Innovation That Matters

Safe, IRL trading zones prevent Craigslist crimes

Work & Lifestyle

Safe exchange zones, monitored by cameras or local police, are being created in American cities to prevent crime related to online trading.

It goes without saying that there is an element of risk attached to fulfilling online transactions in person. So for those who are a bit wary of giving out their home address to the complete stranger that bought their old bike from Craiglist, American cities have begun to initiate safe internet exchange zones, which are monitored by cameras or local police.


These range from well-surveilled, public areas in cities including Denton, North Carolina and Marlborough, Massachusetts, to Safe Trade Stations inside dozens of local police stations. While the exact practice varies from place to place, the basic concept remains the same: users of online classified platforms such as Craigslist are encouraged to arrange their handover at the specified location, where surveillance and/or police presence will discourage any funny business.

How else could the anonymity of the internet be mediated by safe spaces in real life?



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