CRAIGSLIST SUCKS: Flagger, Flag Pool, Flagged and Removed, Flagged and Deleted; Should I waste my time and energy using this "service", even though it's free? You usually get what you pay for, but sometimes free things are even a negative value.
When FREE isn't even worth it.
Why was I flagged on Craigslist?
Why was my ad flagged on/off Craigslist?
Have you been flagged off Craigslist yet?
If not, just wait -- you will be.
Post your experiences with Craigslist
at the bottom of this page.
Are you asking: Why was I Flagged?
Then you're in the right place.
Craigslist: A giant magnet for
the scummiest people on Earth
It looks as though Craigslist may finally be on the ropes. The problems have almost always been of their own making. Pot-headed liberals will ALWAYS run their businesses into the ground. We can only hope it's true that CL is on its way out. They'll linger for years, maybe decades, but it looks as though they'll no longer dominate classified advertising in the US.
Craigslist doesn't monitor it's own content for two reasons:
(1) It can't afford to, and
(2) The courts have ruled many times that if a company monitors its own public content, it's liable for it. Allow "anything" to be posted, and you're not liable for it. Craigslist doesn't want to be liable for the content of its users, so it adopted the "flagged content" method of trimming the junk out of its ads, yet staying out of court at the same time. When the number of users of a given service is small, flagging can work. But as the user base grows, too many people can be "offended" by too many things. Therefore, if your perfectly legitimate (to the sane) ad on CL was flagged and removed, it was likely for one of the following reasons (and many more we haven't thought of). After all, you're dealing with the unwashed masses, the lowest of the low, the bottom-feeders, the scum, so what do you expect?:
Someone thinks your price was too high.
Someone thinks your price is too low.
Someone is or wants to be your competitor.
Someone is offended by the word "the".
Someone is cranky.
Someone has gone off their meds.
Someone doesn't like the red hair you portray in your singles ad.
Someone doesn't like black hair.
Someone doesn't like blonde hair.
Someone doesn't like "curvy" girls.
Someone only likes curvy girls.
Someone doesn't like "nerdy" guys.
Someone thinks you sound too intelligent.
Someone thinks you sound too dumb.
Someone thinks you're a bot.
Someone doesn't like that you only want to meet people between certain ages (they're younger).
Someone doesn't like that you only want to meet people between certain ages (they're older).
Someone had a bad experience once in a blue Ford; therefore, your ad for a blue Ford has got to go.
Someone doesn't like Craigslist.
Someone doesn't like YOU.
Someone likes you very much and doesn't want anyone else to find you first.
Someone is pissed because you fired them five years ago.
Someone doesn't think you pay enough, therefore you must be "evil".
Someone doesn't like that you're religious.
Someone doesn't like that you're not religious.
Someone is mad because you like "420".
Someone is mad because your ads says "no 420".
Someone doesn't like ______________________.
When "FREE" isn't even worth it.
This page describes our experience with and opinions of Craigslist
and of those who abuse Craigslist, making it worse than it already is:
CRAIGSLIST SUCKS: Should I waste my time and energy
using this "service", even though it's free? You usually
get what you pay for, but sometimes even free
things are a negative value.
Are you sick and ---damned tired of it yet?
Note to employers:
We know how much trouble you have finding employees who can accomplish the smallest, simplest of tasks. Our experiences with employees we've hired from Craigslist have been 100% unacceptable. The prospects browsing the CL help-wanted sections are, by an order of magnitude, the most helpless, unreliable time-wasters we have ever encountered. It's like trying to hire from a prison or an insane asylum. Our advice is to save yourselves an incalculably painful headache and seek employees through almost any other venue. Your state government's unemployment services will yield a far higher quality than Craigslist -- or if you can afford it, we suggest "www.snagajob.com". We can virtually guarantee that employees gleaned from the likes of Craigslist will make you wish you'd never heard of the website. That's honest, valuable advice straight from the heart. Seriously -- save yourself the blood-pressure spike and just say NO to Craigslist.
We're providing documentation demonstrating Craigslist's steadfast, belligerent refusal to assist the Washington Attorney General's office regarding one of Craigslist's posters who fraudulently represented an item for sale. In fact, Craigslist refused to reply even to their registered letters, refused to take their calls, and refused to reply to its own California Department of Justice. There is perhaps no more unprofessionally operated, or detrimental-to-the-public "business" operating on the Internet today -- our opinion, and the opinions of countless thousands. Just Google "Craigslist Sucks".
This site documents the "rabid flagger" problem on Craigslist, and Craigslist's steadfast refusal to deal with the problem in any meaningful way.
This page answers this question once and for all, with proof:
"Should I invest my advertising time (or money) with Craigslist?"
We started using Craigslist in the Seattle area two years ago. It was fairly novel, though many similar services were trying to come to life about the same time. Why did Craigslist survive while many others failed? Because Craigslist, for whatever reason, appealed largely to a particular, and peculiar, mentality. There is a class of people in every city, and they generally tend to congregate into specific areas, who really have nothing better to do than sit around on a threadbare, flea-bitten divan in their pee-stained underwear and browse porn sites, blogs, pirate ftp's, scammer communities, eBay, bizarre left-wing anarchy webs, radical whining newsgroups, and any other time-wasting device they can find on the net these days. They have time for this because they either don't have jobs, or they work part-time and mooch off a bunch of roommates; they might deal drugs, work in the sex trade, WISH they worked in the sex trade, or they might be out-and-out robbers and con-artists. In Seattle, the neighborhood that boasts the highest concentration of this strata is Capital Hill -- that's the haven here for the sloppy street-dumplings sporting 13 chronically-infected piercings, and the tattooed dirtbags and wannabe little pseudo bad boys with the moral fabric of a seagull and the mental horsepower of a pigeon. Every city has this element. Some, such as Seattle and San Francisco, are overflowing with it. They produce nothing but bad music, atrocious art, unpleasant body odor and noise. Too bad little of it sells.
