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An Internet for the PeopleThe Politics and Promise of craigslist$
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Jessa Lingel

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691188904

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691188904.001.0001

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The Case for Keeping The Internet Weird

(p.152) Conclusion
An Internet for the People

Jessa Lingel

Princeton University Press

This concluding chapter shows how paying attention to the gaps between craigslist and its peers can help toward a more democratic, less gentrified Internet. To build a case for keeping the Internet weird and democratic, the chapter focuses on two distinctive features of craigslist's platform politics: making users anonymous and a transparent approach to monetizing user activity. While craigslist has always welcomed people on the margins, as a consequence the platform has become increasingly marginalized, both in its reputation for problems and for being behind the times compared with the mainstream web. Here, gentrifying the Internet is not just about how things look, it is also about social norms and business models. By keeping users anonymous and its monetization direct, craigslist issues a challenge to core assumptions about ways of being online and how tech companies make money.

Keywords:   craigslist, Internet, gentrification, user anonymity, platform politics, monetization, mainstream web, social norms, business models, tech companies

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