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Old 04-15-2009, 06:51 PM
 
Location: Chicago
6,005 posts, read 13,178,004 times
Reputation: 7956

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*long rant ahead, sorry. skip to the end if you don't want to read it all*

I first discovered Craigslist (CL) years ago, long before it went international, when it was just for a small handful of cities such as San Francisco, Boston, and NYC. I've become steadily disenchanted with it over the past years do to the ever increasing amount of spam, scams, illegal activity, and broken rules. I know I'm not the only one.

this site is deteriorating very fast and the staff seems either incapable or unwilling to stop it. I used to be a fan of the Pets section and had found homes for many animals I fostered through there. now it has just become a haven for backyard breeders, animal flippers, Nigerian scams promising free, high end puppies, and people constantly bickering amongst themselves. the Jobs section in most cities is atrocious at best, littered w/ work from home scams and just very poor pickings (the site has started charging a free to post on the job sites of some cities to cut down on the scams. this helped a little, but now they are shifting to the still free Gigs section). the For Sale section, in some cases, are filled w/ people selling stolen items or just flipping/scalping them for near retail price. and a lot of the ads are also scams. the Apartment section, at least in Chicago, is a mess due to realtors using keywords which wholly screws up the search function and using the site as their own personal website so that they may post hundreds of ads in a single day.

worst of all is the Erotic Service section. I can understand why this section exist, but it's a pure mess now and a haven for prostitution. and now people are using that section to pick up victims (this whole rant was spawned by a recent murder in Boston where a woman that posted on CL was murdered).

I know it's hard to complain about a site that's mostly free to use and is very popular, and I know a lot of it is "user beware", but it just seems like so many of these issues can be fixed in the staff stepped up and did some work. the site is operated by a user flagged system which solely relies of users to flag down ads that break the rules. this system simply does not work, either because users are passive or the spammers and scammers outnumber them and are far more persistent. it was a nice idea to have the users police the site back when the site focused on a few large US cities, but now it's an international site w/ a presence in almost every single continent and I don't think the site can be run is this manner much longer w/o it collapsing on itself. there are already new sites popping up in competition w/ CL that promises less issues. one major rescue in SF has pleaded w/ the staff to prohibit all animal transactions due to the number of pit bulls being sold on the site by BYBs. even politicians are becoming disgruntled w/ the site and want changes

sorry for the long winded rant, but I'm wondering what others think. should the staff do more to police their site (I understand it's a small staff, but the site isn't exactly broke)? should sections like Erotic Services and Pets just be shut down? or do you think the site is fine as it is and it's all user beware? as much as I hate to, I keep using the site b/c it has become the place for landlords to post rentals, or for small businesses to post openings, or to advertise a few items for sale or look for a quick gig. basically, all the stuff newspapers did (I know a lot of these issues existed w/ newspapers too, but it never seemed as over the top bad as on CL).

okay, ending the ranting, do you think CL is getting worse and needs to be more regulated or do you think it's fine as is?
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Old 04-15-2009, 07:19 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,538,289 times
Reputation: 35864
If Craigs list is as you say it is, you are right to be frustrated by the abuse that no such site can reasonably be expected to police. It is a fact of life that abusers will destroy everything they discover, as they are doing with so many worthwhile things from Food Stamps to Major League Baseball.

If Craigs List collapses under its own weight, it will not be the first thing nor the last to suffer such a demise. But it would be absolutely and totally wrong for it to collapse because external authority interceded. That, too, would be abuse. It would be especially abusive if CL were forced to close because some people were offended by the content of some listings.
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Old 04-15-2009, 07:44 PM
 
Location: Back in New York
1,104 posts, read 3,321,597 times
Reputation: 843
I find CL very useful. The spam is real annoying but overall I enjoy the site to get ideas for prices on housing or cars and often I find great deals on there.
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Old 04-15-2009, 08:00 PM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
8,293 posts, read 22,457,074 times
Reputation: 3868
I love Craigslist, and use it all the time.

I'll grant you, though, that all the scammers (especially in the automotive section) are annoying as heck.

Other than that, I can't vouch for anything in the personals, or job sections.
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Old 04-15-2009, 08:22 PM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
10,425 posts, read 43,516,050 times
Reputation: 10329
I used to use Craigslist more. But when ever you place an ad all you get anymore are the Nigerians offering you $10,000 for a $50 item and want you to give them change. You also get a whole lot of lonely people who are not interested in buying what you are selling, they just want to talk. So you will play email tag with them answering questions for a week before they disapear.

Estimates say up to 60% of ads are fake. They are only to harvest legit emails. Especially the job section. There is not even a job available in most cases. People answer the ad and the spammer collects all the emails and sell them to more spammers.

The $25 fee helped a lot but it needs to cover all states. Today from desperation many spammers are paying the $25 to try and look legit. Like the mystery shopper scams. They are paying to place the mystery shopper ads.
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Old 04-16-2009, 09:47 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,849 posts, read 51,301,408 times
Reputation: 27668
There are probably some technical upgrades that could eliminate the worst of the problems, but for a free service, it does OK. The complaints about eBay continue to pour in as well, and that company has a lot more resources to do things right.