They CHOOSE to browse Craigslist all day and night because it's free. "Free", in this society, draws a particular strata of society. Even the remote PROSPECT of "free" draws this bottom-feeder crowd like sharks to chum. Travel to any gambling center around the world and note the incidence per capita of low-lifes roaming the streets (and alleys). I sat in a car once in Laughlin, Nevada, waiting on a friend. In 35 minutes, exactly 19 street bums (male, female, and undetermined) came through the parking lot, middle of the day, trying car doors just to see if any were open. One after another they'd come to my car, glance at me, and go on to the next one. Too bad; I had something for them if they'd tried my door. This mentality is drawn to gambling centers in droves because they PERCIEVE that there's something to be had there for free. Even the faintest scent of "free" draws every scumbag who gets a whiff of it, from halfway across the country. In fact, there's nothing free about any gambling center -- just the opposite. And, one by one, these worthless turds learn that, (albeit slowly), and move on to the next perceived free meal. Sometimes, with regard to the Laughlin punks, they just die alone in the desert. Oh darn. Society will miss their brilliant input.
Unfortunately, Craigslist has drawn this very same crowd and they've become its loyal minions. On Craigslist, there really ARE free things to be had. -Junk, to be sure. But what self-respecting low-life cares if it's junk if it's FREE! Free is what turns their stupid little keys. They gravitate to it as moths to a flame, rats to Linguini, maggots to rotting meat, or flies to feces. The problem with this mentality is that they are usually just plain stupid to boot. They are basically powerless beings without an ounce of self respect. They're powerless because they aren't taken seriously in ANY context, because, once again, they're dumb as boards and just plain genetically challenged. They have no self respect because they never grasped that WORK equals DIGNITY. If you polled a million Craigslist users you'd probably find that 85% are one notch above bums. Many are self-confessed anarchists. The concept of BUILDING something, anything, is beyond the capabilities of their little Briggs and Stratton brains. They know, desire, and seek, only destruction and that which is FREE.
The 15% of valuable human beings who use Craigslist want it to work. They understand the concept of COMMUNITY, they see the value of such a service, they utilize it and support it. They try to keep it clean and functional. They rigorously abide by its rules. But they're massively outnumbered, and it's now fair to say they've lost. Craigslist has been overrun by the crackpots, the fools, the bottom-feeders, the rip-offs, the con-artists -- the bottom of the proverbial barrel. Craigslist not only gave these folks something FREE, it gave them POWER. It gave them the power to flag, and while that's what built Craigslist and allowed it to thrive for a time on a small scale, it's also Craig's mistake and is proving to be the undoing of an otherwise good idea. Watch it unfold in real-time for yourselves.
There really are ads on Craigslist that should be flagged, and the flagging mechanism does, at least in theory, have a valid purpose. Flagging could be just the thing a service like Craigslist needs to keep itself clean. --Assuming, that is, that human beings were even marginally honest, decent or smart -- which they too often are most assuredly not. That public monitoring of public input doesn't work and has never worked and will never work is fact. That's been proven a thousand times over, and should never have been even fleetingly considered as a means of keeping a website clean or functional. But when idiots, fools, and/or bottom-feeder businesses continuously spam to sell their wares in incorrect categories, flagging them is the only thing that keeps such an ad service running at all. Below is one of the most common pieces of spam we're ever seen. This ad is posted probably from 10 to 25 times a day in the Washington state "Boats for Sale" category on Craigslist, when it should be, obviously, posted in "Services". This has been the case with this same company for, what--? Several YEARS now? ...with no end in sight. The owner or advertiser of this business simply can't grasp that concept, so s/he posts rampantly, ceaselessly, tirelessly, obnoxiously, and reportedly fires back foul emails to those who politely ask him to stop. Ads for "The Fiberglass Wizard" in western Washington state bring him mountains of bad press and hard feelings, and almost certainly drives off more business than they bring, but apparently this guy feels it's worth it. Or maybe he's just a fucking moron, which is what we most suspect. We often see exasperated users post their own ads, publicly asking (or demanding) that this nut-job (The Fiberglass Wizard) cease and desist. The only thing that seems to elicit are more miscategorized ads from The Fiberglass Wizard. The common sense of this whole issue is simple enough, yet so few seem to grasp it: If there were no categories at all on Craigslist, it would be a 100% useless pile of crap where no one could find ANYTHING. Categories of ads on a classified ads site are exactly as necessary as categories of books in a library. Without them, there is pure and utter chaos. The problem with Craigslist seems to be that a relatively small percentage of the ads that SHOULD be flagged, get flagged, while a huge percentage of absolutely legitimate and properly categorized ads are flagged for strange and bizarre reasons, none of which are productive, fair, or intelligent. To top it off, while Craigslist could easily take action that would once and for all STOP The Fiberglass Wizard from abusing the rules and causing hundreds or thousands of irritated users from being put to the trouble of flagging him over and over and over and over for periods of years, Craigslist simply won't do it. Craigslist seems to expect its users to continue to wrestle with obnoxious problem-cases forever, when Craigslist should step in and solve the problem as soon as the problem is recognized. We think the time will come when angry Craigslist users will reach critical mass, and will no longer be willing to expend the effort to flag those ads which should be flagged (because it does little good anyway), nor to repost their own legitimate ads ad nauseam, twenty times a day, because they've been wrongly flagged. Perhaps that point is coming sooner than we thought, as we see more and more angry users posting their frustrations with and about this haphazardly concocted service (Craigslist) in Craigslist or on the web and in blogs. While no one begrudges these businesses their desire to make a living, we don't want them intruding into areas that get in our way if we're not specifically looking for them. If we WANT a service, we'll go to the category that ADVERTISES a service. Pretty simple concept; it ain't rocket science. We don't want to have to muddle through a bunch of armchairs for sale or kittens for adoption to find a suitable boat listing. Look in any classifieds section of any newspaper in the US and you'll not find auto mechanics schlepping for business in the "Cars for Sale" section, nor will you find scooters for rent under Help Wanted. It wouldn't be productive. We have to mention that any business who stoops to the likes of Craigslist to beg for work or orders is perhaps a business that's so desperate, so "circlin' the drain", that they're likely on their way out anyhow. When you're reduced to running free classifieds on CL, you know you've failed. And when you continue to tirelessly spam an inappropriate section while angry users bash you and flag you, you know you SHOULD fail. The following line appears by choice on Craigslist ads for "The Fiberglass Wizard" :
...it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests...
