecks.

     

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  23.  
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    Mike, Mar 15th, 2008 @ 12:28pm

    Re: Is it truly incorrect?

    If a newspaper posted advertisements that are for the KKK, etc. They make the CHOICE to put that ad there. Craigslist is simply a place for PEOPLE not AFFILIATED with Craigslist to post ANYTHING!

    You sir should think before you post...

     

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  24.  
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    Joe Murff, Mar 15th, 2008 @ 1:05pm

    Housing Act 1968

    Suppose you live in a hot-property area (such as near a large university) and you have a room in your house zoned and available to rent (separate bathroom, separate entrance, etc.)

    Now suppose you are a young father with two small children, and your wife is a stay-at-home mom.

    Now suppose you get three applicants for the room. The first, a white male, strikes you as a loud, obnoxius, party animal with low morals. You envision loud music and lots of drinking and fornication happening on your property. The second applicant, a single, middled-aged man who works as a prison guard, strikes you as a skeaze-ball pedophile type. The third is a young student from India who mentions he is on a full scholarship in the bio-chemistry department. He is well-dressed, soft-spoken, and seems like a good person.

    It's a no brainer. You use your God-given right to discriminate and choose which tenant you would want to be near your wife and kids. Why in the world should the government be able to dictate to you how to choose? According to the Tenth Amendment, it shouldn't. And stating your preferfences in a written ad is no crime.

    Now, if you are a racist and for some reason you have an irrational hatred for people from India, you might pass on all three applicants and simply choose to lose the money you could have earned from the rent. That is your choice. The government has no right to tell you otherwise. And stating in your written ad that people from India will not be allowed is not unconstitutional. It is honest, and will save everyone invovled time and energy.

    In many cases, renters would rather lose money than have people they consider to be unsavory living on their private property. Whether or not those choices are motivated by irrational racism, by logic, by religion, by statistical analysis, or whatever, it doesn't matter. It's not the government's job to control our consciences or our God-given right to choose.

    The so-called "Fair" Housing Act of 1968 was unconstitutional and it needs to be struck down. At it's core, it has nothing to do with racism. It has everthing to do with big government meddling.

    Unfortunately, TechDirt has reinforced the percieved legitimacy of unconstitutional legislation. A better title and focus for the article might have been the following:

    "Once Again, Legislators and Laywers Ignore Freedom, Ignore the Constitution, and Bicker about Petty Sub-arguments."

    Most people, myself included, abhor racism and would like to see it eradicated from human nature. But government meddling and misguided laws will not change human nature. Such laws are impossible to enforce, and they generate a lot of fraud, waste, and abuse in an attempt to do so.

    An owner's freedom to discrminate at private resturants and private lodgings is a basic element of property rights.
    As consumers, we have the right to choose (discriminate between) which establishments we will patronize. As private property owners, we likewise have the right to choose (discriminate between) which consumers we will choose to serve. When that right is taken away from us, the control of our private property is being leveraged away from us by the government.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Tawanda, Mar 15th, 2008 @ 1:07pm

    what is the issue???

    Craigslist cannot be compared to the NY Times that's ridiculous. And yes, racism is wrong and intolerable in society, but preference is allowed. No matter what laws say if I had to have a roommate I would prefer a fellow female in my age group, with similar music preferences and lifestyle choices because I'm the one stuck living with her and her choices. People are allowed to have preferences. Whether the preference was stated or I simply denied all men because they weren't the right "fit" it would still exist. However, if the situation is revolving around renting without the roommate portion, then the criteria list would be radically different due to the lowered level of self-interest. I fail to see the problem with Craigslist.

     

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  26.  
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    Mike (profile), Mar 15th, 2008 @ 1:11pm

    Re: Housing Act 1968

    Now suppose you are a young father with two small children, and your wife is a stay-at-home mom.

    Now suppose you get three applicants for the room. The first, a white male, strikes you as a loud, obnoxius, party animal with low morals. You envision loud music and lots of drinking and fornication happening on your property. The second applicant, a single, middled-aged man who works as a prison guard, strikes you as a skeaze-ball pedophile type. The third is a young student from India who mentions he is on a full scholarship in the bio-chemistry department. He is well-dressed, soft-spoken, and seems like a good person.

    It's a no brainer. You use your God-given right to discriminate and choose which tenant you would want to be near your wife and kids. Why in the world should the government be able to dictate to you how to choose? According to the Tenth Amendment, it shouldn't. And stating your preferfences in a written ad is no crime.


    Actually, Joe, that action would not violate the Fair Housing Act, which only bans discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status and disability.

    You can discriminate based on other factors, which makes sense in each of the examples you gave above. So, your example does not show how the law is problematic.

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    Joe, Mar 15th, 2008 @ 1:28pm

    Re: Re: Housing Act 1968

    Mike,

    You apparently did not read the rest of my post. I clearly addressed the race issue.

