Is craigslist a breeding ground for political agitation?

Is craigslist a breeding ground for political agitation?

Not too long ago, Facebook made headlines when it was revealed they had accepted ad revenue from Russian interests who were allegedly trying to disrupt the 2016 Presidential Election. Facebook was even called before Congress and provided the government with the information they had about the Russian group. It was nothing less than a public shaming for Facebook, yet there’s a website that has long been used for political chicanery in this country by its own citizens and no official ever bats an eye at it. Of course we’re talking about craigslist.

Both major political parties in this country have accused the other of using paid protesters or paid supporters at many rallies and events. Many of these ads are posted in the jobs sections which means craigslist is accepting ad revenue for these ads. While there have been hoax ads and ads for paid political activism such as canvassing there is still evidence to show that craigslist is being used by political groups to undermine the truth.

For example, take this ad that was posted on craigslist in Charlotte, North Carolina, offering $25 for actors and photographers.

While the company who posted the ad, Crowds on Demand, did not specifically ask for protesters they did mention that they are in the business of hiring people to take place in protests. Even their website has a section for protests and rallies where they pride themselves in organizing a paid crowd to show up for almost any kind of protest. The internet being what it is, I thought Crowds on Demand could be an elaborate prank, but according to NPR they are in fact a real business entity.

Even the hoax ads that call for protesters can be disruptive as they often make the local news of where they’ve been posted. With politics being at a divisive high in our country right now, this usually leads to both sides of the political spectrum accusing each other of trying to fool the public.

While all of this is happening, craigslist just continues to accept the revenue for these ads, be they hoax or not, without doing so much as a basic check to see if these employment offers are legitimate, and they’re never investigated for fostering such inflammatory material for money. Again, craigslist will try to tell you they’re a socially conscious company when in reality they’re anything but.