The story is pretty simple: Man makes up fake Casual Encounters personal ad posing as a woman looking for a good time, then he publishes any and all responses in a public forum, including many nude pictures sent to him. All hell breaks loose.
I haven't contacted Craigslist, but it's clear that as this story develops, it will inevitably have a profound impact on the community. A friend put it simply: "Adults are stupid on the Internet." More likely, their expectations of privacy just haven't been fundamentally challenged yet. They send naked photos of themselves to strangers because it helps get them noticed by the women they're emailing, and it's never backfired on them.
On a final note, this is just getting started. Sex baiting is so simple and so effective, I thought immediately that others would be inspired to do the same thing. And yesterday morning, a commenter confirmed that the first copycat prank is already complete in Craigslist Portland. 94 replies so far, with 60 photos. It won't be the last.
A lesson I learned early, mostly from being on a MUCK where 99.9% of the players were male but 25% of the characters were female, was:
ANYONE YOU KNOW ON THE INTERNET IS MALE, UNTIL YOU MEET THEM FACE TO FACE AND PROVE OTHERWISE.
It's a lesson that has stood the test of time. Over and over again, on site after site, I've seen guys totally taken by someone posting pictures from HotOrNot.com or Google Image Search. I laugh harder and harder every time...
This doesn't mean you can't have friends on the 'net. By all means, do. But keep in the back of your mind that they're all male, unless you've met them face to face. Never give in to the temptation to presume someone is female, unless you've met them in real life. Remember, pictures are no proof - a Google Image Search will yield thousands of pictures they can claim to be their own.
And please don't be a dumbass and send naked pictures of yourself to the email address of someone you don't know IRL. The Intarwebz never, ever forget. If one naked picture of you, sent to someone who is posing as a female online, gets uploaded to Archive.org... then your great-grandkids will still be able to find it.
Even sending naked pictures of yourself to your boyfriend/girlfriend entails some risk. There are several sites on the web created for the express purpose of ex's posting your nude pictures to the public after a breakup.
Sometime in about 96 or 97, when I was making my first web page, I read somewhere that you should "Never post anything on the 'Net that you would be embarassed to see on the front page of a newspaper." I've hewn very close to that rule for the last decade-plus, and it has never done me wrong. If the worst that anyone can do to me is to splash this across the front page of every newspaper in America... then I think I'm doing okay.