    Race, gender, religion, etc....employing any of these reasons to discriminate is constitutional with regard to private property.

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Joe, Mar 15th, 2008 @ 1:28pm

    Re: Re: Housing Act 1968

    Mike,

    You apparently did not read the rest of my post. I clearly addressed the race issue.

    Race, gender, religion, etc....employing any of these reasons to discriminate is constitutional with regard to private property.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Joe, Mar 15th, 2008 @ 1:28pm

    Re: Re: Housing Act 1968

    Mike,

    You apparently did not read the rest of my post. I clearly addressed the race issue.

    Race, gender, religion, etc....employing any of these reasons to discriminate is constitutional with regard to private property.

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Joe, Mar 15th, 2008 @ 1:28pm

    Re: Re: Housing Act 1968

    Mike,

    You apparently did not read the rest of my post. I clearly addressed the race issue.

    Race, gender, religion, etc....employing any of these reasons to discriminate is constitutional with regard to private property.

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward Again, Mar 15th, 2008 @ 3:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Housing Act 1968

    Dear Joe,

    Actually, if you read the Fair Housing act, it allows a person to discriminate for any reason, even irrational hatred of a particular race, if that person is living in the same house, and they are not also renting more than 2 other properties (I think it's two others, it may be three others).

    Check out the exceptions under 42 USC ยง3603 (b). So, I agree with Mike that your example would not be illegal under the FHA, although not with his particular reasons.

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    JT, Mar 15th, 2008 @ 9:21pm

    Move On...

    Personally I think these are two separate type of cases. It's ridiculous that there are laws regarding your roommate choice.

    Someone choosing a roommate should have complete control over who they want living with them. You're actually sharing your life with that person to a degree. I certainly don't want to live with someone that doesn't want me there (race, sex, religion, etc.) and is forced to by the threat of a lawsuit, it only makes the situation worse or take the time to go through an interview process when the decision is already made. If I want a female that looks like a model living with me (may be a tough sale), that's my choice and their choice to accept. Things are getting so freakin' P.C. that the next thing you know someone will be sued for being asked out by someone of another race and saying no.

    As for the housing piece... Everyone should be judged based on the same guidelines no matter race, sex, religion, etc.

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    DanC, Mar 15th, 2008 @ 11:18pm

    Re: Re: Get a clue dorpus.

    why does craigslist take it upon itself to remove posts it doesn't like

    Because it can. It's solely at their discretion, and they don't have any legal responsibility to censor posts, unless the post is actually illegal. You're trying to argue for moral responsibility, but that isn't the law (nor should it be). Morality is too much of a grey area to attempt to legislate.

    I'm still trying to understand why dorpus opposes freedom of speech so much... Maybe it's because he's constantly mocked for making ridiculous, unfounded statements?

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    PC sucks, Mar 16th, 2008 @ 8:29am

    Political Correctness BS

    Let people live with whoever they want, jeez. I am sick of all this PC garbage. What is the intention of these civil rights groups? to have people living together who don't get along or are not comfortable with each other?

     

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  35.  
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    PaulT (profile), Mar 16th, 2008 @ 10:32am

    Re: Political Correctness BS

    I'd guess the laws are aimed more at people renting apartments or houses than rooms. Either way, would you like it if you were a gay black man and every ad was saying "whites only" or "no gays"? Probably not.

    The intention of civil rights groups on issues like this is to remove overt discrimination and therefore remove the perception that it's OK to discriminate. If you really don't want a particular type of person living with you, you can come up with other reasons not to rent without discriminating on race or gender. This kind of PC law is absolutely fine.

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2008 @ 11:24am

    "but there is no way to mandate the same knowledge for the rednecks."

    Right there is a racist bigot, I am what you would consider a "redneck" and I have a college degree, a wife and 3 kids, plus a home (not a trailer). Screw you and your remark.

    Hehehe just playing, but I really am a redneck, just to prove a point.

     

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  37.  
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    hell yea, Mar 16th, 2008 @ 3:30pm

    Re:

    bingo

     

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  38.  
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    Vic, Mar 16th, 2008 @ 5:53pm

    Suing the Right People

    A person injured by a large corporation whose site is for people to upload videos and the company claims they have "zero tolerance" for harassment, has no other recourse than to sue the corporation. The corporation doesn't even know, nor do they have any method of finding out, who the cyberstalkers are, so, how is a private individual find out who they are?

     

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  39.  
    identicon
    Elohssa, Mar 16th, 2008 @ 6:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Is it truly incorrect?

    The reason they don't have such ads is that they are perfectly aware that people would hold it against them and their advertisers. People pay for ads on the the NYT, and it is moderated. Craigslist is free and unmoderated.

    If you don't like the content of Craigslist, don't use their service, or the services of their advertisers. Tell them so.

    If there are enough knee-jerk reactionary puds like yourself, maybe it would make a difference.

    Also, even if it were blatantly illegal in the U.S., Craiglist would only need to move their servers and business headquarters to a friendlier country. It would take about a week, and there are plenty of countries that want the tax revenue.

