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.

Filed Under: , , , , ,
Companies: aim group, craigslist, oodle

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Craigslist A 'Cesspool Of Crime'? Or Are Bad Reporters A Cesspool Of Repeating Dubious Research?”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
velox says:

"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

Dark Helmet (profile) says:


“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?

Garrett says:

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.

velox says:


“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.

TPBer (profile) says:

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,,20/www.hrglobe.info___R406scnyCzS_3gbDS9NtteNKfjd9RtMwJoN6o38hf13mL4qTFbRgRHxrxCVGZ2VV2_9TtBFbTioiCfQqu95MGg,,

Call me Al says:

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.

Ryan Diederich says:


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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

William Surette (user link) says:

wrong Email address

I had Hotmail & Facebook compromised in 2010. I have not used “ 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 “” from
my account is important. I listed 40 emails with CL and thier still going to “ etterus is my name SURETTE backwards ETTERUS. Pull etterus@hotmail off my
account & change to Thats why no replies. going to a dead account

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...