Craiglist Net

Craigslist – Wikipedia

Craigslist reenshot of the main page on January 26, 2008Type of businessPrivately held companyType of siteClassifieds, forumsAvailable inEnglish, French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, PortugueseFounded1995; 26 years ago (incorporated 1999)HeadquartersSan Francisco, California, U. S. [1]Area served570 cities in 70 countriesFounder(s)Craig NewmarkKey peopleJim Buckmaster (CEO)ServicesWeb communicationsRevenue US$694 million (2016)Net income US$500 million (2016)Employees50 (2017)URL2]Launched1995; 26 years agoCurrent statusActiveWritten inPerl[3]
Craigslist (stylized as craigslist) is an American classified advertisements website with sections devoted to jobs, housing, for sale, items wanted, services, community service, gigs, résumés, and discussion forums.
Craig Newmark began the service in 1995 as an email distribution list to friends, featuring local events in the San Francisco Bay Area. It became a web-based service in 1996 and expanded into other classified categories. It started expanding to other U. and Canadian cities in 2000, and now covers 70 countries.
In March 2008, Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Portuguese became the first non-English languages Craigslist supported. [4] As of August 9, 2012, over 700 cities and areas in 70 countries had Craigslist sites. [5] Some Craigslist sites cover large regions instead of individual metropolitan areas—for example, the U. states of Delaware and Wyoming, the Colorado Western Slope, the California Gold Country, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan are among the locations with their own Craigslist sites. [6] Craigslist sites for some large cities, such as Los Angeles, also include the ability for the user to focus on a specific area of a city (such as central Los Angeles).
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. [7][8] In early 1995, he began an email distribution list to friends. 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. [9] People trying to get technical positions filled found that the list was a good way to reach people with the skills they were looking for. 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 1995 Majordomo had been installed and the mailing list “Craigslist” resumed operations. Community members started asking for a web interface. Newmark registered “”, and the website went live in 1996. [9]
In the fall of 1998, the name “List Foundation” was introduced and Craigslist started transitioning to the use of this name. In April 1999, 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 1999. [7] Around the time of these events, Newmark realized the site was growing so fast that he could stop working as a software engineer and devote his full attention to running Craigslist. By April 2000, there were nine employees working out of Newmark’s San Francisco apartment. [10]
In January 2000, current CEO Jim Buckmaster joined the company as lead programmer and CTO. 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 2000. [11]
The website expanded into nine more U. cities in 2000, four in 2001 and 2002 each, and 14 in 2003. On August 1, 2004, Craigslist began charging $25 to post job openings on the New York and Los Angeles pages. On the same day, a new section called “Gigs” was added, where low-cost and unpaid jobs can be posted free.
The site serves more than 20 billion[12] page views per month, putting it in 72nd place overall among websites worldwide and 11th place overall among websites in the United States (per on June 28, 2016), with more than 49. 4 million unique monthly visitors in the United States alone (per on January 8, 2010). 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. [13][14] The 23 largest U. cities listed on the Craigslist home page collectively receive more than 300, 000 postings per day just in the “for sale” and “housing” sections as of October 2011. [15] The classified advertisements range from traditional buy/sell ads and community announcements to personal ads.
In 2009, Craigslist operated with a staff of 28 people. [16]
Financials and ownership[edit]
In December 2006, at the UBS Global Media Conference in New York, Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster told Wall Street analysts that Craigslist had little interest in maximizing profit, and instead preferred to help users find cars, apartments, jobs and dates. [17][18]
Craigslist’s main source of revenue is paid job ads in select American cities. The company does not formally disclose financial or ownership information. Analysts and commentators have reported varying figures for its annual revenue, ranging from $10 million in 2004, $20 million in 2005, and $25 million in 2006 to possibly $150 million in 2007. [19][20][21] Fortune has described their revenue model as “quasi-socialist”, citing their focus on features for users regardless of profitability. Eric Baker of StubHub has described the site as a “potential gold mine of revenue, if only it would abandon its communist manifesto. “[19]
On August 13, 2004, Newmark announced on his blog that auction giant eBay had purchased a 25% stake in the company from a former employee. [22] Some fans of Craigslist expressed concern that this development would affect the site’s longtime non-commercial nature. As of April 2012, there have been no substantive changes to the usefulness, or the non-advertising nature of the site; neither banner ads, nor charges for a few services provided to businesses.
