Wow, it's sad that there are so many people who have been burned by Freecycle. I generally love it! There are some sob stories, but our Freecycle rules state that you don't have to follow any specified rule for who you choose to give your item to. It can be the first response, the last response, the person who wrote the nicest email, had the cutest signature, had a cute story about how they'll use the item, etc. So it's not usually a problem to ignore the sob stories, and I haven't seen many of those, either. I do sometimes see posts where somebody is asking for "any used but working baby equipment, like swings, bassinets, cribs, etc. for a teen mothers program." It's letting you know that it'll be put to good use, but it doesn't go into a whole sob story or anything.
Since it's getting close to Christmas, one of our mods actually posted something reminding people that Freecycle is not a department store and was not the place to post wish lists. I think that might have helped to stop some people in their tracks.