Craigslist A 'Cesspool Of Crime'? Or Are Bad Reporters A Cesspool Of Repeating Dubious Research?

from the i'll-take-the-latter,-jim dept

Slashdot points us to an article at the "International Business Times," that reports on a study from the AIM Group which claims that Craigslist is 'a cesspool of crime.' Interesting claim. What seems to be totally missing from the IBTimes report is the fact that AIM Group works for Craigslist competitors and, in this case, the "research" was funded by Craigslist wannabe-Oodle. That's not mentioned in the IBTimes report at all. In fact, the only mention of Oodle in the article is a quote by the CEO of Oodle mocking Craigslis and playing up Oodle... but never mentioning that he paid for the research in question.

As for the actual "research," it seems laughable, at best, and should immediately raise questions about any AIM Group research. The "research" basically scoured news reports and found a grand total of 330 "crimes" in the past year that have some sort of loose connection to Craigslist. I have a hard time seeing how that makes it a "cesspool" of crime. That's a very small number, especially considering the hundreds of millions of posts and transactions that take place via Craigslist. This seems like a massive cheap shot by both Oodle and AIM Group, and it's sad that a reporter would repeat the claims without noting the obvious problems with it. That's not journalism. That's being a PR service.

Meanwhile, looking at the "details" from AIM Group make the results even less compelling. They play up that 12 murders had a loose connection to Craigslist, but a bunch of those appear to be from one deranged individual. It seems pretty ridiculous to blame Craigslist for that.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    velox (profile), Feb 25th, 2011 @ 6:52am

    "Sponsored by Oodle"

    A link to the original AIM Group report is found Here. Featured prominently on the cover page are the words "sponsored by Oodle."

    That tells you all you need to know about this researcher and his report.
    -->Pre-directed custom conclusions for sale.

    I suppose however that its also good to know that there were 16,204 murders in the US in 2010.
    Considering the millions of Craigslist transactions, and considering the fact that Craiglist has become a dominant method of selling used good throughout the US, the fact that only 12 out of the 16,204 murders were associated with Craigslist makes it very easy to draw the exact opposite conclusion from the assertion stated in this smear attempt by Oodle

     

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  2.  
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    velox (profile), Feb 25th, 2011 @ 7:10am

    Re: "Sponsored by Oodle"

    Correction: The above US murder statistic was from a number of years ago.
    Here is a better source for the most up-to-date information available -- 2009, in which there were 13,636 murders in the United States

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 7:28am

    If I was stealing stuff for a living, I could see CL as being a very good place to fence the goods, especially if I could sell them into another city instead.

     

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  4.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Feb 25th, 2011 @ 7:32am

    Re:

    "If I was stealing stuff for a living, I could see CL as being a very good place to fence the goods, especially if I could sell them into another city instead."

    If I was Mo Bigsley, my wang would be 18 inches and I could lean forward and turn myself into a tripod whenever I was tired.

    I'm not Mo Bigsley, however, and you apparently don't steal stuff for a living. Nor do most people. Nor do most Craigslist users.

    So what was the point of your comment?

     

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  5.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Feb 25th, 2011 @ 7:42am

    Re: I am not a bag-man!

    So... you've not followed the news then?

    Meh, disregard that. As long as you're stealing non-valuable things which are generic enough to not be particularly recognizable and do not have serial numbers I'm sure you'll do fine. Have fun.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Garrett, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 7:50am

    I remember back before we had these stupid, godless "internets"!! Life was so much simpler. After I walked home (uphill) in the snow, I didn't have to worry about someone using the "internets" to break my window and steal my fine china! No sir! There was no crime 20 years ago! Not until these dang wideworldhtmlcloud whatever nonsense! I say we get rid of it all.

     

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  7.  
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    velox (profile), Feb 25th, 2011 @ 7:51am

    Re:

    "If I was stealing stuff for a living, I could see CL as being a very good place to fence the goods, especially if I could sell them into another city instead."
    If you were stealing stuff for a living, I could see that using a Toyota pickup could be very helpful to fence the goods, especially if you plan to transport them to another city instead.