The company was believed to be owned principally by Newmark, Buckmaster and eBay (the three board members). eBay owned approximately 25%, and Newmark is believed to own the largest stake. [6][21][23]
In April 2008, eBay announced it was suing Craigslist to “safeguard its four-year financial investment”. eBay claimed that in January 2008, Craigslist executives took actions that “unfairly diluted eBay’s economic interest by more than 10%”. [24] Craigslist filed a counter-suit in May 2008 to “remedy the substantial and ongoing harm to fair competition” that Craigslist claimed was constituted by eBay’s actions as Craigslist shareholders; the company claimed that it had used its minority stake to gain access to confidential information, which it then used as part of its competing service Kijiji. [25][26]
On June 19, 2015, eBay Inc. announced that it would divest its stake back to Craigslist for an undisclosed amount, and settle its litigation with the company. 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. [25]
The Swedish luxury marketplace website received a lawsuit filed on July 11, 2012[27] which among unspecified damages also asked for a complete shutdown of [28] As a consequence, the young company was forced to rename to JamesEdition.
Content policies[edit]
As of 2012, mashup sites such as and were overlaying Craigslist data with Google Maps and adding their own search filters to improve usability. In June 2012, Craigslist changed its terms of service to disallow the practice. In July 2012, Craigslist filed a lawsuit against [29] Following the shutdown of, some users complained that the service was useful to them and therefore should have remained intact. [30]
In December 2019, Craigslist introduced a platform for iOS and a beta version on Android. [31]
Site characteristics[edit]
Over the years Craigslist has become a very popular online destination for arranging for dates and sex. [32][33][34][35][36] The personals section allows for postings that are for “strictly platonic”, “dating/romance”, and “casual encounters”. [32][33][35][36]
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. [37]
In 2005, San Francisco Craigslist’s men seeking men section was attributed to facilitating sexual encounters and was the second most common correlation to syphilis infections. [37] The company has been pressured by San Francisco Department of Public Health officials, prompting Jim Buckmaster to state that the site has a very small staff and that the public “must police themselves”. [37] The site has, however, added links to San Francisco City Clinic and STD forums. [37]
On March 22, 2018, Craigslist discontinued its “Personals” section in the United States in response to the passing of the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA), which removes Section 230 safe harbours for interactive services knowingly involved in illegal sex trafficking. The service stated that
US Congress just passed HR 1865, ‘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. We can’t take such risk without jeopardizing all our other services, so we are regretfully taking craigslist personals offline. To the millions of spouses, partners, and couples who met through craigslist, we wish you every happiness! [38]
Adult services controversy[edit]
Craigslist website as it appeared on September 4, 2010, with black censored box in place of Adult Services
Advertisements for “adult” (previously “erotic”) services were initially given special treatment, then closed entirely on September 4, 2010, following a controversy over claims by state attorneys general that the advertisements promoted prostitution. [39][40]
In 2002, 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”. [41]
On May 13, 2009, 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. states that the erotic services ads were being used for prostitution. [42]
On September 4, 2010, 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. [43][44]
The adult services section link was still active in countries outside of the U. [45] Matt Zimmerman, senior staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said, “Craigslist isn’t legally culpable for these posts, but the public pressure has increased and Craigslist is a small company. ” Brian Carver, attorney and assistant professor at UC Berkeley, said that legal threats could have a chilling effect on online expression. “If you impose liability on Craigslist, YouTube and Facebook for anything their users do, then they’re not going to take chances. It would likely result in the takedown of what might otherwise be perfectly legitimate free expression. “[46]
On September 8, 2010, the “censored” label and its dead link to adult services were completely removed. [47][48]
Craigslist announced on September 15, 2010, 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. Sex ads had cost $10 initially and it was estimated they would have brought in $44 million in 2010 had they continued. [49][50] In the four months following the closure, monthly revenue from sex ads on six other sites (primarily Backpage) increased from $2. 1 to $3. 1 million, partly due to price increases. [51]
The company makes efforts to fight prostitution and sex trafficking, and in 2015, Craig Newmark received an award from the FBI for cooperation with law enforcement to fight human trafficking. [52][53][54][55][56]
On December 19, 2010, 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. [57]
When the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act was signed into law on April 11, 2018, Craigslist chose to close its “Personals” section within all US domains to avoid civil lawsuits. [58] About their decision, Craigslist stated “Any tool or service can be misused. We can’t take such risk without jeopardizing all our other services. “[59][60]
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. [61] Postings are subject to automated removal when a certain number of users flag them. The number of flags required for a posting’s removal is dynamically variable and remains unknown to all but Craigslist staff. [61] Some users allege that flagging may also occur as acts of vandalism by groups of individuals at different ISPs, but no evidence of this has ever been shown. Flagging can also alert Craigslist staff to blocks of ads requiring manual oversight or removal. [61]
Flagging is also done by Craigslist itself (Craigslist’s automated systems) and the posts will never appear on the search results. [62]
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. [63][64]
In July 2005, 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. [65] According to Craigslist’s terms of service, the sale of pets is prohibited, though re-homing with small adoption fees is acceptable. [66]
In January 2006, the San Francisco Bay Guardian published an editorial claiming that Craigslist could threaten the business of local alternative newspapers. [67]
L. 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”. [68]
This article was a reaction to lawsuits from Craigslist which Crovitz says were intended to prevent competition. Craigslist filed a trademark lawsuit against the Swedish luxury marketplace website on July 11, 2012, [69] forcing the company to rename to JamesEdition.