    The U.S. is moralizing itself out of the economic benefits of the Internet, because we think we control it.

     

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  40.  
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    Sefu Binta, Mar 16th, 2008 @ 7:05pm

    Pluck-em

    If boneheads want to advertise and discriminate so be it. I'm glad to see that so many have taken an interest to respond to this kinda drivel. Racism has always been based in ignorance and if some want to remain ignorant so be that too. Why would I want to give you my money if you know nothing about me and think less of me because of it.

     

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  41.  
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    Jas, Mar 16th, 2008 @ 7:54pm

    Re: Re: Political Correctness BS

    PaulT... If I were a gay black man and looking for a roommate, I certainly wouldn't want someone didn't like either. Its a lot easier to see intentions when they're right out in front of you rather than spending the time and effort to sit down with someone that clearly does not want you there. Why waste more precious time in our lives by spending them with people that are not accepting of another person? Make your intentions clear and I'll move on.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Mike, Mar 16th, 2008 @ 11:20pm

    Sue Craigslist

    I'm gonna sue Craig and Craigslist! They really are out of control and they promote the absolute WORST of the human race. Craig is nothing but a pip-squeak jackass who wanted to make a way for him and his lowly pals to do their dirt. CL is perfect for financially supporting gangs, pimps, and murderers! THAT IS WHAT HE SHOULD BE SUED FOR! Malfeacense of society and the goodwill of people world wide! I hope he spends the rest of his life in jail someday...the sooner the better.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    Devon M, Mar 17th, 2008 @ 6:23am

    Speaking of racists

    Funny no one mentions groups like Black Panthers and Nation of Islam when talking about racism. Blacks are more racists than any white person I know.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    icon
    Richard Ahlquist (profile), Mar 17th, 2008 @ 11:10am

    What some of you dont realize is...

    ...how difficult this are of law can be. IANAL but I speak with one routinely who teaches and lectures on fair housing. I can tell you this, its a minefield. While it would be nice to be able to communicate exactly what you want in a roommate, facts about the housing etc you cant always do that. Your best bet is to place a generic ad and do all your filtering in your head. If you for example are a person who doesn't want a particular type of roommate, don't advertise the fact, interview whomever you want and make your decision then. For example if you has a phobia of people with red hair like Bozo the clown don't put an ad out that says so, interview all comers and if 2 or 3 have Bozo hair and upset you simply don't rent to them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2008 @ 1:26pm

    after reading this, and then an article on CNN about the website jucycampus, i must ask "is there some legal responsibility those sites have?"

    i.e. sure craigs list and whatnot are "protected", but can they be subpoenaed for the IP addresses of the posters? especially if the comments made by said poster are defamatory or illegal?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Mar 18th, 2008 @ 1:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Political Correctness BS

    OK, then what if you weren't looking for a roommate but just an apartment to rent? The Craigslist issue covers both.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    icon
    James (profile), Mar 18th, 2008 @ 6:13am

    Re: Re: Is it truly incorrect?

    Um, I did not get to read the original article, the link is dead. Is it individuals or "landlords" that is causing the problem. I, as an individual would feel perfectly justified in posting anything I wanted if i were renting out an extra room in my house if I were living there as well. If I wanted to rent out the entire house, that may be a different matter. I wonder when people wil start claiming racism when people post on a site looking for a single white female with no children for friendship and dating?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    Christopher Graversen, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 6:57am

    Re: Re: Is it truly incorrect?

    Dude, this isn't a free speech issue.. This is Offering a service based on a discriminatory policy... It's like advertising your Woolworth's lunch counter as "Whites Only." It's discriminatory and it's illegal.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    Kelly, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 10:57am

    Craigs List reeks of racism and hatred. They WILL remove what they do not like and they will leave what "they" think is okay. So where's the free speech? Hey folks it's "CRAIGS LIST".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    CRAIGSLIST.ORG SUCKS!, Nov 4th, 2008 @ 8:30am

    CRAIGSLIST.ORG SUCKS! || Providing a Safe Haven For Cyber-Bullies and Criminals

    CRAIGSLIST.ORG SUCKS! || Providing a Safe Haven For Cyber-Bullies and Criminals http://craigslistsucks.hu.tl/ http://craigslistsucks.com.sapo.pt/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    tony scott, Jan 14th, 2009 @ 3:57pm

    Problem with craigslist is

    flagging, tehy flag your for no reason any color or any race, as long as they can flag u, they have fun

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    George, Feb 8th, 2009 @ 12:41pm

    Re: Is it truly incorrect?

    Empty dispute. Blaming craigslist is like blaming the maker of a cork bulletin board for a note someone posts on it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    kim, May 27th, 2010 @ 1:56pm

    Why waste more precious time in our lives

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    sara, Jun 16th, 2010 @ 7:43pm

    craigslist

    They need to upgrade there site features

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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