OPINION: Just who populates Craigslist?

Craigslist02

Of course there are the sellers of merchandise, the buyers of merchandise,  those who are seeking the fabulous free merchandise,employers, and employment seekers.   But even within those groups are the fraudsters, the thieves, the robbers, and the liars.  For example, those responding to offers of employment who were murdered. Those sellers who were robbed of their merchandise as well as their money by fake buyers, and those sellers pretending to sell only to lure an unsuspecting buyer for the sole purpose of robbing them.                                   But there are things which, (according to sources), may not be as sinister, but are painful and, in many ways, cruel.  People pretending to be searching for one thing, and in reality wanting another. They are found in the personals.  Men and women pretending to be someone who they are not via hiding behind fake personas.  Those who say they want love, but only want an opportunity to exploit another human being.  Those who say they want sex, but only want to ‘talk dirty’.  Those who are married and just want to ‘fool around’, but swear that they are not married.  And, in some cases, men take on the names of their wives and vice versus.  Then there are the trolls, (both male and female), whose only goal is to obtain ‘selfie’ photos of the other person, usually explicit in nature.  Once they have their quota, it is on to the next victim.  And just as in the movie “Catfish”, often people just make up a person, not just a fake name, but with a fake life, not real in any way.                One woman revealed she had tried it, but, remembering the ‘Craigslist Killer‘ decided to try it using  a fake name.  And of course the man she met, also used a fake name.  Suffice it to say that it did not end well, for the man vanished, and failed to respond to her emails or calls.  They had made plans, and suddenly he was no longer anywhere.  The real tragedy is that she really liked him.  To the point that she even provided him with her real name. Was he married?  Did his wife catch him?  So pained was she by the experience that she swore off Craigslist for good, for anything.  Licking her wounds she admits that she just may have dodged a bullet, but also admits that even though her emotions were toyed with and played with, she still likes the guy … whoever he may have been. She says he was “special”, but she is moving on with her life, but, taking with her, her disappointment and her pain.                                                                                                                                            Then there are the stories of disease infected men and women looking to score anonymously, who knowingly infect the other party, and disappear without a word as to their infection.  And, if one checks the rants and raves section, there are the ‘warnings’ about those who have deceived, posted, of course by those who have been deceived.

Those harmed emotionally carry with them the scars of betrayal.  It is difficult to believe just how many people are harmed emotionally by submitted themselves to Craigslist.  One might say it is their own fault, and, to a large degree, that is true.  But at what point does Craigslist make those who play with people’s lives accountable?  What can they do?  Not much, seems like if you are a consenting adult, it’s your choice, and only if some law is broken, can anything be done.  There is no law against getting hurting someone’s feelings.  It’s your own risk, and we all are responsible for our feelings.  Human nature being what it is, Craigslist seems to be more of an uncivilized wild west, filled with unsavory characters as well as those honestly seeking to make a connection.  A word to the wise is usually sufficient: do not enter the wild west if you are not prepared to get hurt.        Seriously, would you nonchalantly walk into the old Tombstone as it was back in the old frontier days?  Be careful out there folks!

Catfish poster

Catfish poster (Photo credit: Ben Sutherland)

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Filed under Opinion, Radar Opinion

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