In 2012, 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. 3Taps. This led users to criticize Craigslist for trying to shut down a service that was useful to them. [30]
Nonprofit foundation[edit]
In 2001, the company started the Craigslist Foundation, [70] a § 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that offers free and low-cost events and online resources to promote community building at all levels. 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”.
Since 2004, the Craigslist Foundation has hosted eight annual conferences called Boot Camp, an in-person event that focuses on skills for connecting, motivating and inspiring greater community involvement and impact.
The Craigslist Foundation is also the fiscal sponsor for Our Good Works, the organization that manages, an application that distributes volunteer opportunities across the web and helps people get involved in their communities. [71]
As of summer 2013, the Craigslist Foundation’s functions are mostly moved to and the is no longer updated. has shut down. [72] Its website is gone, and its Facebook page has not been updated since 2017.
In popular culture[edit]
24 Hours on Craigslist (2005), an American feature-length documentary that captures the people and stories behind a single day’s posts on Craigslist
Due Date shows one of the lead characters, Ethan (Zach Galifianakis), buying marijuana from a dealer through the site.
The Craigslist Killer (January 3, 2011), [73] a Lifetime made-for-TV movie featuring the story of Philip Markoff, who was accused of robbing and/or murdering several prostitutes he met through Craigslist’s adult services section.
Craigslist Joe (August 2012), a documentary featuring a 29-year-old man living for 31 days solely from donations of food, shelter, and transportation throughout the U. S., found via Craigslist[74]
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (2016), a comedy based on a real Craiglist ad placed by two brothers who wanted dates for their cousin’s wedding that went viral in February 2013, which they then turned into a book, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates: And a Thousand Cocktails. [75]
The American comedy series Bored to Death revolves around a fictional Jonathan Ames (played by Jason Schwartzman) who posts an ad on Craigslist advertising himself as an unlicensed private detective.
The premise of the sitcom New Girl centers around a girl (Zooey Deschanel) who looks on Craigslist to find new roommates. She misunderstands one of the listings and ends up moving in with three men, when she had intended to find female roommates.
The American television mockumentary comedy sitcom Modern Family in the 10th episode of the third season “Express Christmas” mentions Craigslist when Phil Dunphy played by Ty Burrell buys a signed Joe Dimaggio card for his father-in-law Jay played by Ed ONeill. [76]
In November 2007, Ryan J. Davis directed Jeffery Self’s solo show My Life on the Craigslist at off-Broadway’s New World Stages. [77] The show focuses on a young man’s sexual experiences on Craigslist and was so successful that it returned to New York by popular demand in February 2008. [78]
Video games[edit]
2008’s Grand Theft Auto IV features a parody of Craigslist called ‘Craplist’, which can be accessed by the player through the game’s in-game internet feature. The player can browse the site and view numerous satirical adverts.
In June 2009, “Weird Al” Yankovic released a song entitled “Craigslist”, which parodied the types of ads one might see on the site. The song was a style parody of The Doors and featured Doors member Ray Manzarek on the keyboards.
