Craig Newmark Talks Philanthropy, Politics

Craigslist founder talks to us about the online civic-service movement.


How are you working to change that?

I quietly try to talk to people, saying, 'Hey, we are not in as big a disagreement as we thought.' I'm sure people do disagree on some of these issues, but there are people taught to heighten the argument for, well, for profit. I do believe in minimal regulation. However, if companies want to make money using a public resource, whether it be airwaves or public rights of way, you've go to do the right thing, partially as dictated by the public. You've got to give back something. What would that look like?

One of the best things the U.S. government ever did was the Marshall Plan. It was really good as a representation of American values, and in the long range it was perhaps our most effective counterterrorism program. And I'm figuring out how to do my bid for a new kind of Marshall Plan. I'm working with Kiva on something new, and I'll stop there, because it's in a sensitive part of the world. And Jim [Buckmaster, Craigslist CEO and programmer] will spank me if I say anything more.