A new study calls Craigslist a “cesspool” of crime — a study that Craiglist says was paid for by the competition and which it calls “false and defamatory.”
The AIM Group study found criminals victimized users of the online classifieds site to commit 330 crimes, including 12 murders and 105 “robberies or assaults.”
AIM says Craigslist has become “synonymous with crime,” but qualifies the assertion with a disclaimer:
“To be fair, Craigslist as an entity can’t be blamed for the things that happen among its users. It’s merely a facilitator of commerce, after all. And we understand thousands or even tens of thousands of transactions happen safely between Craigslist aficionados. Long before Craigslist, even, robberies were linked to newspaper classifieds from time to time.”
Craigslist isn’t panicking.
“Classified listings scraper/aggregator and CL wannabe Oodle has paid AIM Group to falsely portray craigslist as fraught with criminal activity.
If you strip away the false (and defamatory) paid-for editorial however, and look at the numbers AIM uses, a very different story emerges.
AIM group “documents” 330 crimes that it says occurred in connection with use of CL in the US over a 12 month period. Sounds scary until you compare that number to the 570 million classified ads posted by 100 million or more US craigslist users during that same time span, generating literally BILLIONS of human interactions, many involving face-to-face meetings between users who do not know one another.
AIM Group facetiously writes “we understand thousands or even tens of thousands of transactions happen safely between Craigslist aficionados.”
THOUSANDS??? Shame on you AIM Group (and Oodle). You know better. Try HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS or BILLIONS of safe transactions.”
The post then goes on to quote James Temple at the SF Chronicle who reported that Craigslist is safer than the city of Oakland.