In 2006, composer Gabriel Kahane released an album of his satirical art songs for voice and piano, entitled “Craigslistlieder”, using excerpts from real Craigslist ads as text. [79]
Craigslist received attention in the media in 2011 and 2014 when it was reported that convicted murderers had used the platform to lure their victims. [80][81]
The site has been described by Martin Sorrell as “socialistic anarchist”. [82]
See also[edit]
Facebook Marketplace
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Further reading[edit]
Gale Directory of Company Histories, “craigslist” (2007) online
External links[edit]
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Craigslist.
Official website
Company blog
Craigslist Foundation
“Why Craigslist Is Such a Mess”. August 24, 2009.
Newman, Lily Hay (January 30, 2015). “Police Stations Increasingly Offer Safe Haven for Craigslist Transactions”. Slate.
How Craigslist's Founder Realized He Sucked as a Manager

How Craigslist’s Founder Realized He Sucked as a Manager

Sometimes, amazing businesses are built by a driven founder long obsessed with a single idea. Then there’s Craigslist. The ragtag online classified-ad operation happened by accident, threw every tenet of design out the window, and has always been run by individuals apparently allergic to virtually every dearly held belief of business and management. It nonetheless became one of the lasting icons of the early Web and is, by all reckonings, insanely profitable. Though its tightlipped founder, Craig Newmark, won’t talk about that, in his Inc. interview he still has lots to say about Craigslist’s rise, the power of listening, how he’s using his newfound influence, and why he’s such a terrible What was high school Craig like? Newmark: I was a full-on nerd, and that was a lonely thing. I didn’t realize that wearing thick black glasses taped together and a pocket protector was not definition of nerd has to do with a lack of social instinct for people, a lack of learned and ingrained social skills. I was reasonably socialized sometime into grammar school, but around the fifth or sixth grade, my social skills didn’t develop. I didn’t gain the normal instincts people have for how you relate to others. I have since learned social skills and I can simulate them for short periods, but I do feel somewhat nerds are kind of cool now. New-school nerds are cool. There’s nothing cool about college, you spent almost 20 years at IBM and Charles Schwab. What did those giant, traditional organizations teach you? I learned that my social skills–or lack thereof–really held me back professionally. And when you have big organizations, people form factions or silos, which sometimes operate at cross-purposes–and there are people who want to do a good job, and some people who just want to advance that affect how you set up Craigslist? I realized the dividing line between small and big, when it comes to organizations, seems to be the Dunbar number [the maximum number of social relationships any person can manage cognitively] of 150. When I was CEO–which was only for a year–I tried to, let’s say, shape our DNA such that we would never grow big. [Craigslist currently employs “40-some” staffers, according to the company. ]When did you first glimpse what the internet could be? In college, we were on the arpanet. I sensed it would be big, but I wasn’t passionate about it graduated from Case Western in 1975–in the early days of arpanet, when it was basically used by scientists. It had immense potential, but I was too focused on class work. I should have focused on what I could do with the tools that were right there. I could’ve reached out to people with similar, in ’84, I read Neuromancer, by William Gibson. That vision of what cyberspace could be, and the way regular people–having no power or influence–could work together to accumulate power from the grass roots up kicked off the imaginations of many people. I started seeing that vision again in the early ’90s. I’d started spending time on the WELL, a small but highly influential virtual community. I left IBM and went to Schwab in 1993, and it had a brown-bag-luncheon series where I went around the company saying, “Here’s the internet. It’s going to be how we do business someday. “Craigslist is now in 700 cities in 70-some countries, and remains one of the most-trafficked sites in the U. S. But it began with a single email in 1995–you simply shared interesting things going on in San Francisco. What was in that first email? The first ones had to do with two events: Joe’s Digital Diner, where people would show the use of multimedia technology. It was just emerging then. Around a dozen of us would come and have dinner–always spaghetti and meatballs–around a big table. And a party called the Anon Salon, which was very theatrical but also technology many people did that first email go to? Ten to then? People just kept emailing me asking for their addresses to be added to the cc list, or eventually to the listserv. As tasks started getting onerous, I would usually write some code to automate I just kept listening. At first, the email was just arts and technology events. Then people asked if I could pass on a post about a job or something for sale. I could sense an apartment shortage growing, so I asked people to send apartment notices, did you realize Craigslist was becoming a thing? By the end of 1997. It was still just me, and at the end of that year I hit about a million page views per month, which was big then. Microsoft Sidewalk [an ill-fated network of online city guides] wanted to run banner ads. But a theme coalescing in my head was: People were already paying too much for