What is Craigslist?
Craigslist home page for people in New York City
Craigslist is a website that allows users to communicate with each other on message boards and place classified ads. It was started in 1995 by founder Craig Newmark as a San Francisco-based e-mail list, and around 1996 it was converted to a website. Its global presence started growing rapidly around 2000 and today it serves more than 70 countries. Millions of users go to Craigslist to meet new people, sell items online, and find housing, jobs, and other services. For more information, visit www.craigslist.org
The craigslist welcome page displays various search categories and communities. in the screenshot
Each craigslist site focuses on a specific community. Originally, Craigslist only listed classifieds and classifieds in San Francisco. As the service grew in popularity and expanded beyond founder Craig Newmark's original idea, Craigslist added other cities to its network. The first city to join the network was Boston, which first joined the network in 2000. A few months later, Portland, New York City, Los Angeles, Portland, Chicago, San Diego, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. Following today, a Craigslist community site has been created in more than 450 cities.
Because community members largely moderate the sites, Craigslist staff can focus on coordinating transactions for job and housing postings, helping members resolve issues, and responding to reports of illegal behavior or abuse. Without community moderation, Craigslist staff would be seriously overworked.
Craigslist founder Craig Newmark with CEO and CEO Jim Buckmaster
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Craigslist started as a pet project at the time but has now grown into a full-fledged company. Around 1999, Craigslist became incorporated as a for-profit company. The company bought the craigslist.com domain so that no one else could buy it and confuse craigslist members. Every year since then, Craigslist has expanded to cover more cities and communities by the day, slowly becoming a powerful financial force in the process.
Jim Buckmaster and Craig Newmark are not your typical corporate bigwigs. Although Newmark is the founder and chairman of Craigslist, he makes his own name as a customer service representative. Buckmaster is not only the CEO but also a lead developer of the site. He helped design web architecture, homepages, forums, personal sections, community moderation systems, and search engines.
One of the biggest challenges for the Craigslist community is weeding out scam artists. The site has a section that describes common scam tactics, and users can easily know what to do when they see them. Scams can involve counterfeit money orders and checks, bait-and-switch schemes (in which you think you're getting one thing but end up with another), identity theft schemes, phishing schemes designed to obtain personal information, and other unethical and illegal activities. can .
A scam that has popped up in several Craigslist communities involves a buyer paying extra for an item. In this scam, an unsuspecting seller advertises an item on Craigslist for a fixed amount -- say $1,500. An interested buyer contacts the seller and says he will send a check for the item, but when the check doesn't arrive, it's written for too much. When the seller contacted the buyer to inform him of the difference, the buyer apologized and explained that he had entered the wrong amount after confusing it with another purchase. He asks the seller to deposit the check and wire the difference. What the seller doesn't know is that the check is a fake check, so he cashes it and passes the difference to the buyer Once the bank investigates the check and it is discovered to be a forgery, the seller is held liable. The scam artist has his money, and the innocent seller takes the blame here.