According to the Boston Globe, if you use Craigslist, you may get hacked up into little pieces, served baked, with fine wine. Or something like that. Anyone feel like the Globe should have included a disclaimer? Something akin to, "Note: Craigslist is one of the Globe's biggest competitors in actually making money. They took our lucrative business and put it online, for free. And now the Times is threatening us to close! We fucking hate Craigslist." Am I right, or am I right? In fact, I'm sure newspapers and media across the country are only too happy to shine a light on Craigslist. Editorial pages will soon be demanding congressional hearings, no doubt.
Honestly, I didn't even read the whole story. I didn't need to. A crime took place. The alleged criminal used Craigslist. He could have used the phone book. He could have staked out random houses on a nice, suburban street -- picking whichever one had no one home, or had only a single woman. He could have went to the mall, picked the nice old lady walking to the nicest whale-boat caddy in the parking lot and mugged her. These are things that happen every day, we just don't read about how people should be wary of staying home or going to the mall.
Like all things in life, people should try to be aware. Meeting up with strangers for sex is always going to have a slightly dangerous element to it, to say the least. But, then again, so could going to the Post Office. It's always a good idea to meet people in public places, whether it's for sex or to meet some online friend for the first time. Unfortunately, life doesn't come with a safety guarantee, so it's important to be smart about things. However, people shouldn't buy into the culture of fear pushed on us by the media. It's simply a way to rope us in to buy more papers and sell more ads, not an actual representation of reality. So, don't be afraid to use craigslist, whether it's to sell your old couch or for dirtier deeds, just be smart about it. Crimes were being committed when these ads were printed in newspapers, $50 bucks for 3 lines, now it's just happening online, for free, with fewer code words -- and the old guard's still trying to make what it can off it.
Update: Reading further in. Coakley and Zollman's quotes remind me of Boston's history with Mooninite attacks. Lock your doors! Get your ducktape! Duck and cover!