Shaking things up…:
Oodle CEO Craig Donato has taken to the official Oodle blog in order to once again defend the AIM Group study on craigslist crime that Oodle funded.
In it Mr. Donato once again stands by the statistics that the AIM Group cited. The problem is that the tech community has slammed Oodle and the AIM Group for going after the tech community’s sacred cow of craigslist and have totally ignored the study itself.
To that Mr. Donato had this to say…
I regret, however, that we framed the issue as an indictment of Craigslist versus a problem that plagues our industry. It devolved the dialogue – from a conversation about safety (and what could be done about it) to one about a cat fight in the industry. Our intent to create awareness and dialogue became buried in the drama of the day. That was a missed opportunity.
I believe Mr. Donato is being humble as craigslist and its supporters, who are cult like in my opinion, were the ones who started the catfight. Remember kids, if creaigslist was as safe as they claim there would be no ‘catfight’.
I feel like Mr. Donato and the AIM Group have been victims of shooting the messenger.
In his most recent blog post Oodle CEO Craig Donato responds to the accusations made by Jim Buckmaster and others about the recent study by the AIM Group commissioned by Oodle.
In his blog post Mr. Donato basically says three things.
The first is that he believes the crime stats cited by the AIM Group are solid. I have to slightly disagree but not in the way you may think. Like I said I believe the numbers were generously low but then again I’m just some guy with a website so I’ll defer to the AIM Group.
The second thing that Mr. Donatio says is something that I’ve been saying for years. Even if craigslist is safer than Oakland as Jim Buckmaster claims 12 murders in the past year connected with craigslist is still 12 too many.
Lastly Mr. Donato admits that Oodle commissioned the study and did it for marketing purposes. There was no hiding the fact that Oodle paid for the study as some have claimed. If you read the blog post and the study from the AIM Group it is clearly stated that Oodle paid for the study and can you blame them. In marketing if you have a competitor that is obviously inept in trying to protect their own users of course you’re going to go after them. The only craigslist competitor that doesn’t do that off the top of my head is backpage because they’re not trying to draw attention to themselves because they’ve taken over in prostitution where craigslist left off. But I digress.
With Oodle being the company behind Facebook Marketplace it’s obvious to me that craigslist views them as a threat and they’ve been responding, in my opinion, much like Gadhafi has been responding to his government crumbling around him.
Pay-to-Play “Research” from AIM:
It didn’t take long at all for craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster to respond to the crime figures as determined by the AIM Group.
As usual Jimmy B responds in his sour grapes style by accusing the AIM Group of skewing the craigslist crime numbers since they were paid by Oodle for the report.
Classified listings scraper/aggregator and CL wannabe Oodle has paid AIM Group to falsely portray craigslist as fraught with criminal activity.
He goes on to call The AIM Group defamatory and claims that the statistics are false. Jimmy even goes on to say that if craigslist were a city it would be safer than Oakland.
James Temple at the SF Chronicle is reporting that, in terms of crime rate, or incidence of crime, craigslist is roughly 11,000 times safer than the city of Oakland.
Since Jimmy sequesters himself in the Bay Area I’m not surprised he picked Oakland but that’s like picking on a handicapped kid to compare your crime stats to Oakland.
Jimmy also says that the statement that AIM made that the ‘old rules of meeting public no longer apply’ and that CL users should exhibit some common sense. After the robberies that I have posted about that have happened in broad daylight in public places the old rules don’t apply anymore no matter how far in the sand Jimmy sticks his head in.
Rather than instituting such options as user profiles and moderated ads Mr. Buckmaster would rather tell the victims of crimes on craigslist that basically they deserve what they got because they’re stupid.
Craigslist research: ‘A cesspool of crime’:
The AIM Group was commissioned by classifieds site Oodle.com to determine the number of crimes that had been committed through craigslist in the past year. The AIM Group’s assessment is that, in their words, craigslist is a cesspool of crime.
You can see their determinations not only on the infographic above but you can also download a copy of the report in PDF form the AIM Group themselves here.
In their report the AIM Group says that even by their estimations the number of crimes associated with craigslist are probably low and I would have to agree. I believe that the numbers of murders connected with craigslist are accurate but the number of robberies and prostitution/trafficking charges seems woefully low.
The AIM Group also said in their report that craigslist can’t be held responsible for the crimes that are committed through their site, which legally is true. However if people are being brutally killed and assaulted through your website wouldn’t you take extra steps to ensure the safety of your users instead of throwing up your hands and saying “you’re at your own risk”?
Another thing that the report says is that even the normal precautions of meeting someone in a public place or doing business locally aren’t enough anymore when dealing with craigslist because criminals have become so brazen that those precautions do not even guarantee your safety anymore. Once again I agree.
As I’ve said before while craigslist started out as a good idea like most really good ideas it has become bloated and corrupt due to the facts that with craigslist being free, unmoderated and going mainstream that it has attracted the criminal element. Top it off with craigslist’s hesitation to do anything about and you do have the cesspool that the AIM Group says it is.
(In the interest of transparency this post was not reimbursed by Oodle, The AIM Group or anyone else. The opinions expressed in this post are solely those of me, Trench Reynolds.)