How curious it is that The Fiberglass Wizard doesn't want to be pestered by commercial interests that he's not interested in, yet he positively bombards the wrong section with ads for a service that is a commercial interest. Talk about a double standard! Perhaps he's just so special and precious that he's above the rules we mere mortals must follow.
The Fiberglass Wizard: Example of a posting that, when posted in the incorrect category per Craigslist rules, SHOULD be flagged. Above and below are samples of the kind of crap The Fiberglass Wizard posts in "Boats for Sale" 10-25 times per day. Craigslist has been notified of this perhaps a hundred or two times by many dozens of users, but refuses to stop him. It takes around 22 UNIQUE flags to get an ad removed in this category, yet this mental midget seems to think one person is selectively harassing him. Is this the mentality ANYONE would hire?
Date: 2009-09-15, 2:40PM PDT
Reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org [Errors when replying to ads?]
You won't respond to emails and hide in the bushes. You know, when it comes to working with fiberglass I'm pretty good at what I do, but you seem to be failing at what you do!!! I mean I'm the only one you are going after and you can't even accomplish that! And I have already completed one job today (that I got from my Craigslist advertising) and am working on another right now...that I also got off Craigslist.
Perhaps finger painting or basket weaving might be a little easier for you.
~The Fiberglass Wizard
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
Here's a common ploy. This jackass appears to be fully aware that Craigslisters are sick to absolute death of his incessant spamming of the "Boats for Sale" category, so he has inserted spaces in between the letters of his business name (NW Marine, or Northwest Marine, at 206-962-9004) in the stupid hope that people won't be able to do a search and flag his spams. This guy bombards the for-sale section around 15-25 times every day. Yet he simply doesn't care how many enemies he makes. Would YOU want to do business with someone who thinks like that?
Over 20 yrs in Seattle area, MOBILE SERVICE AVAILABLE
NOVEMBER SPECIAL-Winterizing starts as low as $125 for I/O's.
**If you don't use NW M arine you are seriously missing out on a good thing! We use these guys for all of our service needs and we are very pleased with everything they do. Our repair bill is less than half of what we paid for years at the I-90 Marine Center. I personally recommend them to all boaters. Christian Knight and family. North Bend, Wa. (non compensated customer).
**We use No rthwest Ma rine to Winterize, and a complete Interior/Exterior Detail before winter storing. Outstanding Job, our boat looks better than it has in years, and super affordable. Recommend to all boaters! Lynda Collie-Seattle, Wa.
**I use Nor thwest Ma rine to winterize, and service my boat. Very professional and highly recommended! Tom McPhearson - Kirkland, Wa. (non compensated customer)
**We only use N W M A R I N E for win terizing and all serv ices. Every boater should use these guys. Reina Bently and family. Seattle, Wa (non compensated customer)
Your complete satisfaction is guaranteed.
2 0 6-9 6 2-9 0 0 4
Here's another merciless spammer of the wrong category (below)
called "Hisco Shelters". Human garbage, in our view.
And yet another prolific Craigslist spammer, "Seattle Mobile Marine":
And yet another shameless Craigslist Spammer (below). This is a SERVICE, and should be placed under SERVICES, not BOATS FOR SALE. If these folks are this dumb and averse to FOLLOWING RULES, what's the quality of their "training"?:
Captain's License Training (Fife / Tacoma)
Date: 2009-09-20, 3:19PM PDT
Reply to: email@example.com [Errors when replying to ads?]
Flagship Maritime's USCG-approved captain's license training for your OUPV license begins Monday, October 12th, and runs 1800-2100 four nights a week for four weeks, finishing up on November 5th. All required materials and exams are included. Flagship's training facility is conveniently located right next to West Marine, off Exit 136 in Fife.
Captain Skip Anderson
- Location: Fife / Tacoma
- it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
Here's a classic example of the dumbest-possible user;
This was a car, posted in "Boats for Sale" :
1997 TOYOTA CAMRY - $1000 (BONNEY LAKE)
Date: 2009-10-02, 9:26PM PDT
Reply to: see below
BIG WHOOP WHOOP ON WHOMEVER FLAGGED MY AD! I SOLD IT IN 15 MINUTES AFTER LISTING IT!!! HAHAHA LOSER!!!!PostingID: 1403968387
1997 Toyota Camry - Mechanics Special This car needs a new engine and struts. 200,000 miles. It is a 4 cyl., 2.2 L automatic. Body and interior in descent shape. Interior regular wear. Non smoke. Has been in our family only. Tires are newer, bought from Costco, we have papers. Crack in windshield. CD player stereo, power locks & windows, cruise, AC.... Great deal for someone who can fix this themselves, I cannot. Or you can use as a parts car. Car runs but not driveable so you must tow.