less-effective ads, so we could provide a simple platform where the ads would be more effective and yet people would pay less. That made sense at the time and has worked out pretty well. I was getting increasingly serious about the site and had gotten some volunteer help, but at the end of 1998, some people who had been using the site for years told me at lunch, “Hey, volunteering isn’t working. You gotta get real. You gotta make the site into something reliable. “Had you thought that too? I had been in denial. I could see things starting to not work. Postings didn’t get done in a timely way; the database didn’t get pruned of old listings in a consistent way. Trying to run a business collecting fees for job postings–I couldn’t make it work on a volunteer basis. Maybe someone with better leadership skills could have, but I couldn’t. So I had to get real and go full time. I had to commit. I left what I was doing–programming for a company called Continuity Solutions, which was doing some interesting technology for customer service–and I made Craigslist into a company in early ‘ interesting time to be starting a company in San Francisco. I was talking to a lot of bankers and VCs, socially. They were beginning to fantasize about the way the internet could happen. They were telling me to do the normal Silicon Valley thing: monetize everything. They were saying that this could be a billion-dollar company. But I had already made the decision to not highly monetize when I turned down the banner year, people helped me understand that, as a manager, I kind of I had trouble making tough decisions. I was not any good at the job interview process, and I made mistakes. I found it very difficult to fire anyone. I didn’t make major decisions that required some boldness, like adding new cities. I knew we needed to expand in that way, but I guess I didn’t have the guts to do it. I thought, for example, that maybe we needed to do some advertising. In an HR magazine, for job postings. So I hired someone to do marketing, and put up a couple of ads, and that was just a wasted effort. Word of mouth is what really worked. I made one really good hiring decision, which was choosing our current CEO, Jim Buckmaster. I saw his résumé at the end of ’99 and hired him around then, as a lead tech guy. I realized that he could run things better than I move with Jim is something that a lot of founders really struggle with. I was able, to some extent, to divorce my ego from my CEO role. And I’d had a lot of lessons. I’d seen micromanagement be a big problem in the tech industry. I just saw lots of situations where people screwed up by interfering with people who could do the a shocking degree, Craigslist looks the same today as it did in the ’90s. You’re not deeply involved in the company anymore, but still: Why? I didn’t know how to do riously? With all your programming skills? I didn’t know how to design fancy. The evolution of Craigslist was based on listening to people as to what they wanted and what was needed. People consistently told us they didn’t want fancy stuff; they wanted something simple, straightforward, and fast. We listened to consensus rather than what someone was trying to talk us metimes the angriest voices are the loudest. Or sometimes you may hear, from 10 people who love fancy stuff, that we should do this fancy thing, and then you hear from a million other people saying keep it you turned over operations to Jim in 2000 and–famously–stuck with customer service. You’ve stepped back more in recent years, yes? In the past two years, I’ve delegated more leadership to the customer service team. I realized that I was not helping. I was inhibiting. I do minimal stuff to stay in touch, because detachment from your thing is wrong and damaging. I regard my life over the past 20 years or so as completely surreal. I didn’t expect that my hobby would turn into a successful business, and also a very successful way for people to help one another. And I never expected that would lead me to do a lot of other civic engagement and ‘ll get back to that in a moment. But let’s talk about what you took away from the eBay situation–it bought a 28. 4 percent stake in Craigslist in 2004, you sued each other in 2008, and Craigslist finally settled and bought eBay out in it taught me is that partners of any sort need to be started Craigconnects, your umbrella for your philanthropic work, in 2011. Can you articulate your vision for giving, and how it meshes with your vision of the grass roots and the Web? It’s all a collection of the ad you tell well by doing good is a business model, and Craigslist is about having a business that helps people help one another out. Craigconnects is my civic engagement thing where, in a number of areas I believe in, people help people. One is veterans and military families. I’ve gotten behind voting rights groups in a purely nonpartisan way–people need to be voting. You have to have good information to vote, and I support the Trust Project, which is working to develop indicators of trustworthiness that can be done as HTML tags in articles. One could be a link to an ethics code; one could be a link to an accountability process. There could be tags to whether or not this is original reporting, maybe, to distinguish opinion versus factual pieces. So any news aggregator would look for these tags, and if the reporter or the news organization has committed to them, then that article would be ranked more highly than articles from outlets that haven’t made this commitment. I’m also going pretty big with Wikipedia. While it has issues, it has become a major source of breaking news. Like anywhere, something may go