IMO, CL makes a major mistake by not having a national section. I understand the limiting of spiders and gross search engines, but sometimes there are articles for sale that are so rare that a national search is required.
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:54 AM
 
Location: this side of knoxville tn...
253 posts, read 686,298 times
Reputation: 273
Default i agree

Quote:
Originally Posted by CleanCutHippie View Post
I find CL very useful. The spam is real annoying but overall I enjoy the site to get ideas for prices on housing or cars and often I find great deals on there.
I also use CL, from finding stuff i want to giving/selling stuff i dont want.
yes, the scammers are the pits, but with internet way it is, they will find you eventually. just look at yahoo chat, i still use the messenger, but the chat rooms are full of bots...it sucks, but its still running.

biggest thing ive noticed on CL is that the people in the forums tend to not be very friendly, like here, where people will help you out with info, become good friends,etc, there...omg...you will get slammed and berated, its terriable.
i hate their pet setion, so many break the rules it aint funny, and gosh forbid you try and post a thing about it, you will get flagged like crazy, like the pet sellers, they will flag you right off if you point out that selling is agaisnt the rules, and they get away with it. or the small rehoming fee issue...everytime someone points out that $100 and up is not a small rehoming fee...they are flagged withen minutes.
i took my pet case to the forum part, asking what people thought of people selling their pets for high amounts, alot doing it for fast cash, i bought a cat once from someone who needed gas money, ive heard others seeling their pets for beer money, and omg did i get ripped a new one, i couldnt believe a forum about love of pets could be so heartless, even to go as far as make jokes how they would sell their pet for good bottle of wine!!!

so yes, its the pits....i love citydata...folks here are friendly, warm and good....not saying there isnt bad ones here to...but ive yet to meet any, all are good far as i can see.
I do understand what the OP is saying thou...no one controls the ads or monitors the site enough....seems alot of sicko pervs live off CL, but i did hear local authorites are checking it...to nail the pervs at least..good
but it will always be out there, when one closes...another will open and be taken over by crap again.
do like i do..skip the parts you dont care for, and use the ones you do. we are trying to relocate, and i find it a valueable resource along with citydata....if a town on here looks good, i go to CL to check out rental listings...i can see a home as well as get a price and determine if it all comes together for me. so it does have its good points
and besides.....the missed connections sections can be funny at times
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Old 04-16-2009, 11:17 AM
 
Location: Pinal County, Arizona
25,107 posts, read 34,361,805 times
Reputation: 4893
There is another site to try: www.backpage.com
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Old 04-16-2009, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Between Philadelphia and Allentown, PA
5,077 posts, read 12,705,610 times
Reputation: 3713
I think like any other free site you get the bad with the good. I've always had good experiences with Craigslist be it selling or buying. I am not interested in the "erotic" sections and don't peruse the men seeking, women seeking, etc... I go on there and pretty much check the pets section, the free section and the farm / garden section and every once in awhile, the cars / trucks/ motorcycles.
Is there some crap going on? Of course but you kind of said it, it's a FREE site, and I do believe the moderators of the site do have an interest in keeping it clean to a certain extent but until they start charging users, it's going to be too big of a job to maintain it in order to keep out the trash. I agree with you though, a couple of years ago when I first discovered it, I don't remember seeing much spam or hearing anything about illegal activities on the news associated with CL, today though, you can't even click a picture because it's usually spam.
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Old 04-18-2009, 12:05 AM
 
Location: Chicago
6,005 posts, read 13,178,004 times
Reputation: 7956
well, w/ the recent Boston murder and RI assault, CL is getting a lot of bad press. IMO, they need to just shut down the Erotic Services section. sure, if people want to sell sex, they will find a way to advertise it, even on the website, but having such a category on the site seems to be welcoming them on w/ open arms. that part of the site has outlive its usefulness and is now too far gone to be saved

CL actually does charge for certain parts of its sites and for certain cites (for example, i believe all posters in the NYC Apartment section pay a fee). the site isn't exactly poor (can't remember the exact amount, but they are making quite a profit from what I remember). it doesn't cost much to regulate a site and make some simple rule changes. something as simple as having moderators in the forums and checking through certain categories in certain cities and giving them the power to remove those ads will cut down on a lot of the junk. from my own experience, the staff is not visibly proactive in fixing problems on the site. there is a way to directly report massive abuse of the site directly to them. I've done so on several cases, only to see those ads still alive days later, untouched.

when Myspace became known as a stopping ground for sexual predators, the site did a lot to assure people that they were fixing the problem and made changes (not enough, but some). CL, other than charging $1-5 to post in the ES section (which of course gains them more money), has done nothing visible to fix the issue or assure users they are making changes to the site. as I said before, the site has remained virtually unchanged since the days I first stared using it (other than the fees they now charge to post in certain sites) and tactics that work to regulate a smaller site w/ less traffic isn't working now that the site has grown much larger

Last edited by eevee; 04-18-2009 at 12:19 AM..
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