Dinosaur Media Writer Discovers Craigslist, Internet Allow Free Speech

A Denver Post business columnist has made a shocking discovery about Craigslist.

“The dirty little secret about the wildly popular site is that one click away from its home page are raunchy and offensive forums inviting blatant racism, rants and sexual kinks”

Oh, the pain. I’m sure this “teh Internets is scary” story has nothing to do with the fact that Craigslist has pretty much decimated the dead tree classified ad business. The writer even trots out Shari Julian, a professional witness and psychologist from the Mid-Cities to bemoan all this free speech on Craigslist’s forums.

When you have a venue for ventilating rage, your belief in that rage is ratified…It increases their belief that their behavior is acceptable. Their behavior is applauded, seconded. In that case, it’s scary. It does seem to roll and escalate.

Ah, for the good old days when speech could be controlled, people knew their place, and newspapers could overcharge for classified ads.


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26 responses to “Dinosaur Media Writer Discovers Craigslist, Internet Allow Free Speech”

  1. john clark says:

    Wow. Sometimes I feel sorry for the print folks stuck in that whole ink-stained, green-eyeshade scene. The poor slobs will never know what hit them, like the guys who blame Bosnian meat-cutters in Iowa for the loss of auto-factory jobs in Michigan.

    Then something like this comes along. For heaven’s sake, at least get ONE FACT right! IT IS TWO CLICKS, NOT ONE. There is a standard Get Out of Here page, addressed to minors and the easily offended, between the Craigslist home page and the good stuff.

    And, I don’t think newspapers were overcharging for classified ads. People bought them didn’t they?

  2. pak says:

    “And, I don’t think newspapers were overcharging for classified ads. People bought them didn’t they?”

    only because they had not alternative to the daily paper. If you didn’t buy a classified ad in the pre-Craig’s list days what other means did an individual have for advertising

    The daily newspapers are like the buggy whip makers and the wagon makers who refused to change their business model. Some wagonmakers became auto manufacturers see Studebaker, I suspect that some buggy whip makers went into the fetish business. Others just slowly died

  3. Bethany says:

    There’s kinky people on the Internets? You mean, I don’t have to drive to the Cherry Pit anymore – they’ll come to me?

    I mean, if I were that kind of girl. Which of course I’m not. Really.

  4. john clark says:

    @pak, the alternative to the daily paper was not-the-daily-paper. There were, and I think still are, all those weird little free papers that the junkies throw in your yard or you find them in stacks at the laundromat. Plus well just let your imagination go wild. Bulletin boards at church, crap nailed onto utility poles, “For Sale” signs, standing on a street corner and yelling. Classified ads were a big profit center but it is a free country, they were not overpriced. Why, when I was a boy many metropolitan areas even had more than one newspaper! Now THAT was competition!

  5. Bethany says:

    Are you in the newspaper biz, john?

  6. Daniel says:

    Teh 2004 called and it wants its Internet slang back.

  7. Bethany says:

    LOL. I’m ROTFL. N E 1 else?

  8. Jason says:

    Sadly, I think there’s a progressive animosity building with Gen-X’ers/Gen-Y’ers (or whatever they’re labeling the newest crop of young people) towards Boomers for their slow acceptance of technology. I work in the IT industry, and the sense of frustration between working with slow adopters of technology (typically 40+) and younger people is obvious. Though the older workforce is no less intelligent, younger people are perceiving them to be, thanks to people like the above reporter, the recent recording CEO who noted that he didn’t embrace online downloads because he and his board didn’t understand them, and industry’s like Clear Channel who refuse to change their one-size-fits-all model, in light of all of the new broadcast medias becoming available (MP3 players, internet radio, podcasts, etc.)

