Thursday, May 22, 2008

Is EBay influencing CraigsList?

Well, it sure wouldn't surprise me EBay holds a significant ownership of it. And even if the purchase was crafted so that EBay had little power, they'll always have lobbying power. Of course, the point is mute now that CraigsList is suing EBay. I realize this may seem like it's not a "USA Problem" that needs to be solved. But actually it is.

It's a USA disease to seek a fanatic level of protection from every possibility. That's why you can go to Mexico and snorkel through lava tubes and witness their darkly lit, sharp edges and pristine natural beauty without restricted areas, hand rails, safety nets or rubber bumpers. But, you couldn't do it here. It's why you get on a boat there, go to the second level which may be nothing more than a roof with a 8" high rail and enjoy a beer without someone chasing you down, insurance waivers, safety harnesses. It's why we don't have the variety of fuel efficient automobiles available here that are in many other parts of the world. Basically, it's because we think we need to be nannied from cradle to grave and we constantly introduce everything from play rules to legislation to embody it. Because... NO ONE WANTS TO GET SUED RIGHT???

Back to Craigslist. Craigslist has been a sanctuary site for much of the commerce and activities that the prim and proper (or PC) of our society despise, those who would rather force the rest of us to not have any choice. EBay has succeed at failing much in the last 4 years because it has rolled to the whim of every cry baby - guns, animal furs, dates with models, pirated goods, fraud, pyrotechnics, insulting art. Its goods are now a collection of what the directors of EBay subjectively allow and try to enforced by their erroneous software or the simple accusation of someone unknown, with no appeal or courtesy. They have forgotten that their customer is the seller and not the buyer. They are ripe for a competitor to steal their show.

Craigslist has resisted the temptation to snatch a penny for of every pixel, they've resisted the temptation to constantly evolve their software to a nanny with no sense or remorse. And, they've resisted the temptation to apply vast morals and precautions to their site, like EBay, until very recently.

These two comments posted by users regarding CraigsList new phone verification policy embody the balance of the argument in this post.

  1. Raelene Says:

    I can not tell you how fantastic it is that Craigslist is taking steps to prevent humantrafficking for sexual slavery on it’s web sites. Thank you.

    I look forward to reading more.

  2. Thomas Says:

    Oh gawd please… many people have made more of a legitimate business out of what should already be a legitimate business (as it is a victimless crime) thanks to Craigslist. But now, those who are on the edge are forced off into what maybe real crimes with real victims and far more dangers. Those people FAR outnumber the few unfortunate individuals who may actually be victims of human trafficking here in the USA. I realize some of you may think the heinousness of a crime somehow increases its statistics of occurrence but it doesn’t, only the fear factor increases which makes it easier to control the minds of those who do not have perspective.

    One way to kill freedom of speech, free expression and experimentation is to remove the possibility of anonymity. It’s a slippery slope Craigslist has stepped on, soon all categories will have some sobbing mother’s reason why they need verification.

    I would suggest CL implement a statement on each ad as to whether a posting is verified or not and let the viewer decide then if they wish to partake of the ad’s contents.


Well, sure enough, the second poster's comment is already coming to reality. The blog from CraigsList announced the phone verification would be for "Erotic Services". However, it is now required for many other categories. Did EBay pass it's disease onto Craigslist before they parted? I hope not.

People on Craigslist have become savvy and know how to protect themselves against much fraud and how to change the channel when something offends them. Now craigslist is taking that responsibility on, leaving us to their rose glasses and sterile bubbles. New users will forever be marks for those who continually defy Criagslist attempts to protect them and weakness and stupidity will breed among its users until, Craigslist is the censor, police, judge and executioner for everyone and once again, it will forget who its customers are.

Well, lets hope not. Of course, the solution to this all is tort reform. :)

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