Who is Craig's List?

Craigs List (craigslist.com) is now a major power in on-line marketing. Some of the company's biography is well known. Craig Newmark started Craigs List in 1995 as an email distribution list of San Francisco area friends. The growth has been astonishingly rapid. From an initial base of 10 cities in the year 2000, today, the entire country is serviced, and internationally, more than 50 countries are listed.
Craig Newmark
Craigs List only employs about 30 people. Though most of its advertisements are free, it does charge for employment ads in some geographic areas, for example, $75 for an ad in San Francisco, and $25 per ad in 9 other cities.

About 30 percent of Craig's List total revenues are derived from "Sex Advertisements" (Huffington Post, June 28, 2010). Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin has asked Craigs List to stop (unwittingly) enabling child prostitution through its classified ads. Visitors to the Craigslist adult services section "will see what clearly are children up for sale," said Malika Saar, the executive director of the Rebecca Project for Human Rights. Pedophilia has become an inseparable facet of the Craig's List self-identity.

Craigs List has become very popular with shoppers and browsers. The website receives about twenty billion page views per month (37th place overall among web sites worldwide and seventh most popular English-language website in the world (Alexa.com)). With over eighty million new classified advertisements each month, Craigs List is the leading classifieds service in any medium. The site receives over two million new job listings each month, making it one of the top job boards in the world. The classified advertisements range from traditional buy/sell ads and community announcements to personal ads and adult services (previously erotic services).

Craig Newmark's father was a New Jersey insurance executive, and he grew up a self admitted social outcast ("I had some developmental issues. Being a nerd, I had some problems getting along with other kids”). After a 17 year stint at IBM, where he was mistreated by managers (according to Anthony Batt, Craig's close friend), Craig migrated to San Francisco to work for the Charles Schwab brokerage.

Craig's List' tendency toward anti-social behavior, the encouragement of pedophilia and sexual deviancy, the lackluster management of fraudulent operations, etc., all may have their root in Mr. Newmark's own deviancy.

"He put my picture on Craigslist, and I was sold for sex by the hour at truck stops and cheap motels, 10 hours with 10 different men every night. This became my life. Men answered the Craigslist ads and paid to rape me."

The newspaper industry has also been a victim of the Craigs List business success. Newspapers are dependent for as much as 50% of total advertising revenue from their classified advertising, and Craigslist has had a significant impact in their ability to market their product. A Study in Northern California showed that local newspapers were losing as much as $50 million a year in revenue to Craigslist.

The Craigs List website is notable for having undergone only minor design changes in the last 15 years. Even by 1996 standards, the site is very primitive. Craigs List uses only minimal CSS and JavaScript, a design philosophy once common 15-20 years prior, but highly unusual today. The security system Craig's List employs is a hodgepodge of independent monitoring modules which can often interact with unintended effects.

Recently, several states have sued Craig's List in an effort to encourage the operation to become more responsible, especially in the area of commercial pedophilia. Craig's List has responded by replacing the Professional Sex link with the word "Censored". It would seem that management of Craig's List is offended by the government's coercion.
San Francisco's Sunset District
Craig's List benefits by it location. Craigslist headquarters is in the Sunset District of San Francisco, not far from Golden Gate Park. The extremely permissive attitude of the San Fransisco community, in which almost anything sexual, including pedophilia, sodomy, etc. is tolerated.

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