- Location: BONNEY LAKE
- it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
Here's an enlightening exchange between a spammer who was posting his "SERVICES" in the "BOATS FOR SALE" section as many as 35 times per day, then whining when they were flagged off. He kept up this barrage for about a YEAR before someone finally snapped and tried to get through to him. It made no difference whatsoever, and we still see this guy's service ads in the for-sale section 20 or more times every single day. As a result, more and more people who are looking for a boat for sale find it just too tedious to wade through a mountain of spam on Craigslist, so they're beginning to look for other companies where only BOATS FOR SALE are listed under BOATS FOR SALE:
From the spammer as part of his ad campaign:
For the flaggers out there, I really don't appreciate taking the time to repost my ads over and over. The economy is down, I need work and apparently you have none and find your time better suited flagging ads. I am here to get on my feet, help people out, and pursue a career by going to school, I don't want welfare and would rather work to support myself as I am able and willing to do what it takes, So if you feel the need to flag my ad jst realize you are only making it hard for yourself and for society by flagging and trying to bring down those who work an honest days work to put food on the table. If it is in the wrong category please find the arrow pointing back and take yourself back to the section you were looking for originally. Sorry to be so harsh but i don't flag ads as I find it not to be any of my business to police anyone around and most the emails I get from craigslisters are pretty fed up with your flagging as well. Thanks for your understanding.
And here's someone's reply:
You dumb, arrogant piece of human feces.
You don't "appreciate" being flagged off when you spam in an inappropriate category, because you're just trying to make a living? Try to grasp this concept you fecking moron:
Many of the people posting in the BOATS FOR SALE category need to SELL THEIR BOATS because times are tough. Times are just as tough for them as they are for YOU. You are, we promise, NO MORE SPECIAL THAN ANYONE ELSE. They need the money just like you do. But THEY post in the proper place, and they want their BOATS FOR SALE to get as much attention as possible in hopes it will sell quickly and perhaps prevent a foreclosure, or put food on the table for another few weeks. Because of that, they don't want the BOATS FOR SALE section clogged up with imbeciles who think THEY and THEY ALONE have some God-given right to spam the living daylights out of this category. Now try to grasp this, because here's where it gets tricky if you only have a couple of brain cells to rub together: If we let ONE spammer post in here, we must let another, and another, and another, and another, until this section is so fouled with schleppers that you can no longer FIND the BOATS FOR SALE, and then buyers stop LOOKING for BOATS FOR SALE in the BOATS FOR SALE SECTION. Then NO ONE can SELL THEIR BOAT in BOATS FOR SALE. Get it? Do you REALLY? TRY! There is a category for BOATS FOR SALE and there's a category for SERVICES. Post your SERVICES under SERVICES. If you ever GET a boat, and you decide you want to SELL that boat, then by all means, post it under BOATS FOR SALE. The rest of us will have kept the mindless, monkey-brained spammers with the little Briggs and Stratton Brains the Hell OUT of the BOATS FOR SALE section so that when YOU need to SELL A BOAT, you'll have a pretty good chance to do so! It takes hundreds of flags to get your stupid damned ad removed. That means that HUNDREDS of people are SICK TO DEATH of your arrogance. If you can't get business out of the SERVICES section, then maybe you should advertise elsewhere. Or maybe that means you shouldn't be in business at all. In the end, WE DON'T CARE. The people advertising in BOATS FOR SALE want to SELL THEIR BOATS. SELLING THEIR BOATS is FAR more important to them than helping YOU make a living. Stop making it more difficult for them to do what the BOATS FOR SALE category is FOR!! Really! Leave them alone! Stop whining! Get a life! Suck it up! And F*CK OFF!
These bottom feeders SHOULD be flagged, but the flagging of properly posted ads on Craigslist now circumvents much successful private commerce. We've placed countless ads on Craigslist over the years, ads for things like boats for sale, boats wanted, motorcycles for sale, houses for rent, employees wanted. Every ad was simple, straightforward, placed in the proper category, clearly written, didn't even come close to breaking a "Craigslist Rule". Yet fully 80% of all ads we've ever placed for any thing in any category has been flagged and removed, some after a few days, some after only minutes. Below in blue italics is a classic example of a help-wanted ad that has been flagged and removed today, twelve (12) times in five hours (flagged removed every few minutes toward the end of the day, as these mindless, pot-head flaggers get angrier and angrier that they can't stop the ad from appearing). We're now offering a $5000 reward for the home address of any flagger who has been flagging this ad -- you'll need to provide proof to collect. Trust us, that person or persons will "become famous", but not in a way they think, or enjoy. If you have a contact working for Craigslist, you might persuade them (for a couple hundred bucks) to provide you with the exact time and IP address(es) of the flaggers from their server logs. Once we have those, we can grease enough palms of the ISPs in question to track the IP of the user right straight to their house (it'll be a greasy apartment on Capitol Hill), and we'll take it from there. Here's the ad which has so inflamed the mindless Craigslist flaggers; we make the statement again: Craigslist is not a resource that can be used reliably or effectively for any purpose, and this is documented proof:
This temp position was flagged and deleted 12 times in 5 hours:
Flagged and Removed
Printing work, digital printing
Print shop help, temp, simple computer work.
Includes cutting, running copiers, whatever needs doing.
Great for creative person. Will train in many different areas.
Part time, temp, could go until Christmas. References are checked!
Ads don't GET any simpler or more legitimate!
Craigslist browsers lament that they can't find jobs on Craigslist.
That's because most legitimate employers became disgusted with the flagging problem and gave up.