wrong, but in Wikipedia it gets corrected. [Newmark gave $1 million to the Wikimedia Endowment in June. ]I don’t have a sweeping vision. I just find cases that either have potential or are already working. Kiva [the microlender] and DonorsChoose are good examples of that. And I’m working with the Global Fund for Women. We’re talking about a campaign to help invent a new normal, when it comes to guys funding women’s charitable I’m good at is telling people, “Hey, here’s good stuff going on. ” I don’t think I’m going to be a big leader. The world is not right for one guy on a horse. It needs many great people across the world who will lead and accumulate power that will be mediated over the internet. I don’t think I’ll be one of them. I don’t have the energy, or the hair, and certainly not the charisma. But if I smooth the way, that’s pretty ‘ve spoken in interviews about being interested in charities that work, not just those that tell a good story. What are the characteristics of the doers? Many are marginally articulate. I’ve found a lot of cases where people were doing good work but just didn’t know how to articulate it very well–like Blue Star Families and Consumer Reports. (I’m on CR’s board. ) But much more distressing is the inverse. Once I thought that any charity that got 501(c)(3) approval would be doing good things. I now know that some are ineffective, and some are actively mentioned Kiva. But some studies of the microlending model suggest that it doesn’t do that great a job in lifting people out of poverty. From what my team and I have observed, such businesses are imperfect, but the world is better with them. If I contribute a thousand bucks and 800 is used effectively–well, that goes pretty far in parts of the developing world. Everything about finance and business is flawed. You do what you can to make things less bad, and then you do more to make things less were 42 when you started Craigslist. What might you have done differently, had you started earlier? I couldn’t have started earlier, because the timing is what mattered. I was very lucky. I got laid off from Charles Schwab in 1995. I’d been exposed to what the internet and the Web could be, and then Schwab dumped me into the geography that was the pointy end of the spear with a respectable metimes businesses think, “If we build it, they will come. ” They won’t. But when I built Craigslist, I was building something that people really wanted and there wasn’t much else going on. I didn’t understand the value of media and communications, identity, and branding. I wish I had known about them 30 years ago, but those things are never taught in computer science it was only timing. Got it. And maybe I was ready to start learning social the September 2016 issue of Inc. magazine
Craig Newmark says misinformation is dismantling our ...

Craig Newmark says misinformation is dismantling our …

Craig Newmark says misinformation is dismantling our democracy. Here’s how he plans to fight it.
“I tested positive for coronavirus in June, having apparently had the virus asymptomatically, ” says Craig Newmark, billionaire founder of Craigslist, via a Google Hangouts video call from his San Francisco home in July. Delivered in his customary monotone, Newmark will only entertain questions about his diagnosis for a few minutes—he got tested because his dentist required two negative tests before an operation. Yes, he has tested negative twice since. He has no idea how he contracted the virus as he rigorously quarantined with his wife, who can be heard chopping vegetables in the background. Then, he moves on. After this call, he says, he will likely treat himself by ordering an anchovy pizza delivery from Bambino’s, a local Italian joint. Perhaps, he adds, he will add pineapple.
Log on to Craigslist today and it feels like a time capsule from 1995, when the World Wide Web was just starting to reveal its purpose. Scroll through the Times New Roman font listings of available apartments or old furniture, and one can almost hear that scratchy alien dial-up modem sound buzzing in the background. Similarly, talk to Newmark and he also feels like a snapshot in time—unchanged and constant through the years, even if he owns at least 42% of a classified ads website that posted an estimated $760 million in revenues last year. Even when the most conservative evaluation of his net worth is $1 billion, based on his Craigslist stake and the hundreds of millions in profits paid to him over the last two decades. And even when he has tested positive for Covid-19, that most contemporary of illnesses.
But on this Monday afternoon, Newmark is not here to talk about his coronavirus diagnosis or his net worth (to which he says, “No comment”). He’s here to talk about misinformation—why he thinks it is destroying America’s democracy and what he’s doing to stop it. Since 2016, Newmark has given $170 million to journalism, countering harassment against journalists, cybersecurity and election integrity. These areas, he believes, are the “battle spaces” of information warfare. The enemy, according to Newmark, are not just foreign adversaries like the Kremlin—it includes the adversaries’ domestic allies. Asked if he views President Donald Trump as one of those domestic allies, Newmark demurs, but suggested Fox News correspondent Chris Wallace’s July 19 interview with Trump as educational material. The interview, which showed Wallace contradicting the President over his claims that America had one of the lowest Covid-19 mortality rates in the world, was called a “master class in how not to let Trump get away with his usual bullshit” by Trevor Noah, comedian and host of The Daily Show.
