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
    Cat, 6 Jul 2008 @ 10:06am

    Flagging

    I can sympathize with Steve on this one. There is someone flagging and deleting people's ads in the computer services section here in Phoenix. It's sad when a competitor resorts to such tactics because they can't handle the competition. This person has completely destroyed a section that was once peaceful. A person shouldn't have the right to decide what's best for the customer. The customer should have the right to decide which company is the best for their service needs.

    People who flag other business competitors ads because they simply either don't like them or because they don't want any competition whatsoever show not only how unethical they are but it puts the customer at great risk of getting ripped off. Then again, the person that has their competition's ads deleted probably don't care who they are hurting or why. It's a very bad way to conduct business and sooner or later the customer will wise up and choose a competitor anyway.

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