A popular YouTube conspiracy crank posted a video in which he reported to have found a Craigslist ad recruiting “crisis actors” for the San Bernardino shooting, which took place on December 2nd, 2015. Human-shaped wet shit James Fetzer later repeated this claim during his disastrous Reddit AMA. But there are a few problems with this one.
First of all, the video features a presumably grown man who goes by the name of “Professor Doom” (spooky!) talking over a still image of a video of what is alleged to be a Craigslist listing. But in the screencap, there’s no URL visible, and the URL isn’t included in the video description (as sources often are). Hell, you can’t even tell whether or not you’re looking at a browser window. It could be Microsoft Word, for all we know. The narrator never bothers to reveal any identifying information, so it’s never clear where it was listed (Craigslist breaks major cities down into areas — Los Angeles includes four) or what it was even listed under (“Jobs” versus “Gigs”). Why would you leave that out? That seems like awfully important information, especially if you hope to establish even a modicum of credibility.
So I looked for the listing myself by first Googling some of the distinct verbiage in the ad, but there were no results. Then I went to the Los Angeles section of Craigslist and searched both the “Jobs” and “Gigs” areas for that same verbiage. Again, no results. So I pared it down a bit and just searched for “we need 30 people”. There were two results in “Jobs”, but they were for telemarketing gigs. But hot dog, there was a match in “Gigs” from December 3rd (the day after the shooting)! Unfortunately it’s expired now, but the URL was:
But lighting struck twice and a later search returned another result from “inland empire, CA”, posted early on December 2nd, 2015 (about five hours before the shooting), most likely by the same exact people or firm. The ad is for “background work” on the 5th and 6th (days after the shooting). As long as it stays up, the URL for this listing is:
Realizing it’s probably a bad idea to simply jot down the URL and hope that it stays on the Internet forever, I also took a screenshot.
Notice that much of the wording is incredibly similar, if not exact. The ellipses in the “Location” area, for example. The thing is, whoever copied one of these postings and modified it did a piss-poor job and can’t spell for shit. Speaking “rolls”? Are they required to talk about bread? “Buss” transportation? “Wavers” upon penalty of perjury? Are they going to prosecute people who wave? People who do the wave? And why “office/plain clothes officer” attire? Since when are those two things interchangeable?
And I saved the best for last, as this seems like the most obvious red flag to me: why is Craigslist underlined in red?
Your browser wouldn’t underline anything it believed to be misspelled unless you yourself had typed it. Browser spellchecks don’t spellcheck other peoples work. Look at the previous screenshot: besides looking completely different, Craigslist is not underlined. And why are there visible table borders, like the kind you would see in an HTML editor? Craigslist ads simply do not look like this. The whole thing is clearly about as bogus as can be.