How will he know that his money has gone to waste? “The people who are in control of this country will be subject to some control by our foreign adversaries and will continue to dismantle our democracy, ” says Newmark.
2020 will be a decisive year for Newmark, as it will indicate whether his money has been well spent—or not. Aside from the large gifts to journalism, he also regularly doles out smaller-size gifts to cybersecurity and election integrity. “They’re all parts of the same thing, which is defending our country and protecting the election, ” Newmark says. Some recent gifts include $1 million to Global Cyber Alliance, an international computer security nonprofit, $150, 000 to national nonprofit Women in CyberSecurity, $1 million to ProPublica for its Electionland coverage, $250, 000 to the authors’ nonprofit group, PEN America, to combat disinformation and combat online harassment, and $250, 000 to the Girl Scouts to fund cybersecurity programs.
Newmark will deem his donations a success if “we elect a whole bunch of people who want to defend the country, who are honest and who want to fight corruption, ” he says. Though he hasn’t publicly endorsed any presidential candidates, he says he has been supportive of politicians with whom he has worked. They include Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif. ), with whom he crossed paths when he worked with San Francisco’s District Attorney; Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass. ), while working with the Consumer Protection Bureau; and Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill. ), during his work with the Veterans Affairs office. “All three are potential vice presidential candidates, and all three would be great at the job, “ he says.
And how will he know that his money has gone to waste? “The people who are in control of this country will be subject to some control by our foreign adversaries and will continue to dismantle our democracy. ”
“I was briefly CEO, until informed that as a manager, I kinda suck, ” reads Craig Newmark’s LinkedIn page. At the helm for only ten months, Newmark surrendered the chief executive post to Jim Buckmaster in 2000.
John Chapple/Getty Images
On the day of the interview, Newmark was particularly worried by what was happening in Portland. Just days before, according to a readout from the Department of Homeland Security, peaceful protests in Portland had grown violent, with alleged anarchists tearing down the perimeter fencing of the Hatfield Federal Courthouse. In response, federal officers were deployed in Portland. President Trump tweeted in defense of the federal government’s involvement in the protests, writing, “We are trying to help Portland, not hurt it. Their leadership has, for months, lost control of the anarchists and agitators. They are missing in action. We must protect Federal property, AND OUR PEOPLE. They were not merely protestors, these are the real deal! ”
“The current episode in Portland… seems to reflect really bad episodes in world history, ” Newmark says. “This has happened in Russia, and it’s part of how Putin got to power. It happened in 1930s Germany. ”
The notion that a healthy press is the backbone of a functioning society dawned on Newmark in 1970, thanks to his high school U. S. history teacher in Morristown, New Jersey. “The teacher told us that a trustworthy press is the immune system to a democracy, ” he recalls. The idea continued to percolate in Newmark’s mind and, in 2016, with Trump’s election, he felt that democracy’s immune system needed some help. The next year, his friend Jeff Jarvis, a journalist and CUNY professor, told Newmark to read the Handbook of Russian Information Warfare, published by the NATO Defense College’s Research Division. The handbook outlines the strategy of foreign adversaries: Push disinformation into mass media, seek to polarize different groups in the country and get both sides outraged, all with the goal of division, chaos and government destabilization. “That had a pretty big impact on me, ” Newmark says.
His largest individual gifts since 2016 have gone to existing and new journalism initiatives. Some have gone well, others awry. In June 2018, Newmark gave $20 million to the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, which renamed itself as the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism after the gift. In February 2019, Newmark gave another $10 million to Columbia Journalism School to launch a new center for journalism ethics and security.
Craigslist is huge, breaking $1 billion in revenues in 2018. It’s estimated that profit margins are close to 85%, with nearly half of that going to Newmark.
