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
    nr, 4 Oct 2008 @ 11:19am

    Re: Abuse of Auto Flagging Software

    Same in Atlanta CL esp under the "Cars for Sale" and and a few other places--talk about your ad getting flagged at the speed of light! Daaaym these greedy scumbag dealers are SCARED TO DEATH of any competition! Add these clowns to the malcontents who just flag ads because the don't happen to like and item and you can pretty much forget about doing any listing--almost sounds as bad as the computer services section of CL Phoenix....

    I'm looking into somehow getting the auto flagging software (without spending a ton of dough and one thats Mac compatible)....Only getting to protect myself--they wanna flag my ads? I'll flag their azzez right back ;)

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