Here’s today’s quiz:
If an ad on Craigslist says that someone is giving something away for free, should you be able to take it? If you put an ad on Craigslist saying someone is giving something away for free but he isn’t and someone takes it (but not you), should you pay for it? If someone puts an ad on Craiglist saying someone is giving away everything he owns even though he isn’t–and the whole town shows up and takes it–should Craigslist pay for it?
The Jacksonville, Oregon police and Craigslist’s lawyers are currently grappling with these questions and more:
JACKSONVILLE, Ore. — A pair of hoax ads on Craigslist cost an Oregon man much of what he owned.
The ads popped up Saturday afternoon, saying the owner of a Jacksonville home was forced to leave the area suddenly and his belongings, including a horse, were free for the taking, said Jackson County sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Colin Fagan.
But Robert Salisbury had no plans to leave. The independent contractor was at Emigrant Lake when he got a call from a woman who had stopped by his house to claim his horse.
On his way home he stopped a truck loaded down with his work ladders, lawn mower and weed eater.
“I informed them I was the owner, but they refused to give the stuff back,” Salisbury said. “They showed me the Craigslist printout and told me they had the right to do what they did.”
The driver sped away after rebuking Salisbury. On his way home he spotted other cars filled with his belongings.
Once home he was greeted by close to 30 people rummaging through his barn and front porch.
The trespassers, armed with printouts of the ad, tried to brush him off. “They honestly thought that because it appeared on the Internet it was true,” Salisbury said. “It boggles the mind.
Photo of Craiglist founder Craig Newmark: Gene Hwang.
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