     

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  8.  
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    pixelpusher220 (profile), Feb 25th, 2011 @ 7:51am

    Re:

    You know, Craiglist doesn't exist without computers. Probably should ban computers too.

    Oh and phones since *vastly* more crime is done via phone than computer.

    Oh and cars.

    Oh and [insert any multi-use device here]

     

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  9.  
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    Zangetsu (profile), Feb 25th, 2011 @ 8:21am

    Excellent response by Craiglist

    IBTimes posted the response from Craiglist here.

     

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

  10.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Feb 25th, 2011 @ 8:26am

    Re: Re:

    And legislation!

    More crime get committed via legislation than any other method!!

    That Science-Damned legislation crap oughta be outlawed!

     

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  11.  
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    TPBer (profile), Feb 25th, 2011 @ 8:32am

    Not very good..

    Just did a test on this oodle site and they are listing jobs from 2008, not a very good place to look for current job openings.

    Not even remotely close to Craigslist as far as quality of ads. CL might have it's scammers, at least they do not live in the past.

    here is the link for a Digital Print Specialist,


    http://jobs.oodle.com/r_srxx_/1575184195-11078u577,20/www.hrglobe.info___R406scnyCz S_3gbDS9NtteNKfjd9RtMwJoN6o38hf13mL4qTFbRgRHxrxCVGZ2VV2_9TtBFbTioiCfQqu95MGg,,

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 8:50am

    lets apply murder stat to facebook

    yaaaa riiight

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 8:51am

    Re: Hatchet Job Listings?

    That's right, and the countless numbers of the same kind of transactions over hundreds of years that happened via classified print ads never, ever, never-ever resulted in any type of crime either! /sarc

    Seriously, what is the difference between classified online ads and classified print ads?

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 8:54am

    Nuke the sun

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 8:54am

    Nuke the sun!

    That freaking yellow ball started this whole mess!

     

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

  16.  
    identicon
    Michael, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 8:59am

    Re: Re:

    I think the point was that if he were a thief, he would be using a tool that cooperates with law enforcement agencies and keeps careful details - thus insuring he would be caught.

    Personally, I would fence things in a more traditional manner that required less of a trail.

     

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  17.  
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    Call me Al, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 9:02am

    PR Service

    "it's sad that a reporter would repeat the claims without noting the obvious problems with it. That's not journalism. That's being a PR service."

    There is a book by a UK Journalist called "Flat-Earth News" which addresses this issue. The recycling of PR into newspaper copy is endemic these days as journalists churn out stories as quickly as they can. Very little gets checked and obvious things are missed in the rush.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Michael, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 9:02am

    Re: Re: Hatchet Job Listings?

    You can place classified print ads anonymously by walking into your local newspaper and paying in cash. Online ads have an electronic trail.

     

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

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 9:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Hatchet Job Listings?

    Then newspapers must be even bigger cesspools of crime!

     

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

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 9:15am

    Re: Nuke the sun!

    Yellow ball? Where?

    * Looks up *

    AAAAH! MY EYES!

     

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

  21.  
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    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Feb 25th, 2011 @ 10:25am

    The actual crime rate on Craigslist...

    According to Fast Company: "around 0.00005% of posts are associated with crimes on Craigslist."

    Taken from this Awl post:
    http://www.theawl.com/2011/02/craig-newmark-will-murder-you-in-your-sleep-says-his-competitor

    I'm sure most of us would love to live in such a "cesspool."

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Ryan Diederich, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 11:11am

    Statistics

    80% of statistics are made up on the spot to support person who conducted the study.

    In all seriousness, why is society doing this? Why cant people blame the people who did something, instead of what they used to do it?

    Back in the day, if you killed someone with a hammer in a hardware store, you went to jail.


