The Village View

Thursday, April 05, 2007

internet-enabled looting

This is actually pretty unbelievable. Someone placed an ad on Craigslist and advertised the contents of a house.... for free. Problem is, the owner of the house didn't place the ad, or even know about it.

Laurie Raye, a landlord in Tacoma, Wash., now has firsthand experience at Web-engineered looting. She received a call a few days ago from a neighbor, telling her that a rental property she owned was being burglarized.

By the time Raye arrived, her front lawn was littered with unwanted personal items. Inside the house, the water heater, light fixtures, newly fitted vinyl windows and the kitchen sink had been pried loose and carted away.

I'm sure much will be made of the fact that the ad was placed on Craigslist and folks (read politicians trying to scare people) will push for more regulation. However, I basically agree with this take:

Internet usage advocates say that the use of Craigslist is not in any way an indictment of online advertising.

"A situation like this is ugly, but the fact that it is on the Internet is incidental," said Rebecca Jeschke, a spokeswoman for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which supports Internet anonymity. "Craigslist is a great forum for a lot of people, and it's always unfortunate that there are a few bad apples."