    Part of the reason why I supported Angela Hunt in the Trinity fight was because she appeared to be someone who understood the need to open a laptop and analyze data technically, and how it is possible to assemble a force of people with a blog, an internet site, podcasts, et cetera. She is obviously a new media person, where Leppert and the old media. Ron Kirk’s attempts at email communication was an obvious example of why he appeared so out of touch with people like me. Whether you like him or not, Schutze main point about why he looked up to Hunt was because she opened up Excel and started throwing the numbers into a spreadsheet…and that’s exactly what anyone else who embraces teh internets and all that comes with it would have done. Something that we know people like Veletta Lill, and Mitch Rasansky aren’t even attempting to do. It’s insulting to have people who throw out bad data to us, because we now have amazing resources for tracking down and exposing false claims, and in the end, it makes us distrustful of an entire generation.

    Even today’s article in the DMN, which talked about how Gen-Xer’s are wanting us to create more walkable cities, is an obvious example of the divide. It’s another reason why, when attending all of the Trinity Vote meetings, the people voting for more roads looked like dinosaurs to me and everyone else in the room who was under 40.

  9. HR Director says:

    As a 40-something reader of this blog, I’m grateful that Jason has pointed out my generation’s shortcomings. It’s true, we long for the good ole days, when business could be conducted using an abacus and Morse code, news could be read by candlelight and reports could be written with quill pens. We’re scared to death of these things they call telephones and we’re convinced that there’s a little man living inside this so-called “computer.” Thank goodness we have the next generation to safely and sensitively guide us to pasture once we reach our dotage.

  10. Rawlins says:

    Are we certain this ‘Denver Post columnist’ isn’t actually William Murchison? Ask Tim to look into it.

  11. Jason says:

    Wow, exactly the sarcasctic response I expected, and the one I see used all of the time when this subject gets brought up. The fact of the matter is, its a pretty painfully obvious defense mechanism.

    I said nothing about quills, and candelight…I’m solely talking about this holier-than-thou, we’re wiser than you attitude, that gets completely shot down when you’re children know how to create and manage a blog site faster than you. Hell, they knew what the word was three years before you did.

    Look, the reality is, when we see articles about the “evils of facebook/myspace”, or this latest craigslist article, it looks the same way that the documentaries your generation witnessed (ie. “Reefer Madness”) when you were experimenting in the 60’s. You didn’t take your parent’s views on drug use seriously either, just like we’re having a hard time taking you seriously.

    I’m not saying that every single person over 40 is inept when it comes to technology, but I can tell you as an IT person that it is painfully obvious that a divide exists. I see it every single day…no joke. you’d be amazed.

  12. john clark says:

    I am over forty and I am in IT too and Facebook is a great example of how tech-savvy dipshit teenagers of all ages are prone to busy themselves with completely worthless technology, and sometimes drag big capitol markets into the mess with them.

    The divide is not demarcated by age, I know plenty of over-fifties who could mop the floor with any 1337 4DM1NZ you can bring. For every sclerotic bonehead like Mr Denver Post above, there is a starry-eyed pierced gaming enthusiast who thinks he invented communication. The real wisdom is in the middle of that spectrum, where the work gets done.

  13. Rawlins says:

    Jason, FYI, I am probably old enough to be your Dad and I concur with every word you articulately said. I get also weary of my peers to whom even clip art is voodoo.

    Technology has made my life as an independent consultant and writer officing at home possible. And my entire career as an on-air commentator was launched completely through cyberspace; for Washington DC editors I never saw, using online recording capabilities. Yet when I try to tell not to worry; after one of my pieces has aired on radio and these friends lament missing it, I happily explain any of these pieces have long had after-the-fact online MP3 replay capability, at which point many look at me like I am speaking Portugeese to a Greek elder. My mantra? Those who resist change become its victims while this is the tech era I was born to live in.

  14. Rawlins says:

    I also think John Clark’s post is brilliant. I am not interested in being consumed by peripheral white-noise tech idiocy simply because it’s available and popular any more than I want to return to in-car cassettes and blind dates with sexy losers. Well, lemme ponder that one……

  15. Jason says:

    @john – agreed, and I apologize for getting overly heated towards HRManager. I’m not trying to say that older people aren’t capable or intelligent. That isn’t the case at all. You are exactly right, most people my parent’s age could and SHOULD be able to mop up my shortcoming when it comes to intelligence (i have many).

    My point is, the apathy that exists towards adopting and understanding new technologies by older people has got to be stopped.

