Competitors Using Software To Mark Each Other's Craigslist Postings As Spam

from the now-that's-impressive dept

One sign of a successful software company is when an ecosystem starts to build around it. We've seen this with companies like Microsoft, eBay and Google of course. And, while there definitely have been some products built on top of Craigslist, I hadn't realized it had gone so far as to include software that will try to trick Craigslist into deleting a post as spam. As you may know, Craigslist has a little link on each post that allows any reader to "flag as spam." There's an automated system that takes note of these clicks, and if enough such clicks come from enough unique users, the post is automatically pulled off the site. For the most part, this system is both effective and efficient. But, according to the linked article above, there's software out there that will let you "flag as spam" any post you want, sending multiple clicks pretending to come from unique users. It's being used by some companies to maliciously pull down perfectly legitimate posts from competitors. Craigslist says it's constantly tweaking its systems to avoid this kind of thing, but why not have a Wikipedia-style setup, where "deleted" spam posts can be reviewed by folks who can "undelete" the not-spam ones? It can use the same basic system, where if enough people vote that a "spam" post is legit, it goes back online. Or if it's really an issue, then certain posts that get jerked back and forth could finally be "locked" by an admin based on their discretion.

Filed Under: ecosystem, spam
Companies: craigslist

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  1. icon
    spammersblow (profile), 1 May 2012 @ 5:26am

    sw florida spammers are horrible!

    i run a owner operated power washing business. i post in the household services section, sometimes the skilled trades.
    i post once.
    every time i post, ill check to make sure it actually made it (sometimes it doesnt and i dont know why) and on top of me is 15-20 posts from the same company also advertising power washing.
    they must have someone sit in the office and check it all day to see if they get top posted, then they splash an insane amount of ads to stay on top.
    i know when i post im asked for a phone number every so often. i am only 1 guy, i have a landline and a cell. this company must be using the emails and phone numbers of all of thier employees.
    craigs should only allow 1 post a day, per section, per ISP, this might help that. also, when are they going to require a license number to post in ALL services sections? right now where i am at, its only required in the theraputic section. unlicensed contracting is ILLEGAL. it should be required by ANY contractor looking to provide a service.

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