everything in moderation
the regulating asPects of craigslist anD
the Moral assertions of “coMMunity flagging”
The similarities between eBay and craigslist point to some larger tendencies
in Internet settings and important research questions. craigslist’s “factsheet”
describes the site in this way: “Local classifieds and forums - community
moderated” through flagging “and largely free.”1 The parallels between this
description and eBay’s narratives encourage further considerations of the
meaning of “community” and “local” in Internet settings, the functions of
community moderation, the relationship between the sites’ values and mem-
bers’ identities and desires, the significance of “largely free” for consumers
and citizens, and the responsibilities of individuals who are conceptualized as
a community. eBay and craigslist also make related claims about sexual free-
dom and institute community morals and rules. Craig Newmark, the site’s
developer, heard about a woman arranging sexual encounters through craigs-
list and argued that the setting reflects “basic American values, and freedom
of choice couldn’t be any more basic.”2 craigslist promises women a toler-
ant and erotically liberating experience, gains their trust in local sites and
community moderation, and then regulates their gendered roles and sexu-
ality. For instance, craigslist facilitates the “flagging” and removal of women’s
dating advertisements. My studies throughout this book and research by
Nelly Oudshoorn, Els Rommes, and Marcelle Stienstra indicate how Inter-
net sites promise universal access while configuring—and, in some cases,
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