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Craig Newmark: craigslist May Consider Gun Ads

Posted by: Olga Kharif on June 02, 2009

Fresh on the heels of a controversy involving its erotic services ads section, craigslist has opened another can of worms. In his keynote at the Computers, Freedom, and Privacy 2009 conference today, founder Craig Newmark said he recently spoke with a customer who made a compelling case for allowing gun ads on the classifieds site.

Newmark said that craigslist is always evolving in response to requests from its customers. “We are driven by our community,” he said. That’s how Newmark and CEO Jim Buckmaster arrived at the decision to pull the site’s erotic services section, he said. South Carolina’s attorney general had pressured craigslist to make the move by threatening the site’s management with criminal investigation.

While craigslist’s execs are still weighing allowing gun ads on the site, they are already looking to make its content available in more languages. In his keynote, Newmark also underlined growing importance of cell phones in accessing mobile content — which could be an indication that craigslist will do more in mobile in the coming months. Other sites have created applications that are tailored to users of popular devices like the iPhone; so far, craigslist hasn’t followed suit.

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Reader Comments


June 3, 2009 12:55 PM

I see no reason to not include gun ads in CL. They have been advertised in newspapers as long as I can remember.


June 19, 2009 09:16 PM

I agree. You can buy them on the streets of at gun shows. i see no reason why they could not be advertised on Craigslist.


July 21, 2009 04:43 PM

Especially since it is perfectly legal.

Face-to-face private transactions are legal in most states, and that is all that previous posts for firearms on CL ever were advertizing. Banning them from CL accomplishes nothing but to drive traffic away, since there are plenty of other sites that do allow and even promote ads for personal firearms. Here in Az. I find my guns via where there is almost nothing you can't find. And all within the law.

CL has in the past made the weak argument that since their servers were in California, if they hosted ads for person-to-person sales here in Az. (where the practice is legal), the sale was still crossing state lines via the posting having traveled through a server in Ca. And since person-to-person sales are against Ca. law, CL said they HAD to prohibit the posts. It's all BS of course. Someone was merely practicing their own bias.


July 21, 2009 06:19 PM

Intrastate face to face sales are legal. It would be great if Craigslist allowed gun and gun related sales. :)


July 21, 2009 06:56 PM

I can only say it's about time. Craigslist is losing ground to Backpage when it comes to guns. Besides it is still legal to own a gun...hopefully the liberals lose this one...


July 22, 2009 11:35 AM

Let's not forget CL is headquartered in the People's Republik of commiefornia, where face to face transactions are verboten. In addition to making F2F transactions illegal, the state has a long and convoluted list of firearms that are forbidden; some due to capacity, some due to "inadaquate" safety features and some just because of what color they are...

Fact is the liberal retards that the people of that state have put in power don't want anyone to own guns. Just like with the adult ads, the CA state AG will threaten an investigation into illegal arms sales if they begin advertising, I can almost guarantee it...


November 14, 2009 08:52 AM

Our second amendment is foundational to all of our individual rights as Americans. There are already many (too many) laws that control/restrict/prevent firearm purchases. Advertising the on CL wouldn't make any easier to circumvent any of these laws.

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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