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2020: Craigslist

Craigslist Apartments

I searched for an apartment to rent in NYC, in the first few days of April 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic. I read that the rental market is down, and was motivated to find a deal on an apartment.

Craigslist has more scams listings than actual listings. Especially if you try to hunt for a good deal. I read through 200+ listings, and only about 30 were worth responding to. I skipped the ones that were billboard advertising images. They are obvious; you know them when you see them.

Of those 30 I responded to, about 3/4 were scams. I asked just one question in my response to the ad: “When can I see the apartment in person?” Because that is one thing the average scammer from a foreign country can't do, is to show you an actual apartment. Their response will be everything but an answer to that question.

Of the remaining 1/4 listings that I messaged, I only got one real response. The rest didn't respond. Is the housing market frozen during the coronavirus pandemic?

Craigslist has a forum where you can ask questions. So I asked: “Practically every rental ad that shows an obfuscated email in the body of the ad turns out to be bait for a scam. For example: link-to-example-ad. Should I just flag every rental ad with this feature?

I got the following response:

That's a very well known scammer trick so most < Imelda_Snarkos > 2020-04-14 20:33
People don't bother replying to those ads, they just ignore them. Another trick is to obfuscate the phone number: 8 six 7 5 three oh 9 (for instance).
You are welcome to flag such ads but it would probably be as useful as trying to shoot at rain.
Look for ads with a phone number listed in the “Reply” part of the ad, or use the anonymized email relay.

Update 20200627:

I've resumed looking for an apartment. Another scammer trick is to ask for your email and/or number in the ad. There is a reason that Craigslist uses a proxy for communications. Many times, in response to your inquiry, they will ask for your email address to “send more information”, or “email the owner at such-and-such email address”. Also scam. They want to send you a security code. Definitely scam. They should be doing nothing else than planning with you to see the apartment. In person.

You can find apartments in NYC, that aren't basements, for $1450 and up. In that price range, there are few scam listings.

2020: Quora the Land of Everything Nice

Quora is a place for sharing, with one caveat. Anything you share that might be the slightest bit controversial, will never be seen. Quora has an unlimited amount of content, being produced daily from its users. If any post is downvoted by any other user, it will quickly become lower ranking than other answers, no matter how popular/viral it may have been. You will likely never see anything politically incorrect on Quora. This is sad because it is not an environment for innovation or constructive debate. However, it does provide plenty of good answers sometimes.

George Carlin Political Correctness

Quora has gained steadily in popularity, but in the last year, the quality of new answers available has taken a downturn. Perhaps the popularity of the site brought with it the unwanted lowest common denominator. Despite this, it's still a very viable option in Q&A websites and forums.

This may be true of Google as well: Google reportedly manipulates search results to hide controversial subjects and favor big business,

Why Are There So Many Stupid Questions and Answers on Quora

With any social media platform, the larger its population, the more “shit” you have to dig through to find the “gold”.

Back in the day, Quora held a higher standard for good writing. They rewarded good writing and discouraged bad writing. If you were a good enough writer, you got some serious street cred here. Sadly, they have seemed to placed prioritization on revenue. Revenue is fine, but Quora is banking on getting their search results to the front page of Google so much that any volume is good volume now, and that includes bad writing.

Plus, Quora is rapidly growing. The more people who use this site, the more people who won’t really care about serious answers. All those answers to “WhAt ArE SoMe MeMeZ ThAt DeSeRvE 1,000,000,009 upBOATS??” are indicative of this. It’s Reddit-tier stuff.

The Crappy Question Program helps fuel this. $0.34 for a clickbait question is a magnet for bad practice, but this is Quora’s business model now. You don’t even get paid to write fantastic answers — only “fantastic” questions. There’s nothing we can do about it, which I think is incredibly sad.

2020: Facebook is its own Operating System

Disclaimer: I'm running a vintage laptop model from 2006

You have the most nimble user interface, when everything runs natively, closer to machine language.

Instead, you are running an operating system on your computer, and on top of that operating system, you are running a web browser, and on top of that, you are running a very heavy website named Facebook. Your computer slows to a crawl. Loading multiple tabs takes longer and longer.

Try using, the mobile version of facebook.

It's less bling, less bloat. It renders more like a web page, rather than an operating system. Takes some getting used to, but once you memorize the steps, doing things in a different way, it's a lot quicker.

Andrew Herbert in the Pale Moon forum said: “ (with JS) or (without JS)”, where JS is JavaScript. Also, TheStar website said that messages can only be accessed via mbasic.

On the Pale Moon Browser, both sites render as mbasic, but on Chrome, is a different design.



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information-technology/2020-social-networks.txt · Last modified: 2024/02/21 03:31 by marcos