    Now try killing someone in a hardware store with a hammer. The store gets sued for leaving out hammers, the manager gets sued for not preventing such an issue, the hammer company gets sued for making a deadly hammer and not including a "WARNING, BLOWS TO THE HEAD MAY CAUSE INJURY OR DEATH"

    Makes no sense to me.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 2:40pm

    My two cents

    I know a few people who were robbing off Craigslist in 2006, placing cheap Xbox 360 ads as bait. They would meet the mark somewhere and steal their money at gunpoint, and then trunk them in the car they drove up in. A few home invasions followed, until they botched one and left one of their buddies at the scene of the crime who ended up being charged with everything. I'm not sure if the rest of them kept robbing after that or quit.

    Oodle's argument that they're somehow safer than Craigslist is

    "When people post or respond to a listing on Marketplace, they use their real identity on Facebook".

    Huh? Someone can make a fake Facebook account in less than a minute. This is a pathetic attempt to make Craigslist into the boogieman when they're just as susceptible to crime.

    I'm blaming the victims... I think the problem is going to get a lot worse than it is now, and maybe police depts around the country should make an attempt to educate the public. It's really not the fault of the services that crimes are happening to these people.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2011 @ 10:08pm

    Re: My two cents

    "Huh? Someone can make a fake Facebook account in less than a minute."

    Yes it's easy to create a fake account in FB even though that's actually a violation of FB's TOS. But it's also easy to identify a fake account in FB.

    See the difference now?

     

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

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2011 @ 8:09am

    Re: Re: Nuke the sun!

    Zzz!`^

     

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

  26.  
    identicon
    William Surette, May 23rd, 2011 @ 1:03pm

    wrong Email address

    I had Hotmail & Facebook compromised in 2010. I have not used "etterus@hotmail.com since last year. I notified CL of the vcompromise & requested etterus@hotmail be discontinued as hotmail has 4000 emails just pileing up.
    Agin my request to unsubcribe "etterus@hotmail.com" from
    my account is important. I listed 40 emails with CL and thier still going to "etterus@hotmail.com etterus is my name SURETTE backwards ETTERUS. Pull etterus@hotmail off my
    account & change to bombey@verizon.net. Thats why no replies. going to a dead account

     

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

  27.  
    identicon
    Jason, Aug 1st, 2011 @ 1:57am

    Response to: Anonymous Coward on Feb 25th, 2011 @ 7:28am

    Earths up on the porch

     

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

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2011 @ 2:50am

    Response to: Anonymous Coward on Feb 25th, 2011 @ 7:28am

    Hormney

     

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

  29.  
    icon
    Shine (profile), Oct 24th, 2011 @ 4:46am

    cautious

    I think it's best to be cautious and not be hasty in any of our dealings online. In the first place we don't really know the person we are dealing with. It's really hard to trust people nowadays.

     

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

  30.  
    identicon
    Andrew, Dec 3rd, 2011 @ 6:25am

    Crime happens. Because we lack love. If everybody just follow the golden rule, Don't do to others what you wouldn't want them do to you - nobody will ever get hurt again.

     

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

  31.  
    identicon
    Nicole, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 8:04pm

    Lesson learned: Be wise in your dealings and be cautious whether in CL or anywhere else.

     

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

  32.  
    identicon
    Ann, Mar 30th, 2012 @ 10:01am

    You shouldn't be very trusting with people you just met online, especially when you have to do business with them...do your homework and maybe search about them online first.

     

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

  33.  
    identicon
    jdennifer, Aug 22nd, 2012 @ 4:07pm

    milwaukee band saw

    I have a bandsaw "Milwaukee "

     

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

  34.  
    identicon
    Rand A Shukair, Jan 4th, 2014 @ 3:22pm

    Re :

    d29c9d2e47c1394a94a2cf7ce8fa11e7@reply.craigslist.org
    This email somebody keep emailing me and hurasting me
    Please see if you can assist me with or should I have forward it to the High level

     

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


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