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DIY Moving Sucks

Congratulations! You just landed that killer deal on craigslist – a sweet, deluxe pool table that fits perfectly in the rec room.  But that thing is not only heavy, it’s delicate.  We’re not just talking bend-your-knees heavy; we’re talkin’ hernia heavy.  So what do you do?

As craigslist continues to rock the local classifieds market, our little pool table scenario is becoming more and more common.  And believe it or not, a bunch of beefy guys in weight belts who know a thing or two about leverage may just save the day.

Local moving companies are reaping the rewards of the public’s greater comfort in buying oversized, awkward and hard-to-move stuff online and locally.  And sometimes, throwing it in the back of your brother-in-law’s F150 just won’t cut it.  Don’t get me wrong, he’s a great guy and all…

So how do you find good local and/or specialized mover and do so without getting ripped off?

Give sites like uShip.com and craigslistdelivery.com a try if you want to save your back and marriage/life partnership/whathaveyou.  uShip helps you easily connect with movers – in this case, local guys – who are feedback-rated (a la eBay).  Once you list something you need moved, they actually place competing bids to win your business (again, think eBay, but the price goes lower), so this helps you move your beast of bargain at a reasonable price.

So finding deals on craigslist can be really fun and exciting – and it usually is.  But sometimes that heavy, awkward or delicate dream buy can quickly turn into a nightmare if you try to save a buck on transport.  Invest in the peace of mind – your back will thank you for it.

CL Sues SC AG For Declaratory Relief

craigslist has filed suit against SC AG Henry McMaster in federal court in South Carolina, seeking declaratory relief and a restraining order with respect to criminal charges he has repeatedly threatened against craigslist and its executives.

Two weeks ago Mr McMaster presented craigslist with an ultimatum, “to remove the portions of the Internet site dedicated to South Carolina and its municipal regions which contain categories for and functions allowing for the solicitation of prostitution and the dissemination and posting of graphic pornographic material” within ten (10) days.”

“If those South Carolina portions of the site are not removed,” McMaster said, “the management of craigslist may be subject to criminal investigation and prosecution.”

In addition to being unwarranted by the facts, legal experts agree that the charges threatened represent an unconstitutional prior restraint on free speech, and are clearly barred by federal law (sec 230 CDA).

Interestingly, if you read Mr McMaster’s ultimatum carefully, you’ll note that the only way to definitively comply with it is to take down the craigslist sites for South Carolina in their entirety. The open architecture of craigslist, quintessential to the value it provides for users, simply does not allow for the absolute prevention of solicitation or pornography, with respect to any of its categories and functions.

Usage of craigslist in South Carolina has exploded over the last two years, with some cities experiencing 2000% growth. South Carolinians clearly value craigslist services, and appreciate finding jobs, housing, automobiles, for sale items, friends, romance, community information, local services, event listings, and just about everything else they need in their everyday lives, all in one place, and all for free.

Mr McMaster has persisted with his threats despite the fact that craigslist:

In case there had been any ambiguity as to his intentions, Mr McMaster made the following remarks on Sunday:

“We opened an investigation at 5:01 on Friday, as promised. . . .  We are preparing for a prosecution.  We are investigating.  We are moving forward. . . . . The #1 defendant is Mr. Jim Buckmaster, who is the man in charge of craigslist.. . . .  craigslist is a big promoter and facilitator of prostitution.”

Mr McMaster’s repeated threats of criminal prosecution should we refuse to shut down craigslist for South Carolina have left us little choice but to seek declaratory relief before the court.

Striking a New Balance

As of today for all US craigslist sites, postings to the “erotic services” category will no longer be accepted, and in 7 days the category will be removed.

Also effective today for all US sites, a new category entitled “adult services” will be opened for postings by legal adult service providers. Each posting to this new category will be manually reviewed before appearing on the site, to ensure compliance with craigslist posting guidelines and terms of use. New postings will cost $10, but once approved, will be eligible for reposting at $5.

Unsurprisingly, but completely contrary to some of the sensationalistic journalism we’ve seen these past few weeks, the record is clear that use of craigslist classifieds is associated with far lower rates of violent crime than print classifieds, let alone rates of violent crime pertaining to American society as a whole.

The relative safety of craigslist compared to print classifieds is likely due to some combination of:

  • Measures such as blocking, screening, and telephone verification
  • Community moderation via our flagging system
  • Electronic trail ensures violent criminals are quickly caught
  • Personal safety tips prominently posted
  • Unusually high level of cooperation with law enforcement

Community moderation as exemplified by our flagging system is arguably the most successful system ever conceived for eliminating inappropriate activity from a massive internet community. Working in tandem with various other protective technologies, it is an inescapable force to be reckoned with for anyone set on abusing free internet communications across a broad array of posting types.

However, with respect to this new paid category for advertising by legal businesses, we will experiment with some of the methods traditionally employed in paid print classifieds.