Or just Google "Craigslist Sucks", like this:
This is representative of the type of ads we've posted, almost all of which have been "flagged and removed". Nearly every ad like this lasts only a matter of hours, often only minutes, and only occasionally a day or two. But what if your Craigslist Help-Wanted ad DOES survive long enough to produce applicants? We've hired 43 employees from Craigslist using ads just like this. Every single one has been fired. Why? Two were fired because they couldn't do the job they represented themselves as skilled at; all others were fired for not showing up. The pay range was from $11/hr to $55/hr. This isn't just "our" experience; this same problem is reported to us day in and day out by other employers. We have a financial interest in an International food supply chain for example. That corporation now absolutely refuses to even attempt to hire from Craigslist, because their experiences were exactly the same as ours (they now use a company called "Snagajob" and report great results). The life-forms browsing Craigslist looking for easy work at high wages are those very same punks browsing parking lots in Laughlin, Nevada, hoping to find a door unlocked and a camera on the seat. We've found almost NO exceptions.
Craigslist doesn't draw a cross-section of society, as we expected it would. It draws, primarily, the losers of the world, the louts, the lazy dimwits, the Bohemians, the chronically unemployed and the utterly unemployable -- it attracts, draws, and caters to all those people who are of such poor and sloppy character as to be magnetically drawn to anything with the promise of FREE. These are the folks who can perform no legitimate function in life, never will, will never even try -- they just want a free ride, never once stopping to figure out who's going to pay for that ride. But CRAIG likes 'em, so Craigslist is where they live. They can browse porn and the hooker section and learn about new scams, and maybe find some items they can buy with a bad check or a bogus money order. If they can boost any little thing from their neighbor's back yard, a lawnmower, a weed-whacker, they can maybe sell it for twenty bucks on Craig's List-- chances are it didn't even work, which is why the neighbor left it out there all night. They can try to find partners in the relationship sections who might be conned into supporting them a little longer. They can sign up with any of the thousands of spam-bot companies and harvest email addresses off of Craigslist by placing bogus ads and schlepping the email addresses of unsuspecting respondents (most estimates put the percentage of "relationship" ads that are actually email address harvesters at about 98%). This can pay upwards of about $18 a day! And all these imbeciles have to do to collect it is to work three times as hard tricking people, as they would have been required to do in any honest job. And what convinces this mentality even more that they've "found a home" at Craig's, is the embarrassingly poor quality of the site itself. It's crude; it's sloppy; it's barely functional. Were I Craig, I'd have streamlined it within the second hour of the first night I came up with the concept, yet Craig doesn't perceive this need a decade later. That in and of itself tells me HE'S A MORON. This "rough look" and questionable function resonates with slackers in general, and assures them that they're "in the right place". Like attracts like.
Craig must be one stupid, lazy son of a bitch. He started a hobby, got lucky, and it bloomed, not through intelligent design, but improbable happenstance. Craigslist WILL be overcome by industrious, business-smart, professional, intelligent entrepreneurs, but it will take a little time. We can't wait. Google "Craigslist alternative" for a look at some promising replacements.
As noted, we've had almost no good experiences with Craig or his List. We've bought a few items that almost exclusively turned out to be junk. We've sold a few things, which required the patience of a bloody Saint to endure the 99.38% of callers who set an appointment then never show. When we run ads through any other medium the no-shows make up about 30-50%, which is average for regular society. When we advertise on Craigslist, on those rare occasions when our ads remain posted long enough to actually get responses, the no-show rate is, truly, about 99%. Nearly EVERYONE who sells on Craigslist will confirm this. It's because, to a very large degree, Craigslist attracts that particular genetically-irresponsible strata of society called FLAKES--- you know.....the stuff that bubbles up out of a toilet with a backed-up septic tank. It's the worst of the worst.
We've stopped attempting to conduct ANY kind of business with Craig or his list. We've deleted our login data, and we've deleted our shortcut to the site on every terminal in the shop. At some point EVEN FREE is a liability. We even placed a PAID help-wanted ad on the Craigslist Help Wanted section, and THAT was flagged off TOO. It was an ad similar to the one above. No explanation was ever given. No reply was ever received to our inquiries by email, telephone, and REGISTERED MAIL. Craigslist did refund, but only after we initiated a credit card chargeback. Your ads will be flagged and deleted from Craigslist because employees you've fired may feel they're "getting even". Or your ad will be removed by the unemployable because you simply didn't hire them. Or because they worked in a print shop once and didn't like it. Or because they owed a print shop money once and it went to collection. Or because they don't like the "tone" of your ad, or because you misspelled a word, or, frankly, they can flag and remove your ad because they are simply mentally retarded. Craig claims that 98% of all ads that are flagged and removed were removed legitimately. In our personal experience, it's more like 40% are flagged legitimately. Your competitors will flag you. Ex girlfriends will flag you. The flagging goes on and on, and Craigslist has lost credibility. Craig says his way of culling bad ads is "democratic". In what democracy can three people out of a thousand make the decisions? How about making every reader VOTE on every ad. You can't progress to the next ad unless and until you vote -- good ad, bad ad, circle one. If, after a number of votes, the nays have it, then the ad gets yanked. THAT, folks, is how democracy works. Craig's idea is actually Communism. The time that is wasted by millions of industrious, well-meaning people across the country and around the world every single day in having to relist their inappropriately flagged ads is incalculable. The frustration and anger the rabid flaggers produce in legitimate advertisers is gargantuan. The amount of damage this has done and continues to do to the Craigslist brand is beyond comprehension. Yet Craig just. doesn't. get it. He sets up a system which invites the world's cheesiest occupants to cause trouble and grief for all others, and then asks for the gratitude and support of those victims. The man must be a fool.
We submit that it may well be possible, for someone with more time and interest than ourselves, to file suit against Craigslist, then subpoena them for copies of their server logs which will show the IP addresses of flaggers who are obviously and clearly flagging for fun and stupidity. Once the flaggers are tracked through their IPs, they can be included in the suit as willfully engaging in a form of electronic harassment and preventing the poster from using a service to which he is by Craigslist's own admission, entitled, for the purpose of finding work, and/or furthering his business by finding employees. Since the flagging can be documented to have served no legitimate purpose, and the poster's purpose IS legitimate, the flagging may well qualify as a criminal form of harassment. Once this precedence has been set, flaggers who flag merely to harass will be relatively easy prey.
