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The Master of Craigslist
Where We Live - with John Dankosky
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Possibly the only CEO ever described as anti establishment and a socialistic anarchist


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52:01 minutes (49.94 MB)
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Jim Buckmaster, Criagslist CEO: Photo courtesy of craisglist.orgJim Buckmaster, Criagslist CEO: Photo courtesy of craisglist.org Looking for a car? A roommate? Love? What you used to find in the classified ads in the back of the newspaper, you now search for on CraigsList.

Founded in San Fransisco in 1995, the website, a stripped-down, counter-culture swap meet - has been the place for college students, 20-somethings, and a growing percentage of every one else - to find stuff, and make connections.

Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster found his job with the company on the site in 1999...since then, he's helped it grow - to 450 different sites in 50 countries. It's pretty much changed the classified ads business...but it's business model has been questioned by some.

Although it's profitable, some analysts suggest that the company has left hundreds of millions of dollars on the table by not doing the type of advertising most commercial ventures try.

Buckmaster says they've "reversed the normal business model - making community #1" - in front of making money.

Today, where we live, a conversation with Jim Buckmaster about the Craiglist phenomenon, community building online, and "social anarchy" in the business world.

To see pictures of Where We Live's in-studio guests, please go to ourFlickr page.

You can contact us via email at [email protected].

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Dear NPR,
I heard Jim Buckmaster, of Craig's list, while I was on my way into a meeting. Otherwise I'd have called you.
Do you have an e-mail address for him?
When a woman called and said she did not like the pornography and he gave the stupid metaphor saying some people would be offended by cars being sold on Craig's list I was offended.
When do people in positions like Jim is in start taking social responsibility? How many rapes and how many pedophiles are encouraged by the total lack of people saying "Enough is enough with the moral pollution we are allowing." Your interviewer should have called him on it. Instead, the silly interview went on and on and he took a pass at being questioned about such a serious issue. There ARE limits that should be imposed on society regarding decency. How can we as parents raise our children in this atmosphere of anything goes. Pornography, as one caller said she found on the site, should never be excused with the lame excuse that one person's pornography is not another person's pornography. Why then do we not just fornicate in the streets? "Might not offend some" would be the reasoning of Jim Buckmaster.
He is guilty of mucking up decency in his little way and NPR also should be held accountable. You are part of the problem we face in this country when you blindly go along with people like Jim Buckmaster and make them feel like everyone agrees with him.

Martha Chiarappa

Abolish:Erotic Services

This is in reference to Jim Buckmaster's interview on today's show "The Master of Craigslist".

In response to my question on what is his take on the damaging effects of Erotic Services section which is being constantly utilized by traffickers and predators, he nonchalantly exemplified the existing user-enabled flagging system on the site.

My concern is, an user can only flag inappropriate content once he comes across it. Ideally, as a responsible citizen one wouldn't want teenage children to look at those explicit pornographic materials at all.

Apparently Jim Buckmaster is not willing to initiate any preventative measures regarding this alarming issue.

I work with a Connecticut based Human Rights organization named Love146 and one of our recent campaigns, “Call to Action” is against Craigslist’s lackadaisical attitude towards rampant trafficking on its web site through the ‘Erotic Services’ tab. With its free postings and relative anonymity for its users, Craigslist has become a vehicle for the trafficking and exploitation of women and children.

Apart from collaborating with other national centers, students’ body and individual abolitionists, we are planning to raise awareness on this issue through series of press conferences.

Please join us in our efforts of eradicating child exploitation.




craigslist and human trafficking

who doesn't love craigslist? it is such a great service, and the social model is fantastic.

but there's a great big breakdown when it provides an unregulated matrix for the anonymous purchase of erotic services that enables human trafficking to go on unchecked.

human trafficking is slavery. period. it is one of the moral atrocities of our time and must be addressed head on by culturemakers like Jim Buckmaster at craigslist.

love the anarchy, but we've got to keep our eyes firmly fixed on the prize (and the price) of human freedom.

Concern about use of Craigslist by human traffickers

Dear John,

My question is in reference to the philanthropic mindset of Craigslist. As a user, I applaud the user-focused and user-rights focus of the website. However, I am very concerned about the flagrant exploitation of the website by traffickers who sell children and women on Craigslist through the Erotic Services section. Ironically, the high-level of anonynmity the site affords and the unclear flagging system has created an environment where countless people have been commercially sexually exploited through the website.

On the show today, Mr. Buckmaster made a passing comment about how Craigslist works with law enforcement and has other monitoring systems in place to regulate illegal activity, particularly regarding the sexual exploitation of minors. However, it is clear that these measures are not effective as the erotic services section is actually the most popular section of craigslist!

I want to challenge Mr. Buckmaster in taking a more pro-active stance in protecting the safety of children by creating more effective measures for eliminating the sale of children for prostitution on the craigslist site. In the past, Mr. Buckmaster has declared that Craigslist stands on “the highest moral ground” with regards to promoting and enforcing fair housing opportunities for users. My challenge is for Mr. Buckmaster and Craigslist to choose the “highest moral ground” in abolishing modern-day slavery from the site.


Kathy Maskell