We’d like to thank everyone who has provided helpful input over the past few weeks, all of which was closely considered:

  • Our users, whose suggestions shape every aspect of craigslist
  • Attorneys General, who provided valuable constructive criticism
  • Law Enforcement officers nationwide, hugely supportive as always
  • Legally compliant businesses wishing to advertise their services
  • EFF and other experts defending free speech and Internet law

We are optimistic that the new balance struck today will be an acceptable compromise from the perspective of these constituencies, and for the diverse US communities that value and rely upon craigslist.

Note: Our announced intention to contribute 100% of net revenues for the “erotic services” category to charity has been fulfilled, and will continue to be fulfilled, notwithstanding criticism questioning our good faith in this regard. However, in light of today’s changes, and to avoid any future misunderstanding, we are making no representation regarding how revenue from the “adult services” category will be used. Our commitment to philanthropy remains, and craigslist will continue to develop its charitable initiatives.

Meeting IL AG Madigan

We look forward to meeting with Attorney General Madigan to discuss progress made since our Joint Statement last November, and to hear any and all ideas she and others may have that could help reach our shared goal of eliminating illegal activity from craigslist, while preserving all of the functionality and positive attributes that are currently enjoyed by the overwhelmingly law-abiding craigslist community of users.

Tragedy Strikes in Boston

Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Julissa Brisman. We are horrified and deeply saddened that our community services have been associated in any way whatsoever with a crime of violence.

We will of course do everything in our power to assist law enforcement in apprehending the perpetrator as soon as possible.

Given the crime rate in society at large, it is remarkable how exceedingly few crimes have any connection with the 50 million Americans using craigslist each month. This reflects the good intentions of virtually all craigslist users, the effectiveness of staff efforts to prevent crime from reaching the site, and perhaps realization among criminals that using craigslist in connection with a crime is a virtual guarantee that they will be caught. Any misuse of craigslist for crime is unacceptable however, and we will not rest until it is eliminated.

Sadly, just as in society as a whole, terrible tragedies are possible despite everyone’s best efforts. We are evaluating this incident closely to see if there are any additional things craigslist could be doing to further improve safety for our users and the general public.

While incidence of violent crime on craigslist is vanishingly low, the risk is not zero, and it behooves us all to take common sense precautions online as we do offline. Personal safety tips for community members are prominently posted throughout the craigslist website and include the following recommendations from safety experts;

  • Insist on a public meeting place like a cafe
  • Tell a friend or family member where you’re going
  • Take your cell phone along if you have one
  • Consider having a friend accompany you
  • Trust your instincts, and report any suspicious activity to authorities

Miami: Happy to Volunteer

Vita Nova of Renaissance Village, Inc. is searching for volunteers to plan with our 18-25 year old citizenry who accept been absolved from Florida’s advance affliction system, or who are contrarily homeless. Our adolescent adults plan in our new Thrift Store, while advancement their own apartments in our capricious active facility. Most are enrolled in academy and plan 1-2 jobs. Adult volunteers bare to allotment job abilities and plan acquaintance with our adolescent adults. Openings for all accouterment Monday-Friday: 9-12, 12-3, 3-6. You’ll adulation alive with our association as abundant as we do! Contact SULLY now for added information.

Honolulu – 80’s Dance Party

Your invited to the
Totally 80’s Dance Party!
Saturday 1 Mar. 7 am to 1 pm
The Wild Bird Rehab and H-2-A (A non-profit organization for children)
Be stoked that your $ $ $ for the benefit of children from two orphanages and wild birds from Hawaii!
$ 20 – $ 25 in sales at the door

Bodacious Go Go Girls
Spazz out about DJ joystick
LIVE 80 Madonna’s performance at 9:00
Gag me with a spoonful of rad munchies
Raffle and prizes worth over $ 2000 for the best 80-outfits!
Massage-O-Rama
Tubular Tarot readings
New Wave Hair by Natalie
Glow bracelets for singles
BYOB (non-alcoholics, the drinks!)

Do not Be a Spazz and Miss it! We expect at least 100 visitors awesome party!
RSVP at 550 -0331 or 255 -9839

Tickets are $ 20 pre-paid by midnight Friday 29 February.
We have any number of pre-purchased tickets reserved for you at the door, or pay $ 25 at the door

Chicago: Newfoundland Lost – Large Reward for Return

Our large black newfoundland (125 poundsd) with white paws, white patch on chest and white tipped tail escaped from our River North office on Friday, was last seen walking amidst pedestrians near the Merchandise Mart, hoping some one took him in or saw someone else do so. He responds to “Tug” or “Johnny” and is very gentle. This was only his 4th day in a city so he is likely very scared.

$5,000 reward, absolutely serious, we very much want him back home!
(773)841-4242
(773)251-2521
(773)348-3667

Thanks so much for any help or information you can share!

More info here