    If you combine the widsom my father has with the ability to stay on top of the latest and greatest in technology, he would be a force to be reckoned with. When he chooses not to, he is marginalized, and appears less intelligent to people who are “hopping on the bus” in regards to new media.

    You as an IT manager know exactly what I’m talking about. I realize that things like Facebook may seem like a diversion, but their backend is based on the latest in programming technologies, and the ability to build add-ons, as a developer, means I can go in and create applications which people can use to further extend their ability to communicate.

    It’s no different than when people mocked IM chat rooms or phone text messaging. Well, your (and my) kids embraced it, and found ways to extend it’s functionality, and before long, it creeps in the workplace and becomes a part of our lives. That is a fact.

  16. HR Director says:

    Ah Youth, and its natural contempt for Age! Too bad people like Jason have been so busy getting inebriated on the latest technobabble that they’ve completely neglected developing basic English-language skills. But I’m not one to follow an insult with an insult.

  17. Rawlins says:

    FYI: Jason’s posts strike me as not only showing ‘basic language skills’; they articulately show tact. And patience with those who resent those younger than they while protesting the reverse.

  18. Jason says:

    Amazing…what a cliche dig. I thought that those kind of replies were given up on years ago. Guess I was wrong.

    I’ll try and work on my syntax for you, since you aren’t able to decipher the message without the proper apostrophe’s and punctuation.

  19. Jason says:

    As a side note, I completely respect and love my parents, grandparents, and other elders. I’m a nostalgia buff by nature, and regularly work with and love the people around me who are much older. My concerns have nothing to do with a “natural contempt” for the old. If anything, it’s quite the opposite. I’m in my mid-thirties (which means I straddle the Gen-X and Boomer generation) and I have a fear of becoming marginalized myself after watching it occur to other people I have to work with that are older and refusing to adapt. It is startling for me to see. I have children myself, and I have to work with parents in their 40’s who are afraid because they don’t understand and know what their kids are doing, and are feeling out of touch.

    I understand that that is a troubling reality, but it is a reality all the same. You cannot deny that fact, especially in light of stories like the earlier mentioned CEO of a major recording industry saying no one on his board understands all of this new technology mumbo jumbo. And it’s not just records. It’s newpapers, magazines, stock market trading companies, radio conglomerates, bookstores, travel agencies…i could go on and on. These industry’s are either adapting and augmenting their service with new media technologies or folding. And along with the industries, individuals have to do the same.

    Look, you’re in HR, so I’ll go to you for everything I need in regards to 401K’s, and sexual harrassment filing…I don’t understand that world in the slightest… but I’m an IT consultant who has been doing this for 15 years, and I cannot sit there and tell you that what I see on a daily basis doesn’t exist. It’s pervasive.

  20. HR Director says:

    Please! Please! This is supposed to be a happy occasion! Let’s not bicker and argue about who killed who. We are here today to witness the union of two young people in the joyful bond of the holy wedlock.

    Sorry, I always fall into Monty Python mode when the situation gets tense.

    Actually, Jason, I’m not in HR at all. I’m a writer for a major metropolitan newspaper. I’ve started the “From the Human Resources Department” blog as a sort of snarky take on all the ridiculous things I see from our own and others’ HR departments.

    You make some excellent points.

  21. Rawlins says:

    Question: Jason, are you an independent IT consultant or internal with a company? If you are the former, clearly you are the perfect person for many who want and need to retain an IT point person and others who wish to become up to speed educated.

  22. Bethany says:

    Can we send the horse to the glue factory now?

  23. Jason says:

    I’ve been on my own before, but have recently taken an internal position.

  24. Jack Jett says:

    I wish we could center this debate around kink and be really graphic about it.
    The comments started about Bosnian meat cutters (which showed some potential) and ended with HR Director coming out as a major metropolitan newspaper.

  25. HR Director says:

    I tried to lighten things up a bit by introducing Monty Python, but no one took the cue.

  26. Bethany says:

    Jack, we can still do kink, but with deliciously euphemistic euphemisms.