It became a web-based service in and expanded into other classified categories. It started expanding to other U. Having observed people helping one another in friendly, social, and trusting communal ways on the Internet via the WELL , MindVox and Usenet , and feeling isolated as a relative newcomer to San Francisco, Craigslist founder Craig Newmark decided to create something similar for local events.
Most of the early postings were submitted by Newmark and were notices of social events of interest to software and Internet developers living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area. Soon, word of mouth led to rapid growth. The number of subscribers and postings grew rapidly. There was no moderation and Newmark was surprised when people started using the mailing list for non-event postings.
This led to the addition of a jobs category. User demand for more categories caused the list of categories to grow. The initial technology encountered some limits, so by June Majordomo had been installed and the mailing list "Craigslist" resumed operations.
Community members started asking for a web interface. In the fall of , the name "List Foundation" was introduced and Craigslist started transitioning to the use of this name.
In April , when Newmark learned of other organizations called "List Foundation", the use of this name was dropped. Craigslist incorporated as a private for-profit company in By April , there were nine employees working out of Newmark's San Francisco apartment. Buckmaster contributed the site's multi-city architecture, search engine, discussion forums, flagging system, self-posting process, homepage design, personals categories, and best-of-Craigslist feature.
He was promoted to CEO in November The website expanded into nine more U. On the same day, a new section called "Gigs" was added, where low-cost and unpaid jobs can be posted free. With more than 80 million new classified advertisements each month, Craigslist is the leading classifieds service in any medium.
The site receives more than 2 million new job listings each month, making it one of the top job boards in the world. In , Craigslist operated with a staff of 28 people. Craigslist's main source of revenue is paid job ads in select American cities. The company does not formally disclose financial or ownership information.
The company was believed to be owned principally by Newmark, Buckmaster and eBay the three board members. In April , eBay announced it was suing Craigslist to "safeguard its four-year financial investment". On June 19, , eBay Inc. The move came shortly before eBay's planned spin-off of PayPal , and an effort to divest other units to focus on its core business.
The Swedish luxury marketplace website Jameslist. As of , mashup sites such as padmapper. In June , Craigslist changed its terms of service to disallow the practice. In July , Craigslist filed a lawsuit against padmapper. Over the years Craigslist has become a very popular online destination for arranging for dates and sex. The site is considered particularly useful by lesbians and gay men seeking to make connections, because of the service's free and open nature and because of the difficulty of otherwise finding each other in more conservative areas.
In , San Francisco Craigslist's men seeking men section was attributed to facilitating sexual encounters and was the second most common correlation to syphilis infections. The service stated that "US Congress just passed HR , 'FOSTA', seeking to subject websites to criminal and civil liability when third parties users misuse online personals unlawfully. Any tool or service can be misused.
To the millions of spouses, partners, and couples who met through craigslist, we wish you every happiness! Advertisements for "adult" previously "erotic" services were initially given special treatment, then closed entirely on September 4 , , following a controversy over claims by state attorneys general that the advertisements promoted prostitution.
In , a disclaimer was put on the "men seeking men", "casual encounters", "erotic services", and "rants and raves" boards to ensure that those who clicked on these sections were over the age of 18, but no disclaimer was put on the "men seeking women", "women seeking men" or "women seeking women" boards.
As a response to charges of discrimination and negative stereotyping , Buckmaster explained that the company's policy is a response to user feedback requesting the warning on the more sexually explicit sections, including "men seeking men". On May 13, , Craigslist announced that it would close the erotic services section, replacing it with an adult services section to be reviewed by Craigslist employees. This decision came after allegations by several U.
On September 4, , Craigslist closed the adult services section of its website in the United States. The site initially replaced the adult services page link with the word "censored" in white-on-black text. The site received criticism and complaints from attorneys general that the section's ads were facilitating prostitution and child sex trafficking.
The adult services section link was still active in countries outside of the U. It would likely result in the takedown of what might otherwise be perfectly legitimate free expression. On September 8 , , the "censored" label and its dead link to adult services were completely removed.
Craigslist announced on September 15, , that it had closed its adult services in the United States, however, it defended its right to carry such ads.
Free speech and some sex crime victim advocates criticized the removal of the section, saying that it threatened free speech and that it diminished law enforcement's ability to track criminals. However, the removal was applauded by many state attorneys general and some other groups fighting sex crimes.
Craigslist said that there is some indication that those who posted ads in the adult services section are posting elsewhere. The company makes efforts to fight prostitution and sex trafficking, and in , Craig Newmark received an award from the FBI for cooperation with law enforcement to fight human trafficking. On December 19 , , after pressure from Ottawa and several provinces, Craigslist closed 'Erotic Services' and 'Adult Gigs' from its Canadian website, even though prostitution was not itself illegal in Canada at the time.
Craigslist has a user flagging system to quickly identify illegal and inappropriate postings. Users may flag postings they believe to be in violation of Craigslist guidelines. Flagging does not require account login or registration, and can be done anonymously by anyone. The number of flags required for a posting's removal is dynamically variable and remains unknown to all but Craigslist staff.
Flagging can also alert Craigslist staff to blocks of ads requiring manual oversight or removal. Craigslist includes a barter option in its "for sale" section. This growing trade economy has been documented on the television program Barter Kings and the blog One red paperclip. In July , the San Francisco Chronicle criticized Craigslist for allowing ads from dog breeders, stating that this could encourage the over-breeding and irresponsible selling of pit bulls in the Bay Area.
In January , the San Francisco Bay Guardian published an editorial claiming that Craigslist could threaten the business of local alternative newspapers.
Gordon Crovitz , writing for The Wall Street Journal , criticized the company for using lawsuits "to prevent anyone from doing to it what it did to newspapers", contrary to the spirit of the website, which bills itself in a "noncommercial nature, public service mission, and noncorporate culture". In , Craigslist sued PadMapper, a site that hoped to improve the user interface for browsing housing ads, and 3Taps, a company that helped PadMapper obtain data from Craigslist, in Craigslist v.
This led users to criticize Craigslist for trying to shut down a service that was useful to them. It accepts charitable donations, and rather than directly funding organizations, it produces "face-to-face events and offers online resources to help grassroots organizations get off the ground and contribute real value to the community". For some, it will mean increasingly restrictive terms of service — banning sexual content, for example, or advertisements for legal escort services.
For others, it will mean over-reliance on automated filters to delete borderline posts. No matter what methods platforms use to mitigate their risk, one thing is certain: The Internet will become a less inclusive place, something that hurts all of us. That said, many Craigslist users seem to have moved their personals listings to the "Activity Partners" section of the websites, so it may take a little finagling for Craigslist to eradicate sexually explicit ads.
Mar 23 , 1: On Friday, Craigslist responded by completely shutting down its personals section, replacing it with the following note: Anderson is Digg's managing editor. Taken all over the globe, these images represent the world's very best photographers seeking out beautiful scenes in the most remote corners of our planet. In a perfect world, nobody would drop their smartphones on the ground and risk breaking them.
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