Google screen grab.

I’m in the middle of an apartment search and can’t help but pay attention to all the evil Craigslist news out there.

We already know it’s helping kill off newspapers, but what about people in general. Does Craigslist help kill people? Or lead them to lives of sexual servitude? If you’ve been keeping up with the body count on L.I., you might think so. I personally have nothing against Craig Newmark. Get that money. But his site has created a new way for predators to catch their prey. Answering random Craigslist ads, or inquiries is the digital equivalent to hitchhiking on a dark California freeway. You never what kind of wacko you’re going to get involved with.

Other than the really suspect apartment I lived in off York Ave. in Eagle Rock, I’ve only found good things off Craigslist.

It’s where I found my very first Canon point and shoot, bought off a young lady who met up with me in the Coffee Bean parking lot off Sunset oh-so-many years ago. It’s also where I listed, and soon after found a good renter, for my last bedroom. Harlem landlady had too many rules for living in that brownstone. Craiglist has been a useful tool for finding stuff. So, why does it also have this dark side?

Screen grab (click to enlarge)

I assume it’s because Craigslist is free that it attracts so much weirdness. Or maybe it’s that it balances this line between proletariat resource and social playground. It’s meant to be this digital public market place. But with all things digital we tend to get desires of the flesh involved. Which is cool. Personally, I haven’t scored a date online since Friendster  (which did NOT look like this back in the day).

As I continue my apartment search, I’m leery of anyone with an apartment that’s too cheap, or anyone asking me for my social. I just hope none of these potential landlords want to use me or my girl as sex slaves, or worse.

It’s a terrible thing that people use such a great (free) resource like Craigslist to take advantage of desperate people in some of the worse ways. And it’s not cool that I lost my job probably because the former paper I worked at couldn’t beat CL’s ad prices. Either way, the site should go on, and we just need to always stay aware that if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. And if you’re selling yourself online, then you’re entering a dangerous world from the gate. So, be careful, and watch your back. On all planes of reality.

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