Sunday, February 16, 2014

Be careful using craigslist.org

There has been another 'craigslist' killing. Indeed, this murderer has admitted that she has killed at least 22 people by using this website.

What is craigslist?  Basically craigslist.org has become one of the most used websites in the USA.  It has tried to expand to other countries, but it has never become as popular in other countries as it is in the USA.



On craigslist you can buy, sell, get or give away almost anything.  If you are looking for an apartment, people can post ads for available apartments.  If you want to buy or sell something, craigslist offers that possibility as well.  You can also advertise services and you can meet people. 

The problem is that many people have begun using craigslist as a way to harm others, either by cheating them out of money (tricking them out of money - stealing money from them using a dishonest method) or by killing people. 

It also seems incredibly easy to hack into the system to acquire information about users. In the past, and perhaps currently, people have been able to place their own software into the craigslist system to continually place their own ads above all other ads in categories or to delete or remove ads they don't like. (Craigslist denied this was happening but now seems to have taken some kind of action against this.)

When craigslist started, in the early 2000s, it was an amazing site - there was no other site like it, and, generally, people used craigslist honestly.  As the site became more popular, and more people began using it, people began to complain that they had unfairly lost money and then everyone began hearing of people being killed who met strangers for dates on craigslist.

Part of the problem, in my opinion, is that the staff and management at craigslist are not responsive to the concerns of internet users.  If you feel something is wrong at the site, and try to address the issue, craigslist will seem to deny the problem completely.  For many years, craigslist had a special section where prostitutes (women who sell their bodies for money) could advertise for free.  Many people thought this was wrong and complained and craigslist did nothing about it.  Finally, there were stories of men killing prostitutes they had met through craigslist and the government actually put pressure on the site to remove that category.

As you can read in the following article, craigslist is still used by people to meet other people for casual or random sex for money (the prostitutes use the 'personals' section to advertise now).

I used to love this web site, but now I feel that the folks who run it are more interested in making money than in protecting the safety of the users of the site.  I believe that if they really wanted to, they could 'clean up' the site, but I do not believe they are even trying.  Indeed, they seem to claim that they have a 'right' to run their site as they choose and that they are exercising their freedom of speech and protecting the freedom of speech of others by not cleaning up the site.

Some of my private students have even told me they have lost money through illegal ads on craigslist.  This site, however, is acquiring such a bad reputation, that it will probably disappear within the near future.  Few people actually trust this site any more.

The article:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/craigslist-killer-miranda-barbour-ive-killed-22-more-as-part-of-satanic-cult-9131877.html

Vocabulary to help you understand the article:

Satanic - Satan, of course, is the character from the Bible that is supposed to be the enemy of God and human beings.  Some people embrace Satanism as a protest against the world.  Some Satanic cults are harmless while others seem to encourage killing.

a cult - this is usually an organization (sometimes quite large) that promotes a belief system that is supposed to be religious in nature.  It is usually called a 'cult' if it is not recognized by most people as a true or legitimate religion.

to be charged with murder - to be charged with a crime means the police have arrested you (taken you into custody - the police station) and they are formally claiming that you committed a crime.

to lure - to attract; if you lure someone somewhere, you promise something attractive or desirable to the person to get him to meet you somewhere; if you go fishing, you can use a fishing lure - this is a shiny object that attracts fish so that they try to eat it...they then bite onto a hook

when I hit 22 - when she had killed 22 people, when she had reached that number, she didn't bother to count the next people she had killed.  Hello - what's going on in Alaska that people can kill each other and get away with it so easily?

she was coming clean - if you come clean, that means you tell the truth after not telling the truth or remaining silent for a long time 

to stab, to strangle - to stab someone is to use a knife on him, to strangle a person is to use a rope or something else to stop the person from breathing by wrapping the object tightly around his neck.

So she is saying they were going to strangle him to death but he said something they didn't like and they stabbed him - killed him more violently.

the trigger - the device on the gun you pull back with your pointer finger in order to fire the bullet

pinpoint on a map - point to exactly

a 14 year sentence - a 14 year punishment.  Sexual abuse often 'desensitizes' a person to the pain of others.  people who are physically, verbally or sexually abused as children often become abusers later in life.  Part of me pities this young woman, part of me is disgusted.
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So what do you think?  The murderer was sexually abused as a child and this totally ruined her life.  She became angry toward the world and insensitive toward the pain others might feel.  Does she deserve pity in this case? 

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If you like this blog, you might like my ESL book: http://www.amazon.com/York-Sucks-Youll-Wanna-Anyway-ebook/dp/B004TSPAQS

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