You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious.
Warning: This most may contain offensive themes and content. But nothing that Craigslist wouldn’t allow, I assure you of that.
I never paid much attention to craigslist. Oh sure, I heard about it in the news, usually something about the latest scam, or a family being shot dead during a craigslist transaction, or, more often than not, something having to do with a profession even older than craigslist itself. Thank God for craigslist or there would be a lot less prostitution!
Recently I was given reason to get off my duff and go learn more about the mysterious place known as craigslist. Sadly the reason is that the web site is being used to attack my very existence.
First I became aware of a section of craigslist that is called “rants and raves.” Just to enter and look around you have to agree that you’ll be subjected to “offensive content” and that you are at least 18 years of age.
In this section you will find the basest of the base. The very best of the worst that humanity has to offer. Craigslist has some legitimate functions (which are, of course, highly exploited by bad people), but rants and raves is reserved for the creme de la creme of evil. It represents a lowest common denominator of humanity and, trust me on this, there is basically no limit to how low that low can go.
Tonight I did an experiment. I picked a region at random. (Atlanta because it was listed first.) I then went into Atlanta’s “rants and raves” section. The very first thing I saw listed was this: “Coon chokes his 3 yr old.” The content, which I debated reproducing here but simply can’t in good conscience, even in the name of science, was one of the most offensive and disturbing things I’ve ever read. The use of the n-word in the post was just one of the many offenses including a reference to the child’s nose as a “snout,” talking about “KFC (extra crispy)” and much, much more.
And this was literally the very first thing I found on a random dip into craigslist. As such, what can we assume? That this is about average or that I somehow picked the worst of the worst? Something tells me that on craigslist this is nothing that unusual.
One can only wonder. Where does craigslist draw the line?
Like I said, the only reason I’m aware of how this web site works at all is because I came under attack myself. It’s a long story but basically I administer a web site forum and I’ve had to kick people off, from time to time, for repeated violations of the web site rules, one of which is: “Don’t be gigantic douchebag assholes.” That’s pretty much the Prime Directive of our rules.
My experience on this internet forum has taught me one thing quite clearly: Adults do not take kindly to being moderated in any way, shape or form. Just like everyone else they feel the rules to do not apply to them. Ever. If you dare enforce a rule, no matter how well deserved, you just made yourself a rabid enemy for life.
This is where craigslist comes in. Deprived of their voice on a forum, craigslist is their dream come true. Here they can safely remain truly anonymous as they attack real people by name. They have told lies about me, posted my picture, published my home address, called me Adolf Hitler (always a party favorite) and now have even taken up the practice of insulting my wife.
Freedom of speech in our country is a sacred right. But what about freedom of anonymous speech? I figured that must be different, especially when it is being used as a method of attack. I was wrong.
According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the Supreme Court has ruled repeatedly that the right to anonymous free speech is protected by the First Amendment.
EFF says that this right was even used by our founding fathers, people like Alexander Hamilton and James Madison who wrote under the pseudonym “Publius.”
I tried to file a report with the local police today regarding this campaign against us that has gone on for months now. Their response, paraphrased: “Too bad, so sad.” They said it is nothing illegal and is protected free speech under the First Amendment. They didn’t want to look at my documentation, either, saying it wouldn’t matter.
Thanks to sites like craigslist we can view and experience the true nature of humanity and the universe, and, for an added bonus, take a quick swim in a pool of bile. Now I call that a true win-win!