We had one experience, however, which still sticks in our craw above all others with this miserable, back-bedroom operation. We bought a boat from "The List". It was advertised and represented as having certain equipment. After paying and receiving the boat, we discovered that the listed equipment wasn't aboard. The seller had lied. What a surprise. We weren't overly concerned at first, because this pathological liar (as it turned out), was local, owned a home and other property, and was easily "sue-able". We went to Craigslist to print out his ads, intent on confronting the seller and making him pay. But the ads were gone. FLAGGED OFF by some unknown and unknowable stupid jerk who'd probably been sexually molested in a boat just like that by his father when he was ten, and so spent his days and hours flagging all other boats on Craigslist of similar style, manufacture and color. Bottom line though, the ads were gone.
We STILL weren't concerned, because we figured there were third-party Craigslist archives somewhere that would have copies. We were wrong. But we STILL weren't overly concerned, because we figured Craigslist would just email us copies of the ads (they claim they have copies of every ad every placed), and we could then go extract compensation by whatever means was suitable. To that end we emailed Craigslist politely, explained the situation in half a paragraph, and asked for copies of the ads -- ads which were now EVIDENCE we needed in court. But the professionals at Craig's office in San Francisco just couldn't be bothered to reply. They just......couldn't grasp the concept of how that would be a good thing for them. We emailed again and again, stronger and stronger requests. No reply whatsoever.
We then appealed to Craigslist by registered mail. Craigslist signed for the letter, but refused to reply. At some point it begins to look as though Craigslist is actually on the SIDE of the con-artist. Naw.....THAT couldn't be the case, could it?
We sent several more registered letters. Craigslist nitwits signed for them all, but couldn't be bothered to reply.
We sent them a check for $50 "for their trouble" (in sending three sheets of paper back to us). Craigslist couldn't be bothered to reply or to return the money.
We had our attorney write to them. Craigslist couldn't be bothered to reply. By this time a year had passed. We decided to try another tack. We complained to the California Department of Justice, enclosing all related documentation and registered mail receipts. Craigslist did not reply to THEM EITHER.
We then routed the problem through the Washington Attorney General's office, since Craigslist was doing business in Washington state. The Washington Attorney General's office pursued the matter for another year, finally to respond to us to confirm, in writing, that Craigslist had refused to respond to their calls, letters, or emails as well.
So finally we knew. We knew beyond all doubt that (1) Craigslist was an utterly worthless organization, devoid of honor, professionalism, even common sense. It was run by the typical southern California Genetic Blank, the idiot who has mastered the art of political demonstrations, whining, corruption, silliness, but who couldn't perform even the smallest, most elementary functions of RUNNING A BUSINESS. And (2) we realized, finally, that Craigslist was such a draw on our time and energy that it was actually a liability. It caused us more trouble than it provided help or product. Craigslist was, we finally understood, a negative value. Not only was it worthless, it was worse than worthless. We'd have been better off if we'd never heard of it. That mirrors the sentiment of thousands and thousands, the numbers growing every day.
We leave the reader with our letter to the Washington State Attorney General's office, and their written confirmation to us that Craigslist had refused to reply. We never did receive the ads we needed, so we sued the jackass anyway, bluffing that we had the ads, and he was forced to finally pay up -- two years after the fact.
Folks, and especially employers, we can save you a GREAT DEAL of trouble. Just say no to Craigslist. It's a haven to the the lowest class of human being we've ever run across in this country. Google the problem yourselves with searches like "craigslist flagger" and "flagged and removed" (which is the domain name we tried to get for this page). If you want to know who's keeping Craigslist's servers busy, who's answering help-wanted ads, who's behind the scenes pulling the levers in San Francisco, do a drive-by of any "Hempfest" or "Democratic Rally". You'll know 'em when you see 'em. They make all kinds of noise, but never seem to properly accomplish one single Goddamned thing except to be IN THE WAY.
900 4th Ave. Suite 2000
1381 9th Ave,
San Francisco, CA
As you know, Craigslist is a California based company which is now actively engaged in advertising for pay in Seattle.
Way back in July of 2006 we responded to a Craigslist ad for a boat for sale in the Granite Falls, Washington area. The boat was advertised in Craigslist on at least two occasions and possibly many more through the summer of 2006, as having a “new engine”, an “80 gallon fuel capacity”, a “rebuilt outdrive”, etc. etc. ad nauseam. We subsequently bought the boat. Unfortunately the fuel capacity could not be checked at the time of purchase because the fuel tank is located beneath the permanent decking. Some things you must simply trust the buyer for and this was one of them. It subsequently turned out that the fuel tank had a 36 gallon capacity (the seller has now admitted in writing to knowing all along that the boat had only a 36 gal. capacity and not the 80 gal. he advertised), the engine failed after only several hours due to the seller's incompetence, ditto the outdrive because it had never been rebuilt as advertised on Craigslist. The list goes on. We are now in the red $17,000 to bring this boat up to its advertised condition.
We have civil recourse here as well as criminal recourse. We can sue the seller, a pathological liar of some local renown, by the name of Scott Fenske, in small claims in Snohomish county and we do plan to do just that. We also have recourse in criminal court in Snohomish county under RCW 9.04.010 and RCW 9.04.050 (false advertising statutes).
To pursue either legal remedy we need copies of the original ads that Fenske placed in Craigslist through the summer of ’06. Unfortunately, small claims court does not give us subpoena authority. In any case we therefore have two pressing and legitimate needs to be supplied this documentation by Craigslist.
