The San Francisco-based company has been linked to a wide range of crimes in recent years, from petty thefts to grisly murders.
But despite the headline-grabbing nature of some of the crimes linked to the site, it makes sense to shield the company from liability for what gets posted on its site, as the Communications Decency Act currently does. Bear in mind that there are many outlets besides Craigslist where people can publish fraudulent come-ons in relative anonymity, such as alternative newspapers and Internet newsgroups.
But the information Craigslist collects from those who post can provide better le to investigators than they might obtain from, say, a newspaper that accepts cash for classifieds. More important, society has much to gain from encouraging companies to create venues for people to speak and collaborate freely. Holding sites liable for the wrongs done by a tiny percentage of users could make it impossible to build low-cost services that can grow rapidly in value to the public.
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