A few days ago, I discovered that my home IP address had been automatically blocked from accessing craigslist. Instead of searching my local listings, I spent the morning responding to a question craigslist posed to me on an otherwise blank page: “This IP address has been automatically blocked. If you have questions, please email…”
My first email to the craigslist blocking board was pretty straightforward and diplomatic. This appears to be an egregious error, I stated. Thank you for your time addressing this issue.
After several hours with no response, I penned an ode to if. With the subject heading IF I HAVE QUESTIONS, IF? I was sure they would respond to my second email in a more timely manner. I reiterated my earlier claim that this must’ve been some kind of technical snafu, then added that if the blocking was due to a violation of the site guidelines: Wouldn’t you want a craigslist user to self-correct if they made an unwitting mistake, or do you prefer your current punish-everyone-at-that-IP-because-they-must-all-be-evil protocol?
I wondered what sort of site violation could be so bad as to warrant full IP address blockage without first emailing the offending site user, which led me to my next conclusion and question: Are you aware of stalkers/trolls and that their methods of interfering with people’s lives may include false accusations against an IP address?
I asked if my IP address had been fingered in a cyber crime involving craigslist, and whether or not the sheriff would be knocking on my door regarding this potentially serious matter. Then I added: How often do people who get blocked by craigslist NOT have any questions about it (my guess is: never ever)?
I ended my second email by restating the two possible scenarios for craigslist’s automatic blocking of my IP address: technical error or targeted harassment. Another day passed before my husband and I conferred on who that nefarious imp might be, if such harassment were taking place. I sent a third email to craigslist explaining my conclusion that it might be an act of targeted rueful artifice. No response to any of my emails, but craigslist reversed the blockage on our IP address as of today.
This morning, I applied for an AmeriCorps job I saw listed on craigslist. Then I realized that the two references I listed never actually responded to emails from AmeriCorps to confirm that they’re my references who will vouch for me. All applications I’ve submitted to them over the past two years were null. Do these past employer/cohorts hate me, or did they just see a message in their inbox from AmeriCorps as spam?
Now I’m wondering which of my limited assortment of friends will vouch for me not just in lip service but in actual deed. I thought getting temporarily blocked from craigslist was bad, but realizing that some of my friends are actual chumps stings quite a bit more.