The Charlotte Observer reported this week how a man was robbed of money after he posted an ad seeking a car on Craigslist:
Similar “robbery-by-appointments” have become a growing problem since classified ad websites like Craigslist have become popular online sources to buy or sell anything from pets to electronics and cars.
Of course, nowhere does the Observer mention that this is not a problem inherent to Craigslist. The same crime could’ve been set up from a flyer stapled to a neighborhood bulletin board, a notice posted in a library, or even (gasp) a classified ad placed in the Charlotte Observer! A commenter on the story also calls the paper out:
Did this type of activity just never occur with newspaper classified ads?
Sure it did, but you don’t think the paper would bash itself, do you?
Look, I get that the newspaper industry has an axe to grind against Craigslist, blaming it for the massive loss of classified advertising. The truth, though, is that the rise of the Internet killed classified advertising. If Craigslist hadn’t done it, some other company would have.
Ads are ads, no matter what the medium. They connect strangers seeking a transaction. Just because someone using Craigslist experienced a crime doesn’t imply that newspaper advertising (or any other kind of advertising) is any safer. Spinning this as a Craigslist-only problem is disingenuous.