Ron Rosenbaum

Jarvis Watch (9): Nothing to Say About the Craigslist Sewer, Jeff?

After all this time dancing on the graves of newspapers gutted by Craigslist free classifieds, are you still happy with what it’s turning out to be, Jeff? Still dancing like a clown? Still plugging what Gawker has characterized as a virtual cesspool that (unintentionally of course) gives the dregs of humanity who wish to commit murder, rape, and other lesser crimes a vehicle for their anonymous stalking? Still simplemindedly celebrating the fact it’s free! Because it hastens the death of print?

As Gawker recently summarized the latest Craigslist news:

“Craigslist killer” Philip Markoff was arraigned on grand-jury charges that include first-degree murder, robbery and two counts of armed kidnapping. As if Craigslist users needed another reason to feel jumpy.

It seems every day brings more stories that help paint the listings website as a cesspool of scams, killers and sexual exploitation. Here’s just a random smattering of the coverage from the past week or so:

Queens woman allegedly rents same apartment to seven people via Craigslist (NY Post)
Woman reports buying fake tickets to Chesney (Fargo Inforum)
Two busted in Craigslist hooker scam (NY Daily News)
Nebraska Mom Attempts to Sell Her 18-Month-Old on Craigslist (AP)
Hawaii Craigslist Sex Ring Busted; Woman

But at least it’s free! And free is always an unmitigated good in your half baked “eco-system” right Jeff? (Jeff is very big on dignifying his simulacrum of futurism ideas with profound sounding words like “eco-system”). And the anonymity craigslist offers to the citizens and criminals always good, right Jeff–murderers , rapists and thieves all prefer it to using their real names in prepping for their onlinecrimes..

And so a free anonymous service must be doubly good and the fact that it punishes all the journalists you blame for not forseeing the popularity of the “sewer” you applaud, must make you triply happy.

I’m not suggesting censorship, by the way. I’m just wondering if it troubles your conscience at all. Or are you already working on your next suck-up book What Would Craigslist Do?

Or is your mind complex enough to handle irony, the irony that the free listings service that killed newspaers might have a downside to it? That the future isn’t always an unmitigated good just because it’s the future.

Maybe you’ve already lamented the murders and rapes and robberies on your favorite print-killling listings service, Jeff, and I just missed it. Maybe you’ve put some serious second thought into the matter and you just haven’t yet committed it to print, sorrry, the web. Will the Craigslist-related crimes be a featured part of the “new busines models” you’re going to be teaching the sadly you’vegullible j-school students at City University who pay to hear you bloviate? Or will you continue to shill for Craigslist?

How did you feel when you read about the woman who offered to sell baby clothes on Craig’s and then showed up at the house of a woman in her late pregnancy, killed her, carved her unborn child out of her to steal it for her own and was caught with the dead baby? Did it give you the same kind of feeling you get when a newspaper dies?

And please don’t tell me there was no connection between the online nature of the transaction that allowed anonymity or pseudonym-anonymity. You champions of anonymity on the web: do you fee proud about what one of your kind accomplished?

Please tell me you’re human enough to have some second thoughts about this eighth wonder of the world you so simplistically championed against print, Jeff. Then go back, if you still can, to dancing on the graves that Craigslist dug.