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
    jack makokov, 16 Mar 2010 @ 3:33pm

    Re: Re: The problem is people like you

    You don't seem to get what cockpitinferno was saying. For example, I'm currently looking to pay cash for an "inexpensive" vehicle ($3500 or less). Nothing wrong with most dealerships, but I'd prefer to purchase a vehicle from somebody not looking to make a ridiculous profit and selling something overpriced. So I check out the cars + trucks section in my area only to find the place loaded with car dealership ads, along with car dealers posing as private sellers. Yeah, I'll flag 'em, especially when I call a number and it's a dealership. Usually if a dealer is that desperate,deceptive, that's not someone I'd like to do business with. Most people would RESEARCH an ad if they were making a major purchase. Yes, Craigs is free for everybody to post, but dealers take advantage with auto-posters--er, "marketing solutions firms"--posting their whole damn inventories numerous times throughout the day.

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