I’m sure by now that anyone with an Internet connection has used, if not heard of Craigslist. I myself first began using Craigslist a couple of years ago to view and post online classified ads. I have had nothing but success with this component of the website. A few months ago,however, I started to participate in a few of Craigslist’s online discussion forums. I will discuss my personal experience with the users on this website.
There are too many discussion forums on Craiglist to even start mentioning them in this article. A few of my personal favorites include the adoption forum, the pet forum, the women’s issues forum, and the health forum. I can post a question or compose a new thread onto any one of these forums and receive very prompt replies. Some of the replies are helpful, however, most are not.
The discussion forum that I have experienced to have the highest animosity is the adoption forum. This forum is supposed to be a place for mothers to bond over the adoption of children, and the decision to give their children better lives by placing them up for adoption. I have found that adoptive mothers and birth mothers almost seem to hate each other. I have even seen adoptees join the forum to share their stories of being re-united with their birth mothers only to be ridiculed and attacked.
In all of the forums that I have participated in, users are quick to flag each other as “spammers”. If someone posts a controversial topic, or makes a statement that the majority of users don’t personally agree with, they often get flagged off. I’ve seen people try to defend their posts only to be attacked that much more.
The users that utilize the Craigslist discussion forums are not employees of Craigslist. They are anyone who decides they want to join and participate in conversations. I would think that mature adult individuals who share a common interest could be tolerant of each other’s varying opinions and beliefs. Perhaps I possess an ancient quality.
I have offered my opinions and suggestions to other users who have asked it only to be attacked by people who didn’t personally agree with what I had to say. After a user has had their discussion forum account for 90 days or longer, they can post anonymously. They no longer have to sign in with a screen name visible to the public. These users are referred to as “grays” and are often the “trolls” who attack others.
I wonder myself if using the Craigslist forums are worth the battle. Every once in a while I can have a meaningful discussion with someone free of attacks and accusations. I compare it to a medicine prescribed by a physician. Does the benefit outweigh the risk? Well, I haven’t decided for myself personally, however, it’s best to decide for yourself. If you can participate in flagging someone off a forum or attacking them for not sharing your personal viewpoints on something, you might succeed on the Craigslists forums. If you have an opinion or personal story you’d like to share and try to be honest, caring, and kind, then you probably won’t succeed. The decision is yours, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.