Craig (from Craigslist) has faith in people

by Rusty Lindquist on January 25, 2011 · 0 comments

Craig Newmark

Craig Newmark

If you’re unfamiliar with the highly popular site “Craigslist” (, it’s a classified ads site where you can go and list and purchase things that are for sale.

The site was founded by Craig Newmark (bio and history) in 1995.  Since then Craigslist has become wildly popular, now receiving over 12 billion page views per month (if you’re not a tech person, that’s a really, really, really high amount of traffic).  Craigslist was recently valued by Sillicon Alley as being worth $5 billion dollars.

Last week, I had the opportunity to listen to Craig speak and was struck by something he said.  While he founded the company, he now primarily works in customer service.  His job is to make sure his customers are happy.

In his discussion, he talked about how the site is plagued by spammers, and those who tend to abuse the system.  In response, he’s put in place mechanisms for self-policing, to which he made the following profound comment… “I’ve found that people are generally good”.  He explained that if you just give people the ability to police themselves, by in large the system will take care of itself.

For one who has so much contact with such vast amounts of people, I thought his remark was particularly inspiring.


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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 LDS Anarchist July 30, 2008 at 3:30 AM

It sounds like Craig is an anarchist. Maybe that’s why I like Craigslist so much…


2 Daniel July 30, 2008 at 3:57 AM

I’ve always believed that people are inherently good, and not inherently evil. Remember, we are created in the image of God. If we are inherently evil, that means the Creator is also evil, as we inherited that evil from the One who created us.


3 Donny Pauling July 30, 2008 at 10:09 AM

Even after working for 9 years in an industry that is assumed to be filled with “bad” people, I firmly agree with Craig’s opinion.


4 Roy July 30, 2008 at 2:16 PM

For a few years now I’ve been listening to “This I Believe” on NPR. Last year, Craig’s essay, expressing this view, was featured. You can read/hear it at Not a bad philosophy.


5 Prince July 30, 2008 at 3:43 PM

My name is Prince and I belive I am also a believer of people.
Although I was burned a couple of times but I still think their is goodness in every human. The people who cheated me will pay it in double somewhere else. The system always takes care of itself.



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