Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Oregon: Another Alleged Crime Against Craigslist, Time for Some Crisis Public Relations

According to Reuters, Oregon authorities are looking into the disappearance of a 19-year-old Portland man, police said on Monday (October 20), and an advocacy group said he went missing after he responded to a Craigslist job ad posted by a couple seeking a caregiver.
Ian Biggs was dropped off at a downtown Portland train station by a friend on October 11 as he headed to meet the couple at a large park, said Michelle Bart, a spokeswoman for the National Women's Coalition Against Violence and Exploitation, which represents the man's mother.
Biggs was last seen by a clerk at a Portland gas station where he stopped to buy cigarettes on his way, Bart said. He never returned.
COMMENT: My personal advice to Craigslist is to engage in some proactive crisis public relations and demonstrate through overt action that Craigslist management is genuinely interested in the safety of its users, the statistics of which has never been released to the public.
Even a press release distributed to its perhaps millions of users who are increasingly wary of even using the national service.
A Portland Police Department spokesman confirmed that police were looking into the disappearance, but said it was too early to say if it was connected to the advertisement or if the man was thought to be a victim of foul play.
Bart said Biggs, a "chronic Facebook user" who has been inactive on the social media website since his disappearance, had also failed to show up to a baby sitting job the night after he vanished.
The disappearance comes about a month after Pennsylvania newlyweds who admitted using Craigslist to lure a victim for a thrill-killing were sentenced to life in prison without parole in a plea deal that spared them from the death penalty.
Craigslist did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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