He also gave $20 million in September 2018 to fund the creation of a nonprofit news organization called The Markup. Its focus was supposed to be an investigative lens on how Big Tech was really impacting everyday life in America. With a founding team that included Pulitzer Prize winners as well as programmers and data scientists, The Markup seemingly brimmed with promise. But disagreements over the direction of its coverage led to the firing of its editor in chief, Julia Angwin, who complained publicly that the site was being pushed into “advocacy against the tech companies” by one of the site’s cofounders, Sue Gardner, who had previously worked at Wikimedia. Following Angwin’s firing, the editorial staff resigned en masse. And this was all before the website had even launched. (Angwin is now back as editor in chief; Gardner is gone and the website launched in February, about a year late. )
During The Markup’s turmoil, Newmark remained almost completely silent, with only one tweet in April 2019 addressing the incidences: “I am taking this very seriously. ” Newmark says his silence was necessary. “The ethics of funding nonprofit journalism are such that I had to not interfere nor help, ” Newmark now says. “They also didn’t need my help. ” He’s pleased with The Markup’s current output today, he says, and his involvement goes only as far as retweeting any new stories from The Markup. “Sometimes you find good people, you get out of the way, and you let them do their job, ” he says.
The irony of Newmark focusing on journalism as one of his core giving areas is not lost on journalists who believe it was his website that took hundreds of millions in revenue away from newspapers, which prior to Craigslist’s founding counted on classified advertising for around 35. 6% of their revenue, according to data from the News Media Alliance (formerly the Newspaper Association of America). Newmark’s canned response to this for years has been a reference to media analyst Thomas Baekdal’s research, which showed that newspaper circulation was declining long before Craigslist came around due to cable news. Baekdal also argued that Craigslist was just one of hundreds of online marketplace websites taking advertising revenue from newspapers, from eBay (founded the same year as Craigslist) to (founded two years later). In 2018, the New York Times, which called Newmark a “newspaper villain, ” reached out to Baekdal. He wrote back, “If I were to imagine a world where Craigslist was never invented, I do not think it would have made any difference. ”
Newmark started Craigslist in 1995, two years after moving to San Francisco from New Jersey and with 17 years of computer programming experience at IBM under his belt. At its founding, Craigslist was a curated list of San Francisco events that Newmark emailed to friends and colleagues. He soon turned it into a listing site, and users quickly started using the website to sell all kinds of goods. To monetize, Newmark decided some listings—jobs, real estate, cars—would require a fee, ranging from $7 to $75, but the majority would be free for users.
Craigslist to A-list: Newmark shakes hands with actress Lena Dunham at the Time 100 Gala in 2013 and rubs shoulders with comedian Stephen Colbert at the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America’s Heroes Gala in 2018.
In 1999, Newmark was CEO for a brief ten months, before he gave the job to Jim Buckmaster, who remains CEO to this day (Buckmaster did not respond to requests for comment). While Newmark still retains a large stake in the company, he has relegated himself to a “customer service rep, ” according to his LinkedIn page, and says he is no longer involved in the day-to-day operations of Craigslist. The site is huge, breaking $1 billion in revenues in 2018, according to Peter Zollman, an analyst at classified ads research firm AIM Group, though that figure dropped 27% the next year due to a decline in job ads as well as growing competition from VC-funded sites like OfferUp to tech juggernauts like Facebook Marketplace. Still, with fewer than 50 employees and low overhead costs, Zollman estimates that profit margins are close to 85%, with nearly half of that going to Newmark.
On July 29, after weeks of increased presence, federal officers agreed to withdraw from the city of Portland. “They have acted as an occupying force & brought violence, ” Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon said in a tweet. The next day, President Trump jumped on the Twitter soapbox as well and declared that mail-in voting will be “INACCURATE & FRADULENT” and suggested delaying the election. Newmark continues to watch from his home. He’s tweeting and retweeting prolifically, sharing news stories on election misinformation and journalism ethics or announcements of new charitable gifts. He’ll often tweet a photo of a bird (he’s an avid birdwatcher). Occasionally, his wife will make an appearance: “Mrs. Newmark complains that a squirrel is eating the blueberries from our plants… ”.
No matter what happens in November, one thing is certain: Newmark will continue doing what he’s been doing for years. “I have a lot of cash that I’ll still be giving away as my twilight years progress, ” Newmark says, who will turn 68 in December. He will continue giving to journalism and cybersecurity for the foreseeable future, he says, but he’s got a few other passion-giving areas as well, including $100, 000 to wildlife rescue and “in the low hundreds of thousands” in relief funds to comedy clubs that have been closed during the pandemic. “Sometimes, I’ll make a funny exception, ” Newmark says, unflappable as ever.
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