We wrote to CL informally many months ago, asking for copies of the ads. Craigslist assured us, in writing, that they did in fact have copies of these specific ads, but they failed to provide them. When we asked for them again, CL repeatedly refused to reply. We attempted to obtain copies of these ads many more times, but received no replies whatsoever from Craigslist.
About 5 weeks ago we delivered to CL a more formal request. It is attached. It cited their own policy of disclosure as follows:
Craigslist may disclose information about its users if required to do so by law or in the good faith belief that such disclosure is reasonably necessary to respond to subpoenas, court orders, or other legal process.
Obviously our request qualifies under Craigslist’s own posted policies in several ways. In our last request to CL (attached), we even included a check for $50 to cover any “administrative costs” of locating and printing out the two or three pages that we needed. You know what’s coming – and it’s what we expected as well: Craigslist could not be bothered to find the simple human courtesy or basic professionalism to respond to this request either, even though they received and signed for it on 3-12-07 (over a month ago). This is typical Craigslist. We all keep praying for that Bay area earthquake, but it never comes.
Craigslist probably figures this problem will go away. It will not. It will only become larger and larger, and more and more public. Scott Fenske used Craigslist’s service and physical server equipment for the perpetration of acts which are absolutely contrary to Craigslist’s own posted user policies, and we believe we can also prove that Scott Fenske used Craigslist’s services and physical server equipment to commit crimes under either or both of the RCW's shown above.
Craigslist, therefore, has a legal and moral obligation to supply the victims (us) in this case with the simple documentation that will allow those victims to seek legal remedies under the law. To refuse to dispense such evidence is absolutely counter to Craigslist’s own stated policies, is contrary to civil procedures, and may well be considered in a court of law to be an instance of obstruction of justice. We believe that Craigslist, by refusing to disseminate the documentation needed by the victims to pursue civil and criminal remedies against anyone who has used Craigslist’s own services and equipment to perpetrate fraud and false advertising, may well leave Craigslist liable for reimbursement to the wronged party(s) for the same damages the victim(s) would seek to recover from the original ad poster (Fenske). It seems Craigslist has now made a conscious decision to protect Fenske from the civil and criminal consequences of his actions, and that makes Craigslist a direct and involved party to those same transgressions.
We ask that you formally request copies of the ads, placed by Scott Fenske, throughout the summer of 2006, which advertise a 19 foot boat on Craigslist, from Craigslist. As you can see by the attached, we’ve already attempted this in a polite and legal fashion, yet Craigslist seems to think this is funny and refuses to comply. That is, after all, the very essence of Craigslist and we believe that just about everyone, everywhere, has had a belly full of it.
Bottom line: If there's ANYTHING we can ever do to help bring Craigslist down, please ask for our help. Got a great script to blow Craigslist out of the water and need financing to keep it going for a few years until it hits critical mass? Perhaps we can help there. Need servers? Just ask. Need traffic? Just ask. Need legal representation to set it all up? We can provide it. We're now on an anti-Craigslist crusade, and our resources are available. We've never seen or heard of a more counter-productive, irritating, could-have-been-so-useful "service", and we want these stupid sons of bitches gone.
You've been trying (and trying) (AND TRYING) to place a simple ad on Craigslist to sell your couch. And every single time you post it, it gets flagged off in an hour. At least 70% of any ads "we" place are gone within a few hours. Almost all (95%) end up flagged off before their week is up. This site wouldn't be so incredibly popular if no one else was having this trouble. But let's say you've done every single thing you can think of to make "your community" like your ad. You've removed every single instance of the word "the" because, as we all know, some people in San Francisco are flat-out offended by that word. So you've dutifully removed it. Good for you. A few of the rabid flaggers have decided to leave you alone. But there are still more than enough of these fecking zombies and your ads are still being flagged. What to do? You lower the price, because you know you'll get flagged off if "your community" thinks your price is too high. But be careful! Because there are plenty of flaggers who will flag you off for listing a price that is, in their minds, too low. Why? Well, it doesn't really matter, does it? Craig has given them that little button and a mouse, and they have the POWER (oh, their tiny genitals just tingle at the sound of the word, POWER, because, after all, they've NEVER HAD ANY BEFORE --- and the authority -- nay, the God-mandated RESPONSIBILITY to use it. And so they do. It DOES NOT MATTER if their reason for flagging your ad has one whit of logical merit -- all that matters is that they "CAN". And the struggle, your struggle, is now to try to figure out what makes their demented little minds work, and to avoid things that offend them. Like the word "the". SO MANY San Francisco Liberals hate that word. You have to watch out.
So the word "the" is gone, and you've raised, then lowered, then raised, then lowered your price sixteen times, trying to figure out what price will offend the least number of zombies -- regardless of what the item is WORTH, of course. That ain't a concept the lefties understand, and Craigslist is, if nothing else, a Shining Pinnacle of Leftism in all its Glory. Craiglist is a beacon of testament to what the Left Wing can truly accomplish if left to their own devices. It is theirs, and theirs alone. No one but Liberals can claim the credit for Craigslist, nor should they want to. Praise God! Anyway, what they want is a price that's "socially uplifting". So, you figure fifty bucks is as uplifting as you can afford to be, never mind that you paid $1199 and similar couches are selling for five hundred bucks. These burned-out, stinky old hippies couldn't care less.
But your ads are STILL being flagged off, and, damnit, you really need to sell that couch! So, after hours, or days, or weeks, or months of trying to somehow read the minds of all zombies everywhere, and failing, you finally give up and decide to ask Craig for help. After all, Craig wrote the rules, and try as you will, you can't find a single damned rule you're breaking, so you need to know, once and for all, what rule it is, and how, exactly, you're bending it, so you can change your evil ways and be taken into the Craigslist fold, where you can post your ads all day long and no one will want to kill you for it. So you email Craig, and ask him WTF!? And you get no reply, and you never will. Have you not read this website? We show you examples of Craigslist steadfastly refusing to answer repeated inquiries by its own California Department of Justice! Craig. Don't. Care. Get it? End of story.
