Trench interviewed about the latest craigslist killing

trench5

Ruben Rosario: Is it fair to blame Craigslist for criminals?:

Short answer, yes, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

The other day when I posted about the recent craigslist killing of Aung Thu Bo in St. Paul I stated that Minnesota seems like a breeding ground for craigslist killers since there have been 3 or 4 craigslist related murders there. Turns out it was 3 but I digress.

Not too long after I made that post I received an e-mail from Ruben Rosario of the Pioneer Press. In a brief e-mail exchange, he asked me if it is unfair to blame craigslist rather than hold the criminal responsible. By clicking the link above you can see my quotes in the very well written article by Mr. Rosario. However, that’s not all I said, no disrespect intended to Mr. Rosario. I understand that stories need to be edited.

As somewhat of an exclusive to my readers here is the entire content of what my reply was to Mr. Rosario…

Craigslist needs to moderate their site. It’s become too full of criminals and scam artists. If you go through just about any section of craigslist I would say at least half the ads are either scams or some other form of criminal activity waiting to happen. They say the site is too big to be monitored but Facebook does it constantly to keep unwanted material off their site. Instead craigslist relies on what they call community policing which is just another phrase for inmates running the asylum.

Craigslist should also get rid of their perceived notion of anonymity. People tend to think that their anonymous on craigslist but they really aren’t. Unfortunately craigslist doesn’t do anything to discourage this misguided notion.

Granted we’re only talking about roughly over a dozen people who have been killed involving craigslist in some way compared to 573 million transactions but that’s more than enough people being murdered in this country to make it a concern. If I was running a website as large as craigslist and my userbase was being killed, even a fraction of a percentage of them, I would take greater steps to prevent it from happening again. Craigslist just kind of throws their hands up in the air and says “Oh well, what can you do?”

And yes the criminal themselves are ultimately responsible for their own actions however craigslist is making it incredibly easy for them to find victims.

And I stand by every word of that.

Thank you again to Mr. Rosario and the Pioneer Press.

After doing things like this for the past few years I still find it surreal when the media wants to talk to me and I’m always humbled by the experience and appreciative.

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