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. identicon
    Scott, 11 May 2014 @ 8:38am

    Novice question

    I am a small “one truck operator”, in the home improvement business. I focus on windows and door installations in my area and city. Mostly sell the installation and install materials, but the customers supplies some repurchased product. Although , I will supply as most contractors do when asked, I am not a reseller. But sell product with installations only.

    I am lic, and Insured and EPA reg, as according to the local laws.
    So I have a web site, and I advertise on Cl . There is no other real venues for small local guys like me unless you have a big operating budget.

    Locally, Craigslist has been taken over by bigger window and door companies . If I flag them I get kicked off Cl. If I post honestly two to three time a week I get ghosted. Or the big competitor includes me in their flagging operations. I almost seem like there is a inside deal going on somewhere...

    Is Craigslist a dead end for me? I seem that it was made for folks like me but now I don’t get any business from it unless I spend as mush time nursing my ads as I do working by business.

    What should a simple carpenter do, Craigslist seems to have lost its way and we get no business form it any more.
    Resorting to using flyers door to door.

    Please be nice.

    Thanks.

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