But you stumble upon the Craigslist Help Forum, where all people in your shoes are supposed to be able to find HELP. Trouble is, there's none to be found there either. All you'll ever find in Craigslist's Help forums are more victims like you, and clones of Beavis and Butthead on steroids that will attack you. THAT. IS. IT. There is no help. Read that again: There. Is. No. Help. To. Be. Found. In. Any. Craigslist. Help. Forum. Now read it again. And keep reading it until it seeps in. It'll be like pouring water on a rock and hoping some of it soaks in somewhere, because we are, for the most part, a logical people, and to us, the word HELP means, well, HELP! But it means something else to Craig. It means: SHOOTING GALLERY for the insane, and that's exactly what Craig's helpers in the Help Forums ARE. They are, in our view, the dumbest, most counter-productive, most downright evil, insolent, worthless, valueless human beings we've ever come across, anywhere in the world, and we submit that if they acted in public, face to face, as they act in the forums while hiding behind their usernames, they'd have no teeth left at all, because even 99 pound old ladies would knock them all down their skinny fucking throats. We cannot begin to imagine where Craig finds these genetic mistakes. We're going to paste in a few examples directly from said forums, in which good people, like you, have tried to obtain simple answers to a simple questions, namely: Why was my ad flagged? Here's what happens when they ask that question in a responsible and civilized manner, and the brainless hyenas come to feed. The person wanting to know why her ad was flagged off is shown in italics. All 14 year old hyenas are shown in regular type. THIS is what you get when you ask for help in the help forums. Go see for yourself; there are hundreds of thousands of examples just like this and much, much worse, but virtually no "help" at all. Notice that the poor woman just gave up and went away, never entering into the exchange once she figured out there would be no help forthcoming whatsoever:
Why was my w4m ad flagged? < GinaP1985 > 02/15 20:17:28
This was the text:
Take me for dinner
Are you a gentleman who enjoys going out to eat and going for drinks? Let's chat and set something up.
I'm a 25 year old professional who recently moved to DC from Miami.
I love trying new places and exploring the best DC has to offer.
and what do you have to offer besides a vagina ? § < - > 02/15 20:18:14
hookers got the boot, try another site < - > 02/15 20:18:36
not a hooker?
right, so your ad that is soooo hookerish is not you... right.
Looks like a typical hooker ad. How many < Suomonona > 02/15 20:21:39
ro$e$ does he have to buy you?
Her ad says take me for dinner, I assume dinner § < and_then_take_her > 02/15 20:24:19
Nope, really just dinner. < GinaP1985 > 02/15 20:25:39
I got stood up on Valentines day and was seeing if real gentlemen are still out there.
are you sure? < - > 02/15 20:26:36
cause, well you sound like a hooker..
no respectful lady wants to sound like a hooker.
real gentlemen want your cup size and waist size § < - > 02/15 20:26:46
and if you have a landing strip or a pizza slice § < bush- > 02/15 20:28:33
Unfortunately you wrote a hooker ad. < Suomonona > 02/15 20:27:13
No one is going to assume your hooker ad is the one honest ad amongst all the other hooker ads.
If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and waddles like a duck... it's a duck.
Now tell me: would you date a man who is 25 without knowing a single other thing about him, aside from his age?
if he's a 'pro', and just moved to town < - > 02/15 20:28:48
and wants to see the sights, sure.
(opens wallet, checks for large bills)
not a helpful response § < hurtnotdead > 02/15 20:33:37
okay < somehandle_nli > 02/15 20:35:02
then tell me why op wrote a hooker ad?
big hint: it was not an ooops moment.
bigger question, why did they come here?
Like I said < GinaP1985 > 02/15 20:38:41
Really not a hooker. Unless going out for dinner is illegal.
This was my first CL ad. I'm straightforward - I want to be taken out.
All of the men who don't want to be seen < - > 02/15 20:39:46
as someone's meal ticket flagged you.
You seem to like doing things the old-fashioned way. So meet men the old-fashioned way.
Oh well, what can you do ?? § < - > 02/15 20:40:03
go ask Suo, she's good, but < - > 02/15 20:40:17
srsly... hooker ad.
hon, these guys are trying to give you some < hurtnotdead > 02/15 20:46:38
good advice, they just don't know how to do it politely.
Not a fair situation, but that seems to be the way it is, right now
You still never answered my question. < Suomonona > 02/15 20:53:30
Would you date *ANY* man who happened to be 25?
Is "I'm 25" enough information for you to determine whether you want to have a date with someone?
listen, it's not that I disagree with you < hurtnotdead > 02/15 21:10:47
it could be taken as a hooker's ad. Hard to know, really, if she is one or not, from the ad.
But I don't think it's helpful to assume she is, or to joke in a rude way in that presumption.
That's not the purpose of this forum, is it? Just on the chance that she is not a lady-of-the-night, why not just explain to her, in a helpful way, what to do?
opps...I'm thinking troll forgot which handle < - > 02/15 20:36:10
Translation: pay for me. § < - > 02/15 20:28:07
The box below is a simple Guestbook Script. We're interested in examples of legitimate Craigslist ads that have been flagged and removed for no reason that any sane or normal person can discern. Please paste in a copy of the EXACT ad, the category it was run under, and the amount of time it lasted before being "Flagged and Removed". Entries are run through a typical set of filters looking for foul language, stupidity (yes, filters can spot it!), and a host of other nonsense. If the filters catch problem postings, they're automatically deleted. The remainder are screened by staff and culled as required. Any identifying data may be removed from public view, such as email addresses, phone numbers, links, etc.